The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) announced the 20 Finalists for its 2024 Design Excellence Awards.

Chosen by a jury of respected design experts, this year’s collection features a diverse range of building types, including sustainably designed community centres, schools and learning facilities, residences, and an indoor horticultural attraction, as well as performing arts venues in Sudbury and New York City. These 20 Finalists serve as the shortlist for the OAA’s Design Excellence Awards category; the 10 winners will be announced next month and honoured at the OAA Conference in Niagara Falls in May.

The biennial OAA Design Excellence Awards program offers Ontario practices the opportunity to display the transformative influence of architecture, promoting broader public recognition and appreciation for the field.

“I am delighted to be able to share these stunning projects with the public,” said OAA president Settimo Vilardi. “Our architecture community is truly exceptional, pushing boundaries and shaping the landscape of the built environment in Ontario and beyond. Congratulations to the 20 Design Excellence Awards Finalists—your work serves as an inspiring testament to the exceptional talent within our industry.”

Selected from 100 eligible submissions, the 20 Finalists were judged on criteria such as creativity, context, sustainability, good design/good business, and legacy. Submissions also required disclosure of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metrics, reflecting the OAA’s dedication to advance climate action in the public’s interest and ensuring sustainable, resilient design remains a critical aspect of every successful project.

Among the selections, are public buildings/spaces:

(Brady McCloskey)

Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation (St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island) by Baird Sampson Neuert Architects (now part of WF Group Inc.), in association with SableARC Studio;

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(James Brittain)

Centennial College A-Building Expansion (Toronto, Ontario) by DIALOG Ontario Inc.;

(Nic Lehoux)

Center for Computing & Data Sciences at Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts) by KPMB Architects;

(Scott Norsworthy)

Churchill Meadows Community Centre and Sports Park (Mississauga, Ontario) by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Ltd. (MJMA);

(Doublespace Photography)

Harrison McCain Pavilion at Beaverbrook Art Gallery (Fredericton, New Brunswick) by KPMB Architects;

(Scott Norsworthy)

Lawrence Orton Early Learning & Child Care Centre (Toronto, Ontario) by SvN Architects + Planners with E.R.A. Architects Inc.;

(Ema Peter Photography)

The Leaf at Assiniboine Park (Winnipeg, Manitoba) by KPMB Architects (Design Architect) in association with Architecture49;

(Lindsay Reid/Diamond Schmitt)

Manitou a bi Bii daziigae (Winnipeg, Manitoba) by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and Number TEN Architectural Group;

(Scott Norsworthy)

Ontario Court of Justice Toronto (Toronto, Ontario) by NORR Architects & Engineers Ltd. in association with Renzo Piano Building Workshop S.A.S.;

(Tom Arban Photography)

Place des Arts (Greater Sudbury, Ontario) by Moriyama Teshima Architects and Bélanger Salach Architecture in a joint venture;

(Doublespace Photography)

Toronto Public Library–Albert Campbell Branch (Scarborough, Ontario) LGA Architectural Partners Ltd.;

The ultimate 10 Winners will be announced in early April. They will be celebrated at the 2024 OAA Conference in Niagara Falls this May, along with three other Design Excellence awards: the Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award, theLieutenant Governor’s Award for Design Excellence in Architecture, and thePeople’s Choice Award, which asks members of the public to vote for their favourite.

In April, the OAA will also announce the 2024 recipients of the biennial Best Emerging Practice, Medal of Service, and Lifetime Design Achievement Award, as well as the new inductees for the Honour Roll, which posthumously acknowledges the impact of members of the profession.

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Featured image: Centennial College A-Building Expansion – Toronto, Ontario. (James Brittain)

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