Urban Design and Architecture Awards

Urban Design & Architecture Awards Jury

The City selects a new jury for each competition. The jury consists of six individuals with a background and expertise in urban design, architecture ore related fields. In the past, jury members have included urban designers, architects, landscape architects, journalists, instructors and planners.

Jury members

  • Orit Sarfaty, Urban Planner and Chief Program Officer, Evergreen.ca
  • Janna Levitt, Architect, LGA Architectural Partners
  • Daniel Rotsztain, Artist, Writer, and Cartographer, Theurbangeographer.ca
  • Camille Mitchell, Architect, Gensler
  • Michael Ormston-Holloway, Landscape Architect and Urban Ecologist, The Planning Partnership
  • Dakari Gennaro, Student, Mohawk College
  • Anita Fabac, Manager of Development Planning, Heritage and Design, City of Hamilton

Jury statement

The 2021 Hamilton Urban Design and Architecture Awards Jury reviewed 37 submissions from across the City including a range of entries focusing on improvements to Hamilton’s built form, its public realm, and, more comprehensively, to the inherent connectivity and quality of its urban fabric.

Submissions were considered for their design expression, material selection and sustainability objectives, programmatic intent, and overall contribution to the enhancement of public and pedestrian life in the City of Hamilton.

The Jury noted a broad range of submissions, which speaks to the diversity of the work being promoted by this program. The vibrancy of some of the submissions should also be noted: some were modest and heartwarming submissions, which will change the daily lives of residents in small but incremental ways; there were also larger and more immediately impactful projects, which activate an otherwise under-programmed space and create a destination that fundamentally changes that way people move through and occupy a site.

While several of the entries approached merit and had moments of greatness within them, it occurred to us that some of them could have reached a bit further toward something potentially more aspirational, not just within the project boundaries themselves but also within the larger community.

We state this as we would like to encourage future designers working in the City of Hamilton to not be timid. The time for timidness here is over. Hamilton is a thriving metropolis with cosmopolitan ambitions; this City has extremely strong bones, a good planning structure and design community, and dedicated residents and businesses who would never consider living or working elsewhere. The spirit of future submissions need to channel this strong character.

Jury members

  • Nadia Amoroso,  Landscape Architect, The University of Guelph
  • Alex Bozikovic, Architectural Critic/Author, The Globe and Mail newspaper
  • David Leinster, Landscape Architect and Urban Designer, The Planning Partnership
  • James Roche, Landscape Architect, DTAH
  • Betsy Williamson, Architect, Williamson Williamson Architects Inc.
  • Steve Robichaud, Director of Planning & Chief Planner, City of Hamilton

Jury members

  • Marc Ryan, Urban Designer - Public Work, Toronto
  • John Lorinc, Journalist/Author/Editor, Toronto
  • Meg Graham, Architect - Superkul, Toronto
  • Paul Shaker, Planner - Civicplan, Hamilton
  • Renee Gomes, Planner - First Gulf Corp, Toronto
  • Steve Robichaud, Chief Planner, City of Hamilton

Jury members for the 2017 Urban Design and Architecture Awards

Jury statement

The 2017 Hamilton Urban Design Awards Jury had the privilege of reviewing 48 projects in urban, suburban, and rural settings throughout the city. The submissions included: new buildings, additions, renovations, restorations, adaptive re-use projects, landscapes, streetscapes, master plans and student projects.

The members of the Jury were very impressed with the variety and quality of projects submitted. Many of the strongest submissions were focused on the sensitive accommodation of population growth and commercial opportunities, or on supporting the growing city with high-quality public realm, civic infrastructure and amenities. The submissions also included a great range of innovative design initiatives, from small-scale projects to major undertakings that targeted the positive transformation of a street, a neighbourhood, or the range of civic amenities for the city as a whole. The Jury also recognized that some winners were noteworthy for precedent-setting contributions to their ambient urban environments.

Some categories stand out for particular mention:

  • The Jury was encouraged to find itself considering a range of multi-unit residential projects that aspired to intensify their respective neighbourhood environments while employing contextually appropriate techniques to improve urban design, including heritage preservation, innovative building envelope design, massing and adaptive reuse of institutional structures.
  • The public buildings category was marked by an impressive level of ambition and achievement in both architectural and urban design excellence. It is appropriate and encouraging that civic and publicly accessible facilities demonstrate such a dedication to high quality materials, execution, beauty, contextual sensitivity and accessibility. The 2017 submissions demonstrate how architecture and urban design can make positive contributions at a range of scales, and set a positive example for future public and private-sector development.
  • Categories were provided to aid in the submission process; however, it was determined through Jury deliberations that several projects aligned with more than one category, or were better suited for another category. Additionally, the Jury collectively decided that projects could be awarded for either Excellence or Merit based on how well they addressed the submission criteria.
  • For the Civic Achievement category, the Jury’s recommendation for future Awards programs would be to refine the category criteria to focus on community initiatives in domains such as place-making, civic philanthropy, etc. This category would focus less on the particulars of urban design and more on community projects and programs geared at improving the public realm in some way. This criteria re-framing would be aimed at inspiring local groups and organizations to seek out such civic engagement opportunities.
  • For student participants, the Jury’s advice is to dream broadly and ambitiously, and to seize on the occasion of this competition to challenge conventional urban design thinking in Hamilton.

The Jury would like to thank all those who submitted, and congratulate all those practitioners and owners who contribute to making the Hamilton a truly dynamic and vibrant city.

Jury members

  • Donna Hinde, Landscape Architect, The Planning Partnership
  • Ken Greenberg, Urban Designer, Greenberg Consultants
  • Gordon Stratford, Architect, HOK Canada
  • Richard Allen, Director of the Renew Hamilton Project, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
  • Paul Wilson, Freelance writer, CBC Hamilton and the Hamilton Spectator
  • Steven Robichaud, Director of Planning and Chief Planner, City of Hamilton

Members of the Jury for the 2015 Urban Design & Architecture Awards

Jury statement

The Jury had the privilege of reviewing 35 projects throughout Hamilton in both urban and suburban locations. The submissions included:  new buildings, additions, renovations, restorations, adaptive re-use projects, landscapes, streetscapes and student works. The Jury was impressed by the high quality of design excellence in the City of Hamilton.

This award program serves as a way of taking Hamilton's design vital signs over the past 2 years.  The program reflects upon the positive trends and progressive design achievements, while identifying themes and neighbourhoods that are building momentum in the City. Projects, whether large or small, public or private, emphasized the important role of design in the regeneration of the City by helping to raise community spirit, inspiring positive social change, and promoting a vibrant and healthy urban environment.

The Jury was inspired to create three new categories of awards: Placemaking which contributes to the creation of community identity and landmarks; Civic Generosity which recognizes projects that promote an important public and social relationship; and Urban Regeneration which is the catalytic power fuelling the ongoing revitalization of this City.  There is strong evidence that public investment in parks, streets and infrastructure is spurring growth and private investment throughout the City.

The Jury admired the diversity of projects submitted, as they exemplify the variety of urban contexts in Hamilton and the uniqueness of Hamilton's character. In fact, many projects appeared to punch above their weight class by creating a positive transformation of their surrounding environment. The projects of most interest to the Jury did not reflect self-serving high-end design goals.  Rather, the Jury appreciated those projects that sought to fit within and reinvigorate the surrounding urban character through a cleverness of design.

Some of the projects that received awards were in recognition of Hamilton's commitment to heritage, good design, and the adaptive re-use of buildings and spaces. What intrigued the Jury was the pioneering spirit of visionary developers and owners, and their design teams that took risks by investing in projects that required great passion, bravery, and ingenuity. These projects exemplify excellence in design.

Many projects reviewed by the Jury made broad gains in environmental sustainability by incorporating a variety of leading practices and technologies that reduce waste, energy consumption and provide long-term cost savings. These projects showcase the technological prowess of design professionals and builders in Hamilton.

The Jury applauds the submission of a tactical urbanism project. These types of projects, when executed well, offer a broad range of benefits that can enhance urban life by providing creative and low cost 'quick wins'. The Jury encourages the submission of more of these small scale projects in the future.

The Jury recognises that the Urban Design and Architecture Awards program is an essential tool that has progressively elevated the status of good design in the City of Hamilton. The jury commends the work of the staff team that prepared the Awards program in 2015. The Jury would like to thank all those who submitted projects and congratulate everyone involved in a job well done!

Jury members

  • Janet Rosenberg, Landscape Architect, Janet Rosenberg Studio
  • Christopher Hume, Columnist, The Toronto Star newspaper
  • Dr. Mark Seasons Associate Dean of the School of Planning at the Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo
  • Tim McCabe, General Manager, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton
  • Stephen Robichaud, Director of Planning, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton

Jury statement

The Jury had the privilege of reviewing the project submissions that were categorized as urban design,architecture, contextual architecture, adaptive re-use, heritage conservation, cultural landscape, streetscape, and environmental design that were located throughout the City in a variety of different contexts. The Jury was impressed with the range of housing types that were submitted; single family dwellings, townhouses, apartments and affordable housing. The Jury was also impressed with the number of submissions that contribute to the local arts and cultural movements that are gaining momentum in Hamilton.

Of note is the number of submissions that were received relating to heritage conservation, and adaptive re-use of heritage buildings. Of special note is the fact that several of the buildings although listed, were not designated, yet the owners ensured that their heritage character was respected. Overall, these projects are welcomed as positive examples that will inspire future projects to be attractive, engaging, innovative and sustainable.

New categories were created for cultural heritage landscapes, environmental design and contextual architecture. These award winning projects provided innovative design responses to address heritage landscapes, environmental issues and to provide a fulsome architectural response to neighbourhood context.

As a UDAA first, the Jury decided to honour two projects for overall outstanding achievement and excellence in the category of Urban Design. These projects captured the true spirit of the UDAA’s, achieving many of the objectives to create quality urban environments in which to live, work and play.

Jury members

  • Stasia Bodgan, Capital Project Management Office, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
  • Bruce Cudmore, EDA Collaborative Inc
  • Tim McCabe, General Manager, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton
  • Paul Mallard, Director of Planning, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton

Jury statement

The Jury had the privilege of reviewing project submissions that included small renovations, landscapes, residential developments, commercial and office buildings, and major institutional projects. These projects are celebrated as welcomed additions to the fabric of the City and will undoubtedly inspire other projects in the City and contribute to the growing and positive transformation happening in Hamilton. 

Many of the projects incorporated sustainable design technologies and architectural systems. Outstandingly, there were six LEED certified or eligible projects that employ a wide variety of systems contributing to the wave of sustainable design sweeping through the development community. Many projects were also about community health and well-being and included designs that emphasized the important role of architecture and urban design toward the promotion of vibrant and healthy communities. Excellent public and private spaces are created with good design achieving inviting and comfortable spaces for people.

The Jury was unanimous regarding the Lister Block submission, choosing this project above all for special recognition in the category of Restoration. As a collaboration between many disciplines, this project is an outstanding achievement and showcases the fulfilment of several different objectives regarding urban design, conservation, restoration, adaptive reuse, downtown revitalization and community renewal.

The Jury would like to thank all those who submitted and congratulate all those professionals and owners involved on a job well done.

Jury members

  • Anne McIlroy, Urban Designer, Brook McIlroy Inc./Pace Architects
  • Linda Anne Irvine, Landscape Architect, Manager, Parks and Open Space Development for the Town of Markham.
  • Eric Haldenby, Architect, Associate Professor and Director of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture in Cambridge
  • Tim McCabe, General Manager, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton
  • Paul Mallard, Director of Planning, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton

Jury statement

The signs of positive change and evolution in a city are often best represented by an accumulation of a number of smaller exciting projects rather than one large project. The thirty submissions to the 2007 Urban Design and Architecture Awards are a reflection of this. A majority of the entries are renovations, additions, parkettes or small buildings representing a wide range of uses from across the city. The winning submissions demonstrate that these types of projects can have a positive influence on the city's public spaces. Using limited resources, the award winning designers skilfully employ sustainable design techniques, innovative design solutions and an understanding of the local community and context to create places that have a positive impact well beyond their size. Not only are these projects welcome additions to their community but their success provides inspiration to other designers and owners across the city to create great public spaces for all Hamiltonians to enjoy no matter the scope or location of their development.

Jury members

  • Anne McIlroy, Urban Designer, Brook McIlroy Inc./Pace Architects
  • Cecelia Paine, Landscape Architect, Heritage Planner, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Guelph
  • Joe Lobko, Architect, Private Firm
  • LeeAnn Coveyduck, General Manager, Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton
  • Tim McCabe, Director of Real Estate and Development Division,  Planning & Economic Development Department, City of Hamilton