National Urban Design Awards — 2012 Recipient | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

National Urban Design Awards — 2012 Recipient

Toronto Avenues and Mid-Rise Buildings Study
Award Category: 
Urban Design Plans

Brook McIlroy and the City of Toronto, with ERA Architects, Quadrangle Architects, Urban Marketing Collaborative

The City of Toronto's growth strategy includes the reurbanization of its main streets at the social, economic and cultural heart of neighbourhoods. The Avenues and Mid-Rise Building Study translates the policies for Toronto's Avenues into a vision of vibrant, tree-lined streets, wide sun-lit sidewalks, framed by well-designed contextually sensitive mid-rise buildings that support an active street life - referred to as ‘mid-rise urbanism’. The total length of the Avenues is 162 km, equating to 324 km of “frontage”, with seventy-five percent designated for growth. Following the study’s adoption, the City continues to experience a surge in mid-rise building applications on the Avenues.

Jury Comment(s): 

“The Avenues and Mid-Rise Buildings Study is addressing one of the key issues in city building today: the creation of well-designed and moderately-scaled buildings, which form great urban streets and avenues, fit into the existing context, and are integrated into the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Conceived in a very clear, well-structured and well-illustrated document, the Study offers guidance for new buildings that can be easily understood by all stakeholders.

The most important feature of the Study is the Building Performance Standards that sets clear targets, emphasizing the public realm and its interface with the building. The expectation is that the Performance Standards will stimulate the imagination and creativity of designers and developers and will result in high quality buildings that are moderate in height, have active and accessible ground floor uses, and support quality streetscapes and pedestrian experiences.

The Avenues and Mid-Rise Buildings Study is a landmark document for Toronto and for urban design in Ontario. It is a model to be followed, setting up new standards and contributing greatly to the body of knowledge for an emerging Canadian Urbanism. ”

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