Urban Design award winners ‘demonstrate creativity’

The Milne Dam and Milne Creek Cable-Stayed Bridges won the inaugural People’s Choice Award in the 2021 Markham Urban Design Excellence Awards, besting 22 other buildings and public spaces that were either past winners or entries in this year’s awards.

“Markham has a longstanding tradition of celebrating design excellence and this year’s Markham Urban Design Excellence Awards honours those in our community making significant contributions to our public realm and urban form,” Mayor Frank Scarpitti said in a virtual Awards Gala held October 28.

Aaniin Community Centre and Library

Aaniin Community Centre and Library at 5665 14th Avenue won the Building of Significance Award that recognizes a building of at least three storeys that responds to local context and integrates into the community through design. The jury commended the thoughtfulness given to the integration with the exterior space, connectivity and abundance of natural lighting.

Wong Dai Sin Temple at 378 Steeles Avenue East won the Institutional Building Award, which recognizes a civic building that has become a new icon or city landmark. Jury members commended it good use of space and intent to take advantage of a small site by stacking the building above the open space in a compelling manner.

Remington’s Downtown Precinct in Downtown Markham won the Community Design Award to recognize a compact, pedestrian-friendly community that fosters a sense of place. Jury members believe it’s an excellent example of urban placemaking from scratch.

Milne Dam and Milne Creek Cable-Stayed Bridges in Milne Dam Conservation Park won the Open Space & Public Realm Award to recognize a park, plaza, facility or landscaped area with a fresh and new approach to the treatment of open spaces. Jury members commended the project’s environmental sustainability, which offers a unique pedestrian experience while ensuring minimal disturbance to the natural elements.

York Condos at 10 Rouge Valley Drive West won the Urban Intensification Award to recognize infill, mixed-use or transit-oriented development that exemplifies place-making and efficient use of public infrastructure to reinforce the public realm. The jury commended the diversity and playfulness in the architectural expression this project offers.

“These winning buildings and public spaces, and their designers, clearly demonstrate creativity and innovation that contribute to the evolving identities of our neighbourhoods and our growing city,” says Regional Councillor Jim Jones, Chair of Markham’s Development Services Committee.

The 2021 Markham Urban Design Excellence Awards jury members are Chair Eha Naylor, Partner, Dillon Consulting Limited; Joy Chabronneau, Associate, Gensler Architecture & Design Canada Inc.; Mansoor Kazerouni, Global Director of Architecture, IBI Group; Carol Phillips, Partner, Moriyama & Teshima Architects; Rudy Wallman, Principal, Wallman Architects; and Richard Witt, Principal, BDP Quadrangle.

They were supported by the City of Markham’s Awards Committee: Ronji Borooah, City Architect; Parvathi Nampoothiri, Urban Design Manager; Halley Patel, Urban Design Coordinator; and Michelle Wong, Urban Design Planner. The Awards were first held in 1999 to celebrate quality design and the passion, hard work and talent of the people who make up the urban design industry in the City of Markham. 


Photo: Milne Dam and Milne Creek Cable-Stayed Bridges.

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