The City of Toronto announced the winners of its 2023 Urban Design Awards on Thursday, honoring the hottest new buildings across a wide range of categories.

For the 2023 awards programme, a jury of experts in the fields of architecture and urban design selected 10 projects for Awards of Excellence, eight for Awards of Merit, as well as two Special Jury Awards to honor community activism.

Excellence Award

Private buildings in context — low scale

The Drake Modern Wing Hotel, 1150 Queen Street W.

The recently completed addition to the Drake Hotel has breathed new life into the Queen Street hotspot. When selecting the project as the winner in the low-scale category, the jury specifically noted how difficult it was to differentiate the “Modern Pavilion” as an addition thanks to its materiality and reference design from architects Diamond Schmidt.

Private buildings in context – mid-rise

summerhill offices, 1133 Yonge Street

Studio JCI’s retrofit of this mid-rise 1980s office building was given top marks by the jury for its reflection of the “refreshing renewal of the heritage fabric” and the complementary design of the preserved adjacent railway station.

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

Special buildings in context – tall

Two winners have been selected in the high-rise category, including one of the city’s most prominent new office towers and the final phase of an architecturally bold residential community.

harris square, 21 Loren Harris Square

The latest phase of the River City condominium complex adds another groundbreaking design from Saucier+Perrotte Architectes and ZAS to the West Don Lands neighborhood.

The jury referred to the project as “a very good example of an innovative and attractive play in mass, form, texture and color to achieve a good fit with a very narrow site and integration with the surrounding public realm.”

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

81 Bay – CIBC SQUARE Phase 1

The first phase of the two-tower CIBC SQUARE project added a modern office tower with a crystalline exterior to the southern edge of the Financial District.

Soaring 49 storeys above the Bay and Lake Shore, the judging panel described the Wilkinson Eyre-designed project as a “beautiful, sophisticated tower” and “a sharp, bold addition to the city’s skyline”.

“Everything about the CIBC Square building is attractive and interesting,” the committee noted.

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

Awards were also given out for small additions to the urban realm, including categories that recognize public buildings in context, small spaces, large spaces or neighborhood designs.

Public buildings in context

This year’s lineup of winners includes: Tommy Thompson entrance and suite At 3 Leslie Street, Scott Street Interlocking Signal Tower Generator Along the rail corridor of Union Station, the Restoration of the Wychwood Neighborhood Branch Library and the addition at 1431 Bathurst Street.

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

Small open spaces

the Barkettes Bloor-Annex BIA (Located at 320 Robert Street, 290 Major Street, 306 Brunswick Street, and 2 Howland Street) by DTAH landscape architects and artist Robert Cram.

The jury commented: “The project was recognized simply for what it is, and what it does for the public domain, but it is these small details, and some of those thoughtful moments, taken together that make this project deserving of the award.”

Large venues and/or neighborhood designs

Order of views229 W. Richmond Ave.

This hugely popular – and quite colorful – patio space in Toronto’s entertainment district was welcomed by the judges, taking home the Large Space Award.

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

“This simple, colorful installation of picnic tables and paint has transformed, on a micro level, a remaining parking lot in the heart of Toronto in an unexpected way,” the jury notes.

“RendezViews exemplifies what can be achieved when we prioritize spaces where people can gather at sidewalk level through minimal design.”

Visions and main plans

Downsview Framework Plan

The planned redevelopment of the Downsview Airport grounds was recognized as the most important vision of the year, with judges describing it as “a truly very inspiring project”.

“If built as envisioned, it could comprehensively reset how larger tracts of land are designed around resilience and climate change,” the jury’s comments state.

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

Merit Award

This category recognized winners across eight subcategories. Among the winners of this year’s Merit Awards are:


Plant it forward144 W. King St.
Urban fire benchesBloor Street

Private buildings in context — low scale

Mile 501501 E. King St.
Broadview Terraces377 Broadview Street.

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

Private buildings in context – mid-rise

River Street Enville41 El Nahr St

Special buildings in context – tall

Ace Hotel Toronto51 Camden Street

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

Small open spaces

Stack market28 Bathurst St.


BUILDING IN “JUNKSPACE” Intersection of Parliament Street and Lakeshore Boulevard

Special Jury Award for Community Activation

Merit awards were also distributed to small projects for their contribution to community revitalization.

Toronto Urban Design Awards 2023

These include Oculus activation in South Humber Park And Plazapops: Albion Islington’s plazas At locations along Islington Street and Albion Road.

    (Tags for translation)Toronto

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