toronto urban design awards 2023

These are the most breathtaking new buildings in Toronto

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

For 2023's awards program, 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 a pair of Special Jury Awards honouring Community Activation.

Award of Excellence
Private Buildings in Context — Low-Scale

The Drake Hotel Modern Wing, 1150 Queen St. W.

The recently completed addition to the Drake Hotel has breathed new life into the Queen Street hotspot. In selecting the project as the low-scale category winner, the Jury specifically noted how hard it was to differentiate the "modern wing" as an addition thanks to its materiality and referential design from architects Diamond Schmitt.

toronto urban design awards 2023

Private Buildings in Context — Mid-Rise

Summerhill Offices, 1133 Yonge St.

Studio JCI's retrofit of this 1980s mid-rise office building was awarded top marks by the jury for its reflection of "a refreshing renewal of the heritage fabric" and a design complementary to the adjacent preserved railway station.

toronto urban design awards 2023

Private Buildings in Context — Tall

Two winners were selected in the tall buildings category, including one of the city's most prominent new office towers and the final phase of an architecturally daring residential community.

Harris Square, 21 Lawren Harris Sq.

The final phase of the River City condominium community adds another avant-garde design from Saucier+Perrotte Architectes and ZAS to the West Don Lands neighbourhood.

The jury noted the project as a "very good example of an innovative and attractive play in massing, form, texture, and colour to achieve a good fit on a very tight site and to integrate with the surrounding public realm."

toronto urban design awards 2023

81 Bay – CIBC SQUARE Phase 1

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

Soaring 49 storeys above Bay and Lake Shore, the WilkinsonEyre-designed project is described by the jury as a "beautiful, refined tower," and "a sharp and bold addition to the city's skyline."

"Everything about the CIBC Square building is attractive and engaging," noted the panel.

toronto urban design awards 2023

Awards were also handed out for smaller additions to the urban realm, including categories recognizing public buildings in context, small spaces, and large spaces or neighbourhood designs.

Public Buildings in Context

This year's crop of winners includes the Tommy Thompson Entrance and Pavilion at 3 Leslie St., the Scott Street Interlocking Signal Tower Generator along the Union Station rail corridor, and the Wychwood Neighbourhood Branch Library restoration and addition at 1431 Bathurst St.

toronto urban design awards 2023

Small Open Spaces

The Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes (located at 320 Robert St., 290 Major St., 306 Brunswick Ave., and 2 Howland Ave.) from landscape architects DTAH and artist Robert Cram.

The jury commented that the "project was appreciated simply for what it is, and what it is doing for the public realm, but these little details, and some of those thoughtful moments, collectively are what made this project award-worthy."

Large Places and/or Neighbourhood Designs

RendezViews, 229 Richmond St. W.

The wildly popular — and just as colourful — patio space in Toronto's Entertainment District was warmly received by the jury, earning the award for large spaces.

toronto urban design awards 2023

The jury notes that "This simple and colourful installation of picnic tables and paint has transformed, on a granular level, a left-over parking lot in the core of Toronto in a way that is unexpected."

"RendezViews exemplifies what can be achieved when we prioritize spaces for people to gather on the sidewalk level through minimal design."

Visions and Master Plans

Downsview Framework Plan

The planned redevelopment of the Downsview airport lands was recognized as this year's top vision, with the jury calling it "truly an extremely inspirational project."

Jury comments state that, "If built as envisioned, it could reset how larger tracts of land can be comprehensively designed around resiliency and climate change."

toronto urban design awards 2023

Award of Merit

This category recognized winners across eight sub-categories. Award of Merit winners this year include:


Plant it Forward, 144 King St. W.
Urban Fire Benches, Bloor Street

Private Buildings in Context — Low-Scale

Gusto 501, 501 King St. E.
The Broadview Terraces, 377 Broadview Ave.

toronto urban design awards 2023

Private Buildings in Context — Mid-Rise

River Street Infill, 41 River St.

Private Buildings in Context — Tall

Ace Hotel Toronto, 51 Camden St.

toronto urban design awards 2023

Small Open Spaces

Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst St.


Building in the 'JUNKSPACE,' Parliament Street and Lake Shore Boulevard intersection

Special Jury Award for Community Activation

Awards of Merit were also handed out to smaller projects for their contribution to community activation.

toronto urban design awards 2023

These include The Oculus Revitalization at South Humber Park and plazaPOPS: Albion Islington Squares at sites along Islington Avenue and Albion Road.

Photos by

City of Toronto

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