2013 Niagara Community Design Awards - Winners

Niagara Community Design Award Logo

This is the ninth year of the Design Awards. The objective of the Niagara Community Design Awards is to recognize and celebrate excellence in design in the Niagara Region that demonstrates the application of Smart Growth Principles. This year's awards continue to focus on projects that enhance the built environment, efficiently use land and demonstrate creativity and vision.


Award Winners

Smaller Scale Project

This award recognizes an infill or redevelopment project that is smaller in scale or nature which demonstrates excellence in design. This project creatively and effectively uses the site, complements the existing surroundings and intensifies or provides additional choice within the area.

2013 Award Winner: 1471 Pelham St., Pelham
& Architect
Todd Barber, President, Forestgreen Creations Inc.
Owner Elizabeth McGill, President, McGill Turpel Family Holding Co.
Engineer Shoalts Bros. Construction Ltd.

Completed in 2011, this infill development with four retail units and three bachelor apartments filled a hole in the Fonthill streetscape. The developers were able to take advantage of available Community Improvement Plan funding, and have made every effort to make this building approachable on both façades - the one that faces Pelham Street and the other that backs onto Town Square Boulevard. This project was noted by the Review Committee for its seamless integration with the surroundings.

1471 Pelham St. 1471 Pelham St. 1471 Pelham St.
2013 Honourable Mention: Studio 55, Niagara Falls
& Architect
Michael D. Allen, Principal, ACK Architects Inc.
Owner & Builder John Albanese
Structural Engineer Chris Turner Associates Inc.
Mechanical Engineer Complete HVAC Design

This hair and beauty salon has changed significantly from its former use as a residence. With the most recent redevelopment completed in 2012, this project has offered additional space to expand the business operation, while transforming the street face of the building. Noted for its contemporary façade that fits the location and its accessibility, the Review Committee considered this project a strong catalyst for redevelopment opportunities along Portage Road.

Larger Scale Project

This award recognizes an infill or redevelopment project that is larger in scale or nature which demonstrates excellence in design. This project creatively and effectively uses land, complements existing surroundings and intensifies and provides additional choice within the area.

2013 Award Winner: Mariner Bay Estates, Grimsby
& Architect
Michael D. Allen, Principal, ACK Architects Inc.
Owner & Builder Kekoo Gatta, Gatta Homes
Structural Engineer Shoalts Bros. Construction Ltd.
Mechanical Engineer Upper Canada Consultants

Initiated in 2006, this project has transformed a portion of the marina property to accommodate eight townhouses, two semi-detached units and thirteen stacked bungalows, each with a private boat slip. Each of the four development blocks includes a careful consideration of its location that blend well with the site, while providing choice of style and size of units and features for the residents. This development was noted for its attention to detail, pleasing appearance and unique offerings to residents.

Mariner Bay Estates Mariner Bay Estates Mariner Bay Estates

Public Realm Improvement

This award recognizes excellence in design of the spaces between the places, and presents a significant improvement to the public realm. This category may include public art, parking lots, parks or road realignment that effectively integrates with the surrounding buildings, is accessible and contributes to the beautification and use of the site.

2013 Award Winner: Pelham Arches
Nominated, Nominator,
Architect & Builder
Todd Barber, President, Forestgreen Creations Inc.
Owner Town of Pelham
Engineer Shoalts Bros. Construction Ltd.

Originally created as a temporary structure in celebration of Pelham Summerfest, the community has since decided to retain the distinctive arches that create a link between Town Square Boulevard and Pelham Street. The arches offer a unique feature to Fonthill that came about as a result of a tremendous amount of community support and volunteerism. The arches are noted for their distinctiveness, ability to engage the community in their creation and success as a hub for activity in the town.

Pelham Arches Pelham Arches Pelham Arches

Architecture - Small Budget

This award recognizes architectural excellence by a Niagara architect accomplished in a project with a construction cost of up to $2 million CAD. The project may be a new building, the alteration of an existing building or the restoration of a heritage building. Candidate projects should demonstrate a high degree of creativity and manifest all three Vitruvian principles of architecture: Firmatis - Utilitas - Venustatis. This award is proudly sponsored by the Niagara Society of Architects.

2013 Award Winner: 42 Mountain St., St. Catharines
Nominator & Architect Emilio Raimondo, Raimondo + Associates Architects Inc.
Owner Anna-Marie Riganelli
Engineer ACA Engineering

Located on an irregularly-shaped lot at the base of the Escarpment, this infill development opportunity offered an architectural challenge that has led to the creation of a residence that not only fits the site but also the neighbourhood. The design utilizes many energy efficient techniques and materials, includes many architectural features that provide the residents with additional space and enjoyment and showcases a well-developed landscape plan that highlights the building's characteristics. This project was noted for its use of a difficult site to create a strong presence on the street face that features many outdoor private areas for the residents to enjoy.

42 Mountain St. 42 Mountain St. 42 Mountain St.


This award recognizes projects that meet a higher standard of environmental efficiency, such as LEED certification. The award could be for residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial buildings; may be public or private; and could be within urban or rural/agricultural areas. Included in consideration of this award is site design, building materials, a sense of place within Niagara and/or environmental efficiency.

2013 Award Winner: Vale Health & Wellness Centre, Port Colborne
Nominator, Nominated Ron Hanson, Director, Engineering & Operations, City of Port Colborne
Consulting Firm MHPM Project Managers Inc.
Architect MacLennan Jaunkains Miller Architects
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer Smith + Andersen
Project Manager Enermodal Engineering
Builder AquiCon Construction Co. Ltd.

Completed in 2012, the health and wellness centre re-utilizes lands that formerly housed aging arenas and replaced them with a 145,000 square foot multi-purpose facility that houses the local YMCA and takes advantage of the existing baseball diamonds and soccer fields located on-site. The facility was built to LEED Gold Certification, and features heat recovery systems, indoor water use reduction and the combined use of natural and high efficiency lighting. During the construction, storm water management, site access by the public, light pollution reduction and construction waste reduction were also considered and addressed. This project was noted for its use of the existing recreational site that creates a strong community recreation focal point, the location of the building close to the street and the attention to details that will make the facility sustainable through the long-term.

Vale Health and Wellness Centre Vale Health and Wellness Centre Vale Health and Wellness Centre

Façade Improvement

This award recognizes an improvement to the façade of a building that may or may not have internal improvements. The primary feature of this award is the revitalization of the street face of the building which demonstrates creativity. This award may recognize heritage restoration or a more modern approach.

2013 Award Winner: 51 Front St. S, Thorold
Nominator Jack Bernardi, Planner, City of Thorold
Nominated & Owner Michael Skrtich, Skrtich Living
Architect Kevin Emrich

Completed at the end of 2012, this façade improvement merges historic features on the upper stories with a more contemporary design on the ground floor. The project contains two apartments and one commercial unit, providing additional choice within the downtown core and took advantage of available funds to redevelop the façade within the Community Improvement Plan area. This façade treatment was noted for its retention of the historic rhythmic pattern of the windows on the upper floors, while providing an interesting and inviting entrance to the building.

51 Front St. 51 Front St. 51 Front St.
2013 Honourable Mention: Grimsby Fire Hall
Nominated & Nominator Michael Seaman, Director of Planning, Town of Grimsby
Owner John & Josefa Dunstall
Designer CP Design
Consultant Garage Door Canada Inc.
Consultant Applied Roof Technology Ltd.
Builder Tintern Contracting

This façade redevelopment project looked back to the history of Grimsby for its inspiration to revitalize the building to reflect its former civic use. By re-establishing the features of the former fire hall, this redevelopment has created a workable building that suits its current use as the local Chamber of Commerce, while also offering a residential unit above. The distinctive fire doors offer an opportunity for the Chamber to open its doors and provide added functionality for events and activities. This project was noted for its consideration of the heritage of the town, how it has used this concept for the current use of the site and the catalyst opportunities of this redevelopment for the downtown community improvement plan area of Grimsby.

Grimsby Fire Hall Grimsby Fire Hall Grimsby Fire Hall


This award recognizes the revitalization of a former brownfield site into one that once again integrates with the fabric of the community. The winning project demonstrates smart growth principles through creativity, site development, utilization of existing servicing, creation of a mix and/or intensification of uses and integration with the surroundings.

2013 Award Winner: 95 Lakeport Rd. - Lakeport Dental, St. Catharines
Nominator & Architect Emilio Raimondo, Raimondo + Associates Architects Inc.
Owner Cathy McCullough
Engineer Hallex Engineering Ltd.
Builder Serianni Construction

Originally submitted under Adaptive Reuse, this redevelopment project has transformed the existing building and site through extensive redesign and site remediation to create two commercial units in a unified building. The site remediation was extensive, requiring a full clean-up and significant modifications to the former gas station, repair shop and restaurant buildings. The resulting commercial building features a dental office and another commercial unit that is close to the street, incorporates landscaping and limited parking on the site, while providing an open and inviting façade to customers.

95 Lakeport Rd. - Lakeport Dental 95 Lakeport Rd. - Lakeport Dental 95 Lakeport Rd. - Lakeport Dental

All photos courtesy of nominees

Congratulations to all of our 2013 Niagara Community Design Award Winners

About the Niagara Community Design Award Sculpture

Transformation - Niagara Community Design Award Sculpture

The sculpture is titled Transformation. Just as the moon goes through many stages before it becomes the complete image, so too does a community go through stages as it revitalizes itself into being a thriving place for people to live, work, go to school, shop, play and gather. The cyclical nature of our communities to gather themselves up and bring about a transformation is the essential reason this sculpture so well defines the concept of the Niagara Community Design Awards and its objectives.

The weight of the sculpture signifies the dramatic and powerful effect good design can have on a place. Similarly the balance demonstrated in the Award sculpture portrays the desire for creative approaches that have to be balanced with the needs of the neighbourhood and community.

Appreciation for both the natural environment and the need for growth creates the conditions for sustainable prosperity. Finally the variety of textures and colours symbolizes the very essence of good design. Creativity, imagination and innovation combined with passion and a commitment to excellence, are all necessary elements of Transformation.

About the Artist

Mark Griffis is a resident of Fort Erie, renowned sculptor and art/drama teacher at St. Paul High School in Niagara Falls. He is the President of Griffis Studios, and a Director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation which oversees the operation of a 25 studio art complex in Buffalo, and Griffis Sculpture Park - a 400 acre nature and art preserve with 10 miles of hiking trails and over 200 monumental sculptures. Mark is the creative force in the production and installation of monumental sculpture projects for clients such as Roswell Park, St. Joseph's Hospital and the University of Buffalo and his works have been featured in numerous art shows and design magazines.

Awards Review Committee

John Barnsley - Manager of Policy Planning, City of Niagara Falls
Glenn Barr - President, Barr Associates
Dr. Hugh Gayler - Professor, Brock University (retired)
John Gittings - Executive Director of Facilities, Appleby College
Ruedi Hofer - Landscape Architect (retired)
Ken Gonyou - Vice President, Land Development, Phelps Homes Ltd.
Douglas McNaughton - Commercial Sales Rep., Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre
David Parker - Architect, Parker Architects Inc.
Barbara Wiens - Senior Planner, Quartek Group Inc.

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