2014 Niagara Community Design Awards - Winners

Niagara Community Design Award Logo

This is the tenth 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.

Categories

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.

2014 Award Winner: Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic, Niagara Falls
Nominated, Nominator
Architect & Engineer
Norman Ocampo, Quartek Group Inc
Owner Arlene Goodarzi, Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic

Located in the historic Drummondville District, Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic was one of the last remaining vacant sites along Main Street. The development enhances the ongoing improvements to the urban fabric along the Main Street corridor and compliments the scale and massing of the surrounding area. This project was noted by the Review Committee for its successful integration with the surrounding buildings and the street and the placement of the accessibility ramp adjacent to the door.

Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic, Niagara Falls Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic, Niagara Falls Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic, Niagara Falls
2014 Honourable Mention: Morse & Son Funeral Home Event Centre, Niagara Falls
Nominated, Nominator
& Architect
Michael D. Allen, Principal, ACK Architects Inc.
Owner Ernie Morgan
Structural, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer Jim Halucha, Hallex Engineering Ltd.
Interior Design Terri Scordino, Scordino Design
Builder George Mayer, Mayer General Contracting

After being vacant for many years, the Morgan family acquired the former public library and utilized it as a Family Bereavement Centre. In 2012, additions and renovations to the existing building began to create a barrier free accessible event centre. The addition to the north side of the building welcomes guests with a covered outdoor entry space, landscape treatments, and an expanded foyer. The Review Committee felt that the building integrates well with the surroundings, has a welcoming entrance and effectively uses the site with a pleasing street presence.

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.

2014 Award Winner: Meridian Centre, St. Catharines
Nominated & Nominator Rick Lane, City of St. Catharines & Albert Paquette, Architecture 49
Owner City of St. Catharines
Architect Albert Paquette, Architecture 49
Structural, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer David Bannister, WSP Canada Inc.
Landscape Architect Glen O'Connor, O'Connor Mokrycke Consultants
Builder Tom Rankin & Jason Ball, Ball-Rankin Construction Ltd.
Civil Engineering Martin Heikoop, Upper Canada Consultants
Code Consultant Jonathon Rubes, Rubes Code Consultants
Facility Operator Ken Noakes, SMG

Formerly part of the Welland Canal system and later filled in and used as a parking lot, the Meridian Centre has repurposed an underutilized site in the downtown core of St. Catharines. The two bridges, which are integral to the design, provide links to St. Paul Street and contribute to the pedestrian character of the downtown. In combination with the upcoming Brock school of performing arts and the performing arts centre, together these projects are a catalyst for change and downtown revitalization. The Meridian Centre was noted for being pedestrian friendly, creating a connection with the urban core and as a stimulus for improvement and growth in the downtown.

Meridian Centre, St. Catharines Meridian Centre, St. Catharines Meridian Centre, St. Catharines
2014 Award Winner: 26 Wellington Street, St. Catharines
Nominated & Nominator Sunil Bahadoorsingh, Penn Terra Group Limited & Emilio Raimondo, Raimondo + Associates Architects INC.
Owner Sunil Bahadoorsingh, Penn Terra Group Limited
Architect Emilio Raimondo, Raimondo + Associates Architects INC.
Engineer Jim Halucha, Hallex Engineering Ltd.
Builder Al Brouwer, Brouwer Construction (1981) Ltd.

26 Wellington Street is an urban infill development built on a former underutilized parking lot in downtown St. Catharines. The project offers higher density residential units with amenities, transit, places of employment, and places of worship within walking distance. The massing and design of the building is sensitive to the existing built form surrounding the development. The Review Committee noted that the project exemplifies the smart growth principles and supports the redevelopment of downtown.

26 Wellington Street, St. Catharines 26 Wellington Street, St. Catharines
2014 Honourable Mention: Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, St. Catharines
Nominated & Nominator Scott Walker, Brock University & Mary K. McIntyre, architectsAlliance
Owner Brock University
Architect Mary K. McIntyre, architectsAlliance
Structural Engineer Mike Buckley, Parsons Brinckerhoff Halsall Inc.
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer Clive Lacey, Crossey Engineering Ltd.
Building Envelope Sarah Gray, Parsons Brinckerhoff Halsall Inc.
Builder Tim Smith, EllisDon
Landscape Design James Melvin, PMA Landscape Architects Ltd.
Phytotron (greenhouse) Design Alex Turkewitsch, Greenhouse Engineering Ltd.
Lab Architect Robert J. Schaeffner, Payette

The Complex employs an open, loft-style layout, inspired by 19th century warehouse architecture, that is flexible and highly efficient, and accommodates multidisciplinary, highly technical programming. Flooded with natural light, the Complex is clad in clear and fritted glass, over which is a honeycomb-patterned aluminum screen that references the Centre's focus, and evokes the 'hive' of collaborative research and education within. In addition, the complex links exterior pedestrian routes through the building, providing access north to the east plaza at grade, and into the MacKenzie-Chown complex via a pedestrian bridge. The project was noted for being unique and a development that Brock University and Niagara will continue to talk about as a success.

Carins Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, St. Catharines Carins Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, St. Catharines Carins Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, St. Catharines

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.

2014 Award Winner: Ridgeway Village Square, Fort Erie
Nominated & Nominator Richard Brady, Town of Fort Erie
Owner Town of Fort Erie
Consulting Firm Ian Dance, Partner, Dillon Consulting
Architect Rick Lintack, Lintack Architects Inc.
Specialist Consultant Simon Gardiner, Crystal Fountains
Builder Terry Tykolis, Stevensville Lawn Services
Project Partners Derrick Dea, Ridgeway BIA & Mary Jane Campbell, Ridgeway Community Group

Ridgeway Village Square was designed to be a formal civic plaza. The space is made up of an interconnection of smaller spaces or 'rooms', contributing to a new public realm and pedestrian space within the community of Ridgeway. The Village Square design creates a sense of place in the downtown. It creates a space for special events, festivals, and ceremonial occasions as well as supporting the existing Farmer's Market. This project is noted for providing a variety of uses, creating a destination point for users of the trail and for having unique design elements that create a sense of excitement, functionality and whimsy.

Ridgeway Village Square, Fort Erie Ridgeway Village Square, Fort Erie
2014 Honourable Mention: Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway, Niagara Falls
Nominated & Nominator City of Niagara Falls & Jeff Claydon, City of Niagara Falls
Owner City of Niagara Falls
Consulting Firm IBI Group
Landscape Architect Jeff Claydon, City of Niagara Falls
Engineer Tom Rankin, Rankin Construction
Design/ Engineering Consultant Derek Costello, Costello Productions
Builder Tom Rankin, Rankin Construction

The Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway Feature project commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812-1814 and has significantly enhanced the public realm of this area. As part of the ongoing revitalization efforts in the Historic Drummondville area, the Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway project provides a visual landmark and focal point that attracts attention from both directions. The landscaping around the gateway feature beautifies the public realm in the area. The project was noted for creating a sense of place for the battlefield and announcing the site of many War of 1812 features to visitors.

Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway, Niagara Falls Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway, Niagara Falls
2014 Honourable Mention: Canal Terrace, Welland
Nominated, Nominator
& Consulting Firm
Todd Barber, Forestgreen Creations Inc.
Owner Welland Recreational Canal Corporation, City of Welland
Engineer Mark Shoalts, Shoalts Engineering
Builder Serianni Construction Inc.

The Canal Terrace project converted a parking lot into a public park along the historic Welland Canal for visitors, residents and those working in downtown Welland. The project was built to showcase the heritage of the canal and the people that contributed to building it throughout the years. Canal Terrace is unique and offers a distinctive sense of place in the downtown. The Review Committee noted that the project is a distinctive re-use of the former parking space and provides a welcoming feature to this section of the recreational canal.

Canal Terrace, Welland Canal Terrace, Welland

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.

2014 Award Winner: Parks Canada Agora on the Commons, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Nominated, Nominator,
Architect & Engineer
Norman Ocampo, Quartek Group Inc.
Owner Parks Canada

Parks Canada Agora on the Commons provides a gateway to the Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This contemporary project creates a new dramatic foreground to the historic fort, focused on enhancing the visitor experience. The project’s intention is to contrast the historical construct while respecting the natural setting. The covered rooftop area provides a venue for public performances or display, while the crowd gathers in the field. This project was noted for being a dramatic destination place for people to gather, entertain or educate that complements the nearby Fort.

Parks Canada Agora on the Commons, Niagara-on-the-Lake Parks Canada Agora on the Commons, Niagara-on-the-Lake
2014 Honourable Mention: Niagara Region Council Chamber Renovation, Thorold
Nominated & Nominator Regional Municipality of Niagara & Harald Ensslen, Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.
Owner Regional Municipality of Niagara
Architect Harald Ensslen, Macdondald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.
Engineer David Stacey, WSP Group Inc.
Specialist Consultant Christian Bechard, Novita Techne Ltd.
Builder Todd Rittenhouse, Merit Contractors Niagara

The Niagara Region Council Chamber Renovation project has vastly improved the functionality, accessibility and overall appearance of the Region's Council Chamber. The space has been renovated to meet the principles and standards of the Region's Facility Access Design Standards (FADS). The Council chambers features a new Parliamentary-style seating layout, where Councillors face each other, with the public and the Regional Chair positioned at either end of this new axis. This creates a more accessible and transparent Regional government. This project was noted for improving the interaction between council and the public, the efforts to make the space accessible and approachable, and for the integration of the design and technology.

Niagara Region Council Chamber Renovation, Thorold Niagara Region Council Chamber Renovation, Thorold

Sustainability

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.

2014 Award Winner: 235 Fitch Street Seniors Residence East Building, Welland
Nominator & Nominated Mira Fearnside, Niagara Regional Housing & Harald Ensslen, Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.
Owner Niagara Regional Housing
Architect Harald Ensslen, Macdonald Zurberec Ensslen Architects Inc.
Engineer David Stacey, WSP Group Inc.
LEED Consultant Greg Redden, Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.
Specialist Consultant Jason Schooley, Upper Canada Consultants
Specialist Consultant Tom Yung, Lee Yung & Associates Inc.
Specialist Consultant Paula Berketo, PB Landscape Architect
Builder Al Brouwer, Brouwer Construction Ltd.

235 Fitch Street Seniors Residence - East Building is an excellent example of urban intensification integrating affordable housing into a community on an existing underdeveloped parcel of land. The new building is on target to be Niagara's first LEED Gold affordable housing building. Located in a mature neighbourhood, the building is adjacent to many existing services, including a bus stop at the front door, shopping across the street, and over ten community services in total within walking distance. Residents have direct visual access to mature trees and extensive landscaping throughout the property. This project was noted for exemplifying the smart growth principles through site location and attractive design features.

235 Fitch Street Seniors Residence East Building, Welland 235 Fitch Street Seniors Residence East Building, Welland

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.

2014 Award Winner: THE UPHOUSE, St. Catharines
Nominator, Nominator
& Consulting Firm
Todd Barber, Forestgreen Creations Inc.
Owner Karl VanderKruip
Engineer Mark Shoalts, Shoalts Engineering
Builder Brandon Kendall, Kendall Group

THE UPHOUSE, an urban intensification project, is located in downtown St. Catharines and was designed as a mixed-use building with an office on the main floor where entrepreneurs can rent a desk and share facilities and a two bedroom apartment on the second floor. The footprint of the building remained the same allowing for mass plantings and gardens that provide natural beauty and complement the adjacent parkette. Natural and noble materials were used to give the modern façade permanence and place and a metal roof was installed to provide longevity and clean line aesthetics. This project was noted for its use of a variety of materials and its strong connections with the street and adjacent parkette.

THE UPHOUSE, St. Catharines THE UPHOUSE, St. Catharines
2014 Honourable Mention: Harmony Jewellers, Grimsby
Nominated & Nominator Kevin Luttjehuizen, Harmony Jewellers & Michael J. Seaman, Town of Grimsby
Owner Kevin Luttjehuizen
Builder Jonathan Tucker, Tucker Design Build Inc.
Engineer Dean Glennie, KLS Engineering
Specialist Consultant Florence Alfieri, Décor 19

The Harmony Jewellers façade improvement has helped to improve the streetscape in the commercial core of Grimsby. The project included the restoration of the old Bank of Commerce sign and insignia located on the top floor of the building's front face. On the ground floor, the stucco was torn down and replaced with limestone bricks, beautiful granite signage, pot lights, and glass doors. This project was noted for its consideration and re-establishment of heritage aspects of the building and their integration with the needs of the modern business.

Harmony Jewellers, Grimsby Harmony Jewellers, Grimsby
2014 Honourable Mention: 5-11 Main Street East, Grimsby
Nominated & Nominator Domenic and Rose Magro & Michael J. Seaman, Town of Grimsby
Owner Domenic and Rose Magro
Carpenter Domenic Margo
Electrician Tom MetCalfe, Metcalfe Electric
Jr. Estimator / Draftsman Mario D'Abate Jr., Niagara Glass Ltd.
Brick Layer Charles Lovell, Complimentary Brick
Sign Construction Clayton Latourneau, Vinylocity Signs

5-11 Main Street East in downtown Grimsby has undergone significant façade improvements to help restore the façade to its original appearance. The historic details of the building were restored, the brick cleaned and new store front signs installed. The building has been designated a heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act. The Review Committee noted that the façade improvements are a faithful reproduction of the original building, and the overall result is a pleasing façade that connects the existing businesses.

5-11 Main Street East, Grimsby

Adaptive Re-Use

This award recognizes the re-use of an existing building or buildings, and possible intensification of a site. The primary feature of this project is the re-use of the former building(s) in a manner that demonstrates creativity, reintegrates the site into the community, and provides a mix of uses and choice into the surrounding neighbourhood.

2014 Award Winner: Station 1 Coffeehouse, Grimsby
Nominator & Architect Laurie Didyk-Mindorff, Station 1 Coffee House & Michael J. Seaman, Town of Grimsby
Owner Laurie Didyk-Mindorff
Project Manager Roger Abiss
Architect David Carrothers, Carrothers & Associates Architecture
Engineer Mihala, MM & Associates Ltd.

The adaptive re-use of 28 Main Street East is very creative in nature, transforming its original use as a Fire Station into its current use as a Coffee Shop. During the summer, Station 1 opens their bay doors so guests may enjoy the weather regardless if they are sitting inside or outside of the building. The coffeehouse is a hub for business people, students, artists and more and is wheelchair accessible. This project, along with many others is helping to transform the downtown of Grimsby. This project was noted for its warm, fun and efficient use of the available space, including the use of the upstairs for community gatherings.

Station 1 Coffeehouse, Grimsby
2014 Honourable Mention: Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln, Grimsby
Nominated & Nominated Sarina Labonte, Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln & Larisa Brodsky, Larisa Brodsky Architect Inc.
Owner Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln
Prime Consultants, Interior & Landscape Design Lex Parker Design Consultants Ltd.
Architect Larisa Brodsky, Larisa Brodsky Architect Inc.
Structural & Civil Engineer Chris Turner Associates Inc.
Mechanical Engineer Pen Engineering Ltd.
Electrical Engineer MPC Consulting Engineering
Builder & Project Manager Kevin Brown, King Contractors of Niagara Ltd.

In March of 2012, Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln, a not-for-profit charitable organization, purchased an existing warehouse on the South Service Road in Grimsby to enable the expansion of several programs. The warehouse was redesigned, rebuilt and transformed into a multi-purpose professional office and program site for the community. The coordinated team of experts were instrumental in solidifying a vision for the transformation of the old warehouse and former basket factory into a multi-purpose professional and vibrant Community Resource Centre. This project was noted for being a great re-use of an old industrial building site and for modern treatments of the façade that create an open and inviting presence.

Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln, Grimsby

Brownfield

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.

2014 Award Winner: Lakemount Worship Centre, Grimsby
Nominated & Nominator Matt and Lisa Tapley & Cathy Brown
Architect David Parker, Parker Architects
Builder Al Brouwer, Brouwer Construction

The Lakemount Worship Centre project was initiated due to an increased need for additional space for the church's growing congregation. When the project broke ground, it was discovered that methane gas was below the proposed expansion and the removal of contaminated soil was required. As part of the project, a methane gas release system was installed. The church also worked with its nearby neighbours, and has an agreement with the adjacent school to allow shared used of the parking lot for school activities with a connecting walkway between the two uses. This project was noted for its interesting stormwater management treatment methods, sharing of the facilities and for the front façade treatments.

Lakemount Worship Centre, Grimsby Lakemount Worship Centre, Grimsby

Policy and Plans

This award recognizes an approved Official Plan, Neighbourhood/ Secondary Plan, Design Guidelines, Community Improvement Plan, Master Plan or development plan that focuses on the smart growth principles such as a mix of uses, walkability, and compact development. Also considered important to this award is an effective public consultation process.

2014 Award Winner: East Fonthill Secondary Plan and Urban Design Guidelines, Pelham
Nominated & Nominator Darren Ottaway, Town of Pelham & Julie Hannah, Town of Pelham
Consulting Firm Ron Palmer, The Planning Partnership
Consulting Firm Upper Canada Consultants
Specialist Consultant Chris Jones, Meridian Planning Consultants Inc.
Engineer Totten Sims Hubicki Associates
Specialist Consultant Earth Tech Canada
Specialist Consultant LCA Environmental Consultants

The East Fonthill Secondary Plan is a good example of the latest thinking in community design achieving innovation in quality urban design, sustainability and public health initiatives. The Plan has been designed to provide for a future transit route that will allow a majority of residents to access it within a 5-minute walk and a 2-minute walk in higher density areas thereby reducing the need for car dependence and supporting a higher transit ridership. The Plan is in a "smart location" that provides proximity to the existing downtown core area while providing complementary diversity and compact form within the boundaries of the Fonthill community. This project was noted for addressing multiple issues and for its pedestrian oriented design.

East Fonthill Secondary Plan and Urban Design Guidelines, Pelham
2014 Honourable Mention: Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan, Thorold
Nominated & Nominator Eldon Darbyson, City of Thorold & Kevin Muir, GSP Group Inc.
Consulting Firm Kevin Muir, GSP Group Inc.
Engineer Scott Llewellyn, S. Llewellyn & Associates Ltd.
Specialist Consultant Bob Martindale, Martindale Planning Services

The Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan supports the vision of Downtown Thorold as a mixed-use, complete, active, and vibrant centre of the municipality by improving the public realm to set the back-drop for further investment, re-investment and intensification within the core. The Plan recommends a number of improvements including simple, easily maintainable and durable surfaces for pedestrians, accessibility improvements from the sidewalk to building entrances and new pedestrian infrastructure and amenities among other improvements, as well as consideration for a new linear open space through the downtown. The Review Committee noted that this project is an inspiration for other communities and it builds on the many recent private developments in the downtown and considers how the public space can further enhance them.

Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan, Thorold Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan, Thorold

All photos courtesy of nominees

Congratulations to all of our 2014 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 as a thriving place for people to live, work, go to school, shop, play and gather. The cyclical nature of our communities and their ability to transform are the essential reasons 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 are balanced with the needs of the neighbourhood and community.

Appreciation for both the natural environment and the need for growth create 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, a renowned sculptor and an 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. 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 - Architect
Paula Berketo - Landscape Architect
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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