TORONTO — Foresters, architects, engineers, developers and other construction industry professionals from across Ontario gathered at the Universal Eventspace in Vaughan to celebrate excellence in wood design.

The 18th annual Ontario Wood WORKS! Awards Night honoured people and organizations that, through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation, are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction.

“Each year we look forward to honouring Ontario’s wood design leaders through our Wood Design Awards program,” said Marianne Berube, executive director of Ontario Wood WORKS!. “Wood construction is experiencing a renaissance, and it’s exciting to have this opportunity to celebrate what’s happening in this industry.”

Ontario Wood WORKS! presented 13 awards at the event. Eleven awards went to specific wood projects and two were given to professionals for contributions to the building industry that advance the case for wood design and construction.

“There are many reasons to build with wood,” said Berube. “It is strong, beautiful, cost-effective and versatile. These are important advantages, but I think the real driver behind wood’s growing popularity is its huge potential to increase construction efficiency and lower carbon impacts. Wood construction is transforming the way we build, helping mitigate climate change, and leading us to more sustainable communities.”

Wood WORKS! is a national, industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council that promotes and supports the use of wood in all types of construction. Working with the design community, Wood WORKS! connects practitioners with resources related to the use of wood in commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-unit residential construction, assists in product sourcing, and delivers educational seminars and training opportunities to existing and future practitioners.

Watch for a full report on the award winners and projects in the Winter #1 issue of The Working Forest in December.


Ontario Mass Timber Award

Project: DARE (Discovery, Applied Research, Entrepreneurship) District, Algonquin College (Ottawa, ON)

Architects: Diamond Schmitt Architects; Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architects

Structural Engineer: Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Ltd.

Environmental Building Award

Project: Cowbell Brewing Co. (Blyth, ON)

Architect: Allan Avis Architects Inc.

Structural Engineers: Tacoma Engineers; Debbert Engineering Inc.

Interior Wood Design Award

Project: SUD Forno on Temperance (Toronto, ON)

Architect: Giannone Petricone Associates Inc. Architects

Residential Wood Design Award

Project: Clear Water Retreat (Lake of the Woods, ON)

Architect: Secter Architecture + Design

Structural Engineer: Wolfrom Engineering Ltd.

Mid-Rise Wood Design Award

Project: AquaBlu Condominiums (Grimsby, ON)

Builder: Homes by DeSantis

Architect: KNYMH Inc.

Structural Engineer: Leonard Kalishenko & Associates Ltd.

Institutional Wood Design Award

< $15 M

Project: Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, Laurentian University (Sudbury, ON)

Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Structural Engineer: Blackwell

Institutional Wood Design Award

$15 M

Project: Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, Laurentian University (Sudbury, ON)

Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Structural Engineer: Blackwell

Commercial Wood Design Award

Project: OakWood Showroom and Design Centre (Ottawa, ON)

Architect: Hobin Architecture

Structural Engineer: Levac Robichaud Leclerc Associates Ltd.

Northern Ontario Excellence Award

Project: North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit (North Bay, ON)

Architect: Mitchell Jensen Architects Inc.

Structural Engineer: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.

Jury’s Choice Award

Project: Albion District Library (Etobicoke, ON)

Architect: Perkins + Will

Structural Engineer: Blackwell

Jury’s Choice Award

Project: The Reach (Prince Edward County, ON)

Architect: Kearns Mancini Architects

Designer / Builder Award

Designer / Builder: Williamson Williamson Architects Inc. (Toronto, ON)

Wood Champion Award

Wood Champion Award: Mayor David Canfield (Kenora, ON); Mayor Alan Spacek (Kapuskasing, ON)

Caption: Mayors David Canfield (left) and Alan Spacek (at podium) along with Ian Dunn, OFIA, Lauren McBride, OFIA and Marianne Berube, executive director of Ontario Wood WORKS!.

Mayors Canfield and Spacek were recognized with Wood Champion awards for their long-term leadership and commitment to building with wood. They have championed the use of wood in construction for nearly 20 years. Since the inception of the Wood WORKS! program, they believed that fostering a wood culture would benefit their communities and northern Ontario. From the beginning, they supported ‘Build with Wood’ resolutions in their municipalities and municipal associations (NOMA and FONOM). Municipal projects throughout the north were among the first buildings to demonstrate wood innovation and promote sustainability. Later, they both encouraged the Association of Municipalities of Ontario to support the changes to the Ontario Building Code that now permit 6 storey wood construction.