ERA Architects Inc.
, has been in business for over twenty years and is based in Toronto and Prince Edward County. With a staff of 80, the firm specializes in heritage architecture, landscape and planning, and provides full professional services for both the public and private sectors. The principals of ERA are members of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP), and Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Recent and ongoing architectural projects in building conservation and adaptive re-use in which ERA has been involved include Toronto’s Distillery District, 51 Police Division, Renaissance ROM, Transformation AGO, the Evergreen Brickworks, the Artscape Wychwood Barns, Union Station and Bridgepoint Health (the Don Jail).

Within our planning expertise we have a particular interest in regional and neighbourhood cultural planning; in cultural landscapes and their regeneration; and in facilitating community consultation of all stakeholders, as the democratic basis of good planning. Significant planning work includes the Union Station Heritage Precinct, Toronto Cultural Institutions Public Realm Study, numerous Heritage Conservation District Plans, and the Tower Renewal Project.

Our core interest is in connecting heritage to wider considerations of urban design and city building, and to a larger set of cultural values that provide perspective to our work at every scale. Our core values are in generating professional integrity and expertise through research, education and mentoring. To that end ERA frequently works collaboratively with other firms to engage in city building, conserving heritage architecture and improving the built environment. We also generate publications and exhibitions related to Toronto and to Canada’s built environment. The firm’s most recent book is Concrete Toronto, a guidebook to the city’s concrete architecture from the fifties to the seventies.

SvN (formerly planningAlliance and regionalArchitects) is a team of architects, planners, community developers, and urban designers immersed in the practical art and science of building resilient communities.

We engage with the dynamic social, economic, and environmental forces that define and govern the places where we work.

This involves studying local histories, anticipating emerging economies, identifying social and environmental risks and opportunities, and planning and designing in response to rapid growth and change. We work in partnership with public and private clients and stakeholders to create visionary ideas, and find ways to render them viable.

Over the past forty years, our team has helped to shape the built environment in regions, cities, and towns across Canada, and around the world. We have revitalized industrial waterfronts, developed many new forms of affordable housing, designed resilient neighbourhoods, and promoted the economic development of both rural and urban regions.

Our plans, designs, and strategies are both particular and flexible: they respond to the specific needs of people and their environments, but are designed to adapt and change in response to new conditions as they arise.



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Cities Centre
is the University of Toronto‘s urban research centre. It was established in the fall of 2007 in response to the University’s strategic plan, which identified urban issues as one of the University’s five strategic priorities for moving forward into the 21st Century and for ensuring that the University of Toronto is at the forefront worldwide in addressing first-order problems of both local and global significance.

The mandate of Cities Centre is twofold. First, it is to promote and undertake university-based, interdisciplinary research across the spectrum of urban issues (physical infrastructure, social infrastructure, economic development, urban design, governance, finance, health, environment, etc.). Second, it is to work in partnership with governments at all levels, community groups, NGOs, the private sector, etc. to not only disseminate its research but to bring this research into practical application within urban regions at the local, national and international levels. That is, we aim to have impact not only within the halls of academia but in the streets and homes and workplaces of our urban regions.

Our goal is to network together the diverse strengths of the very broad spectrum of disciplines, departments and programs that exist within the University to provide a holistic approach to major urban planning, design, development, management and policy issues. As the leading and largest research-intensive university in Canada and among the top universities in the world, the University of Toronto possesses exceptional depth and breadth among its faculty, students and technical staff to support urban-based research across the wide gamut of issues faced by our urban regions. The task of Cities Centre is to bring together the individual talents and interests of our researchers within interdisciplinary teams that are well equipped to address major urban issues in a coordinated, comprehensive and effective manner. We currently list on our website 22 affiliated departments and programs and 67 individual faculty research associates within the University of Toronto, with these numbers growing continuously over time, and with many more departments and individuals more loosely linked with the Centre and potentially available to become involved in Cities Centre projects as opportunity and need arise. We are also actively seeking research alliances with other universities to further broaden our ability to bring the right mix of skills and knowledge to bear on pressing research questions of common interest.

Cities Centre thus plays many roles. It is a portal for the two-way flow of information, ideas and techniques between the University of Toronto and the various communities within which the University exists and interacts. It is a forum for discussion and debate and the generation of new ideas. It is a physical place in which researchers reside and undertake research. And it is a network of researchers, policy analysts, decision-makers, citizens, etc. who share a common interest in better understanding our urban systems and in building better, more sustainable cities.


Established in 1956, United Way Toronto is a charity dedicated to creating opportunities for a better life for everyone. Working in partnership with others, we mobilize people and resources to support a network of agencies that help people when they need it most. United Way also addresses the root causes of social problems, working to change community conditions for the better over the long term. Our efforts to support improvements to the land-use planning rules for apartment neighborhoods is one example of the systemic change we seek through partnership and collaboration.

Toronto Public Health
reduces health inequalities and improves the health of the whole population. Its services are funded by the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and are governed by the Toronto Board of Health. Toronto Public Health strives to make its services accessible and equitable for all residents of Toronto.

The Emmy-winning HIGHRISE project explores the human experience of vertical living around the world. It is a multi-year, many-media collaborative documentary experiment at the National Film Board of Canada, directed by Katerina Cizek, and produced by Gerry Flahive.