2013 Heritage Toronto Awards



Nominees’ Reception @ 6:00 PM
Heritage Toronto Awards and William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture @ 7:30 PM
This premier cultural event combines the annual William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture
with an awards ceremony to celebrate outstanding contributions to the promotion
and conservation of our city’s heritage. The evening begins with the exclusive
Nominees’ Reception, and ends with a post-reception for all in attendance which
includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres catered by Daniel et Daniel and wine tastings
with Casa Dea Estates Winery.
Photo Credit: Louis Godfrey Photography for the Heritage Toronto Awards 2013


Gail Lord’s Lecture


The William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture is held in conjunction with the Awards presentation. The lecture was introduced in 1996 to honour William Kilbourn’s legacy and his commitment to Toronto as a viable, liveable city that honours its past and plans for its future. Past speakers include David Crombie, Adrienne Clarkson, Bruce Kuwabara and David Mirvish – inspiring Torontonians in their own right.

Gail-Lord new portrait

This year’s William Kilbourn Lecturer was presented by  Gail Dexter Lord, co-Founder and co-President of Lord Cultural Resources, a Toronto-based cultural planning firm which has advised governments, museums, and other organizations around the world on innovative approaches to culture and heritage. 

To view 2012’s lecture by Chief Bryan Laforme, click here.


Rollo Myers

Special Achievement Award

Heritage Toronto’s Special Achievement Award provides special recognition to those individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the preservation and commemoration of Toronto’s heritage.    Heritage Toronto is very proud to name Mr. Rollo Myers the recipient of this year’s Award.

Photo by Louis Godfrey Photography for Heritage Toronto

Australian-born, Mr. Myers came to Toronto from Vancouver in 1970. He and his wife acquired a home in what was then a badly deteriorated part of town called Cabbagetown.  He restored that home, and eventually three others.  Along the way, he played a role in creating a Heritage Conservation District in Cabbagetown.  And in the mid-1980s, he was appointed by City Council to the Toronto Historical Board, serving as a volunteer for six years to review development proposals for heritage properties.

Photo by Louis Godfrey Photography for Heritage Toronto

Trained in engineering and architecture, Mr. Myers found work in the office of Erickson Massey while in Vancouver. There, his gift – the ability to help others see the full potential impact of future construction projects – led him to invent a machine that could produce topographical models. Moving to Toronto, his three-dimensional mapping business eventually led to the production of the model of the City of Toronto now in the lobby of City Hall, as well as the model of the City of Toronto in 1834, now in Toronto’s First Post Office.

Mr. Myers’ ability to “see” played an important role in the founding and leadership of a number of key Toronto heritage organizations. He became a founding member of the Citizens for the Old Town, an organization that saw rich potential in the area around the original 10 blocks of the Town of York, and that played a fundamental role in its subsequent rebranding and revitalization.  On behalf of the Citizens for the Old Town, Mr. Myers also became a founding member of the West Don Lands Committee, a 17-member coalition of organizations representing local residents, businesses and environmental and heritage organizations. Formed in 1997, the group opposed existing development plans and argued for the building, instead, of a mixed-use, medium density, residential community.  Mr. Myers also helped found the the Friends of Fort York.  While a member of the Toronto Historical Board, he recognized the threat to sightlines out from Fort York by proposed neighbouring roads and development. Joined by others, he produced a topographical model of the plans then in place which demonstrated their inappropriateness, and which precipitated a major planning review.

The list goes on.  Mr. Myers has been a volunteer member of the Task Force to Bring Back the Don, a member of steering committees for the interpretation and lighting of the Old Town, and a member of the City of Toronto’s Bicentennial of the War of 1812 Steering Committee. He has also been doggedly leading, with others, the charge to locate funds for downtown public parks based on a long forgotten “Walks and Gardens Trust.”

Most critical to the timing of this nomination, Mr. Myers has demonstrated remarkable foresight, selfless commitment, and rare determination as one of the most important advocates for the public acquisition and commemoration of the lands once occupied by Ontario’s first purpose-built Parliament Buildings. As a member of the Citizens for the Old Town, he first proposed and energized that movement.  Using his mapping know-how, he argued that archaeological remains of those buildings might exist, and should be sought after. As a result, the First Parliament site was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1997. In 2000, funding was put in place for an archaeological investigation that, to the surprise of many, did indeed find archaeological remains of the buildings.

Mr. Myers did more than any other volunteer citizen to bring the property into public hands.  Staying with the issue for over 15 years, he played a critical catalytic role at a number of important junctions. In 2010, in particular, he and architect Michael Kirkland created a detailed, imaginative proposal for what the site could become in public hands. Most significantly, the plan proposed that the City of Toronto acquire the site with a land swap, offering an immediately adjacent Toronto Public Library site as its part of the deal.  In the Fall of 2012, the final parcel of land was acquired by the City of Toronto in a charge led by local Councillor Pam McConnell. The land swap did indeed go through, with the City offering the Toronto Public Library site for the First Parliament Buildings lands.

With the Parliament Site now completely in public hands, 2013 is the perfect year to recognize Mr. Rollo Myers, a remarkable man who has worked tirelessly, and with humour and imagination, to make sure our shared heritage plays a vital role in the building of a great Toronto. 


2013 Heritage Toronto Awards Nominees

The Heritage Toronto Awards recognize individuals and community organizations, as well as industry professionals and associations, for exceptional contributions in five categories:  Community Heritage, Media, Book, Short Publication and Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship.



 Presenting Sponsor


 Nominees’ Reception Sponsor         

     opcmiaFlaglogoCarpenters Logo copy            

 Award Presentation Sponsor

Clifford Website Logo-F

 Companion Sponsors2013 Companion Sponsors

 Supporting Sponsors

SponsorsAird & Berlis LLP
CS&P Architects
E.R.A. Architects Inc.
Mirvish Enterprises
ONNI Group
Ontario Heritage Trust
Taylor Hazell Architects Ltd.
Toronto Society of Architects
Urbanspace Property Group
York Heritage Properties
+VG Architects

  Media Sponsor



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