Heritage Toronto Awards

Every year, the Heritage Toronto Awards showcase extraordinary contributions to the conservation and promotion of Toronto’s heritage made by individuals, groups and organizations.

Mayor’s Reception Sponsors Award Sponsors

Special Achievement Award

The Heritage Toronto Board of Directors is pleased to name Arlene Chan as the 2017 Special Achievement Award recipient. A community advocate, librarian, and author, Arlene has spent her lifetime documenting and sharing the Chinese Canadian experience in Toronto.

Born in Toronto, Arlene learned her most important lessons at the feet of her mother, Jean Lumb—a restaurateur and social justice advocate. Jean taught Arlene the importance and rewards of community work, especially with her successful “Save Chinatown” campaign that fought to protect the area from redevelopment.

As an adult, following her education at the University of Toronto—where she earned a bachelor of arts and masters in library science—Arlene chose to devote herself to projects that carry on her mother’s legacy.

Among her many accomplishments, Arlene is the author of seven books on the history and culture of Chinese Canadians; she is currently working on a historic guide to Toronto’s Chinatowns. She is the President of the Jean Lumb Foundation, and oversees the Jean Lumb Awards, which provide scholarships to high school students of Chinese heritage. Arlene has also collaborated with numerous organizations on interpretive projects, community programs, and walking tours, including her work with the Ontario Heritage Trust, Toronto Ward Museum, and Heritage Toronto.

Arlene’s generous spirit is reflected in her many volunteer commitments. She is a Little Pear Garden Dance Company board member, a member of the Toronto Public Library’s Chinese Canadian Archive advisory group, and serves on the Heritage Interpretation Working Group for the New Toronto Courthouse.

Arlene’s drive to connect people and bridge communities is an inspiration to us all.

"Arlene Chan's knowledge and affection for Toronto and its 
Chinese community are well reflected in her work. Her literary 
efforts are treasure houses of information and celebration for 
all those who seek to learn, understand, and enjoy."
David Crombie, former Mayor of Toronto


Carolyn King
Advocate, Mississaugas of New Credit & First Nations heritage
John Berman, Jamie Goad, David Jackson, Matthew Rosenblatt
Developers, Distillery Historic District
Rollo Myers
Advocate, Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District
Founding member, West Don Lands cmte. & Friends of Fort York
Paul Oberman
President and CEO of Woodcliffe Landmark Properties
Madeleine McDowell
Artist, Educator and Heritage Activist
Steven Otto
Founding member, Friends of Fort York
William Greer
Chief Architect, Toronto Historical Board
The Zeidler Family
Architects & heritage developers
Tony O’Hagan


The Event

Heritage Toronto Awards, 2016; Image: Evan Bergstra

The Heritage Toronto Awards is the leading event for Toronto’s heritage field. The event attracts city-building professionals from fields including policymaking, media, real estate development, business, labour, academics, planning, and municipal law. You’ll have fun with colleagues and heritage buffs, network with thought leaders and innovators, and celebrate excellence with nominees and winners.

Tickets – SOLD OUT!

Thank you to everyone who has purchased their ticket to the 43rd annual Heritage Toronto Awards on Monday, October 23, 2017.  We look forward to celebrating with you in high fashion at The Carlu, a tour de force of Art Moderne design and a National Historic Site, restored to its original 1930s splendour.

We are pleased to announce that regardless of the type of ticket you purchase, all attendees will have access to the full program—from the Mayor’s Reception to the end of the evening!

Doors open at 5:30pm.

Mayor’s Reception
5:30 PM
Complimentary bar service and hors d’oeuvres

Awards Ceremony
7:00 PM

Guests will be seated at round tables as we announce winners in five categories–Community Heritage, Public History, Historical Writing: Short Publication, Historical Writing: Book, and William Greer Architectural Conservation & Craftsmanship.

A Special Achievement Award and, for the first time, a Volunteer Service Award will also be presented.

Closing Reception
8:30 PM
Cash bar

The Heritage Toronto Awards showcase extraordinary contributions to the conservation and promotion of Toronto’s heritage, honouring individuals, groups and organizations for their efforts.

The Awards event is a celebration of Toronto’s heritage fields as well as a key networking and engagement opportunity for Toronto’s city-building community. It is Heritage Toronto’s flagship event, raising funds in support of our public programming.

To thank our members for their support, we offer a member-discounted ticket to the Heritage Toronto Awards. Please consider becoming a member today; learn more about our membership program.

The Nominees

Awards are presented in five categories. Learn about the 60 nominees for the 2017 Heritage Toronto Awards:  

In addition to the above categories, the Heritage Toronto Board may recommend a Special Achievement Award recipient and, for the first time in 2017, a Heritage Toronto Volunteer Service Award recipient.

This year, the Heritage Toronto Awards will highlight nominated work with programming that will features nominees and their projects.


Thank you to our generous sponsors.

Mayor’s Reception Sponsors Award Sponsors

Emerging Historians Sponsors
Companion Sponsors
Supporting Sponsors
Media Sponsors
Table Sponsors
Andrew & Sharon Himel
Anthony Van Straubenzee
Clifford Restoration
Museum and Heritage Services, City of Toronto
St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association
Urban Strategies
+ VG Architects
WZMH Architects