Winners Announced for 2017 Heritage Toronto Awards


The winners of the 2017 Heritage Toronto Awards were announced on October 23 during a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Christopher Hume. More than 500 guests from Toronto’s city-building community attended this flagship networking event at The Carlu.  In its 43rd year, the Heritage Toronto Awards recognize extraordinary contributions to the conservation and celebration of Toronto’s heritage.

Seven winners were named from 60 nominees in five categories: Community Heritage, Public History, Historical Writing: Short Publication, Historical Writing: Book, and Architectural Conservation and CraftsmanshipEach category is independently judged by a jury of experts.

The Community Heritage Award was presented to:
The award offers a $1,000 cash prize.

  The largest organization of its kind, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives acquires, preserves, and provides public access to information related to the LGBTQ2+ experience in Canada.

The jury gave an honourable mention to Toronto Ward Museum, a museum without walls, connecting past migration stories to current struggles through its city-wide programming.

The Members’ Choice Award was presented to:
Selected from the Community Heritage category by Heritage Toronto members, the award offers a $1,000 cash prize.

  The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, Toronto Branch helps communities preserve their built and natural heritage, through advocacy, programming, and the development of related resources.


The Public History Award was presented to:

  50 Objects that Define Toronto 

Matthew Blackett, Spacing
Ian Daffern, Bell Media

The TV series, 50 Objects That Define Toronto, highlights everyday objects that played a role at significant historical moments, and speak to Toronto’s unknown and unique stories.

The jury gave an honourable mention to The World in Ten Blocks, an interactive web documentary that transports users to Bloorcourt through the personal stories of neighbourhood residents.

The Historical Writing: Short Publications Award was presented to:

  “Soils and Subways: Excavating Environments during the Building of Rapid Transit in Toronto, 1944-1968”

Jay Young
Moving Natures: Mobility and Environment in Canadian History (University of Calgary Press, 2016)

This book chapter digs up the dirt – exploring the excavation for Toronto’s early subway lines: the valuable opportunities provided for engineers and scientists to learn about Toronto’s geology, and how it transformed the city’s landscape.

The jury gave an honourable mention to “Canada’s Greatest Cartoonist”, Conan Tobias’ article in Taddle Creek on the life and work of cartoonist Lou Skuce.

The Historical Writing: Book Award was presented to:

  Picturing Toronto: Photography and the Making of a Modern City

Sarah Bassnett
McGill-Queen’s University Press

A tribute to the power of the image, this book demonstrates that early 20th century photographers did not simply document the changing conditions of urban life – their photography contributed to the development of modern Toronto and shaped its inhabitants.

The jury gave an honourable mention to 50 Objects that Define Toronto, an ambitious telling of Toronto’s story through 50 everyday items, by Matthew Blackett and Jamie Bradburn (Spacing Media Inc.).

Two Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship Awards were presented to:

  Glenview Presbyterian Church

Building Owner:
The Trustees of Glenview Presbyterian Church
Architect of Record:
Harrison Duong Architects Incorporated (formerly Janet L. Harrison, Architect)
Design Architect:
Davidson Langley Incorporated Architects

This project provides full access to a community landmark, adding new barrier free walkways, accessible washrooms, and a new three floor addition with an elevator.

  St. Michael’s Cathedral: Cathedral Nave & East Chancel Window

Building owner:
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto
Architectural firm:
+VG Architects
Clifford Restoration Limited

This rehabilitation project re-established the integrity of the original Gothic Revival design, taking a balanced approach to meet the current needs of the Church and its parishioners.

The jury gave two honourable mentions to The Great Hall for its painstaking renovation into a unique event venue and Queen West hot spot, and Casa Loma for its massive revitalization project which took two decades to complete, breathing new life into one of Toronto’s most beloved landmarks.