Great Canadian Buildings

As one of Canada’s oldest architecture firms, we’ve seen our fair share of the country’s architectural strides. We thought we could celebrate Canada’s 152nd birthday by looking back at some of our favourites.

 
Banff Springs hotel, Banff AB - 1888 / mid 1920s   The Fairmont Banff Springs began construction in 1887 and was open to the public in 1888. The original building was made of wood and designed by an architect named Bruce Price. The wooden original was destroyed by a fire in 1926 but was soon after rebuilt into what we know it as today by architects Walter Painter and John Orrock.

Banff Springs hotel, Banff AB - 1888 / mid 1920s

The Fairmont Banff Springs began construction in 1887 and was open to the public in 1888. The original building was made of wood and designed by an architect named Bruce Price. The wooden original was destroyed by a fire in 1926 but was soon after rebuilt into what we know it as today by architects Walter Painter and John Orrock.

Gooderham Building, Toronto ON – 1892   Also known as the Flatiron Building, the Gooderham Building began construction in 1891. The building, associated with the Gooderham family, was designed by architect David Roberts Jr. It’s home to one of the oldest electric elevators in Toronto and it’s one of the most photographed historic structures in the city. It only cost $18,000 to build.

Gooderham Building, Toronto ON – 1892

Also known as the Flatiron Building, the Gooderham Building began construction in 1891. The building, associated with the Gooderham family, was designed by architect David Roberts Jr. It’s home to one of the oldest electric elevators in Toronto and it’s one of the most photographed historic structures in the city. It only cost $18,000 to build.

Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau QU – 1988

The CMH’s institutional roots date back to 1841. The original museum, which was just a collection of geological, archaeological and biological findings, was established in Montréal. It was moved to Ottawa in 1888 and put in storage in the early 1900s. The complex we know today was built between 1983 and 1989 by architect Douglas Cardinal. The roof of its public Glacier Wing is made up of 90 tonnes of copper.

Museum of Anthropology at UoBC, Vancouver BC – 1976   The museum was designed by Arthur Erikson Architects in 1971 and opened to the public in 1978. The design was influenced by the Kwakiutl and Haida people, two North American First Nations groups from Vancouver Island.

Museum of Anthropology at UoBC, Vancouver BC – 1976

The museum was designed by Arthur Erikson Architects in 1971 and opened to the public in 1978. The design was influenced by the Kwakiutl and Haida people, two North American First Nations groups from Vancouver Island.

Royal Canadian Mint, Winnipeg MB – 1976   Excavation for this site, which was an area of military bases, began in 1972 and construction began in the following spring 1973. The building officially opened in 1976. The Mint was designed largely by Étienne Gaboury, with Number Ten Architecture Group as a consulting firm. The new Winnipeg branch of the RCM gave way for the original Ottawa facility to focus on collector coins.

Royal Canadian Mint, Winnipeg MB – 1976

Excavation for this site, which was an area of military bases, began in 1972 and construction began in the following spring 1973. The building officially opened in 1976. The Mint was designed largely by Étienne Gaboury, with Number Ten Architecture Group as a consulting firm. The new Winnipeg branch of the RCM gave way for the original Ottawa facility to focus on collector coins.

Strawberry Vale Elementary School, Victoria BC – 1995

This timber-clad elementary school was built in 1995 to accommodate the booming population of the area. Patkau Architects designed the school with its location in mind; a prominent geological rift, indigenous flora, and the surrounding woodlands are all seamlessly tied into the design.

This building is an MMP favourite.

Absolute Towers, Mississauga ON – 2012   The Absolute Towers, aptly nicknamed the Marilyn Munroe Towers, are a two-tower condo complex (part of a five-building series). The Mayor of Mississauga held an international design competition to determine who would design the landmark towers. The contest was won by Yansong Ma of the MAD office from Bejing; Burka Varacalli Architects, a Toronto firm, was hired as MAD’s local partner.

Absolute Towers, Mississauga ON – 2012

The Absolute Towers, aptly nicknamed the Marilyn Munroe Towers, are a two-tower condo complex (part of a five-building series). The Mayor of Mississauga held an international design competition to determine who would design the landmark towers. The contest was won by Yansong Ma of the MAD office from Bejing; Burka Varacalli Architects, a Toronto firm, was hired as MAD’s local partner.

Monique-Corriveau Library, Quebec City QU – 2013   What was originally a tent-like church was redesigned and incorperated into a library by Dan Hanganu Architectes and Côté Leahy Cardas Architectes in 2013. The original church was built in 1964 by architect Jean-Marie Roy. The library is named in memory of a local author and also contains a community centre.

Monique-Corriveau Library, Quebec City QU – 2013

What was originally a tent-like church was redesigned and incorperated into a library by Dan Hanganu Architectes and Côté Leahy Cardas Architectes in 2013. The original church was built in 1964 by architect Jean-Marie Roy. The library is named in memory of a local author and also contains a community centre.

York University’s Student Centre, Toronto ON – 2018   Designed by Cannon Design in 2018, this Student Centre was the result of a 2013 referendum in which the students of York University voted for a space devoted just for them. The building was made to create socializing opportunities for students. More than 11,000 student surveys were conducted before the Student Centre came to fruition.

York University’s Student Centre, Toronto ON – 2018

Designed by Cannon Design in 2018, this Student Centre was the result of a 2013 referendum in which the students of York University voted for a space devoted just for them. The building was made to create socializing opportunities for students. More than 11,000 student surveys were conducted before the Student Centre came to fruition.

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.
— Frank Gehry

From all of us at MMP, Happy Canada Day.