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Winners of 7th Annual Ontario Wood WORKS! Awards demonstrate how wood is versatile and sustainable

Tuesday, November 6th 2007 10:44:46pm


Attention Building / Architectural / Environmental / Forestry News Editors and Reporters

(Toronto, November 6, 2007)  Ontario's leading architects, engineers, building owners and project teams were presented Wood WORKS! Awards during the 7th Annual Awards Gala this evening at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Celebrating excellence and innovation in wood buildings, the awards recognize people and organizations dedicated to pioneering and preserving the use of wood (winners listed below).

"The nominations all showcase wood and wood products. We are impressed each year by the innovative projects that are submitted. We see amazing new construction technology alongside equally impressive projects that feature traditional uses," said Marianne Berube, Wood WORKS! Ontario Executive Director.

"This year's winners are remarkably diverse, demonstrating wood's exceptional versatility. Award winning projects range greatly in size and use," remarked Berube. "They include, among others, two performing arts centres, a long-term care residence, and the new Canada Border Service Agency Building at the Peace Bridge."

"The award winners chose wood for its structural strength, lower cost and higher efficiency, the texture and warmth it adds to interiors, and for its sustainability as a renewable and recyclable material," said Berube. "Many people don't realize that wood is the world's only major renewable building material. Sustainable forestry practices employed in Ontario guarantee that we can use wood with confidence and pride, knowing that building with wood is the best choice for our environment."

Working with the design community, Wood WORKS! connects practitioners with resources related to the use of wood in non-residential construction, assists in product sourcing, and facilitates the delivery of education and training.

"These winning projects show that wood really works in all types of construction, and demonstrate how wood has an increasingly important role in Canadian architecture," concluded Berube.


For more information or to arrange interviews contact Sarah Hicks at 1-866-886-3574 ext. 384,  OR  Marianne Berube at 705-471-1641,

For high resolution photos of the winners and projects, contact Brent Kulba, e|c|o, 416-972-7401.

Wood WORKS! is a national, industry-led initiative spearheaded by the Canadian Wood Council and industry partners to promote the increased use of wood in commercial, industrial and institutional construction.

2007 Wood WORKS! Award Winners
Residential Wood Design
Sponsored by Weyerhaeuser      

DUNDAS:  Painter's Studio - Lillepold Dowling Architects (Paris)

This 530 square foot structure was masterfully composed of Douglas Fir, Spruce and Eastern White Pine. Modular and readily available wood products were combined with carefully selected elements of higher craft. Almost all of the construction in wood was accomplished by one or two carpenters, with the Douglas Fir doors and windows the only custom elements not fabricated on site.

Commercial Wood Design
Sponsored by Abitibi Bowater

TORONTO:  The Young Centre for the Performing Arts - Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Toronto)

This 45,567 square foot structure, designated as a national historic site, is located in two existing tankhouses in the historic Gooderham and Worts Distillery District. Rough-cut Douglas fir heavy timber trusses were used to span between the walls of the existing brick tankhouses, enclosing the new Theatre Lobby, studios and administrative spaces. Rough-cut, stained Hemlock was used as exterior cladding. And stained, rough-cut oak planking was used as an interior cladding in the main, large theatre space for the balcony guard rails, stair rails and as a wall covering.

*Supplied photographs of building should be credited to Tom Arban Photography

Multi-Unit Wood Design
Sponsored by FP Innovations

GUELPH: Wellington Park Terrace - Robert J Dyck Architect & Engineer (Kitchener)

This 86,112 square foot, 4 storey, 117 unit retirement home, is composed of Spruce, Fir, Cedar, Pine and Red Oak above the second floor level, complete with a wood mansard feature. Wood was chosen for cost effectiveness and for its resilience as a floor system, which is more comfortable for seniors. Some of the wood features include Cedar shingles, solid Oak doors, solid Red Oak trim, Pine trim for porch elements, Panelized Wall Systems and Engineered Wood Products including PSL, LSL and Wood I Joist.

Institutional Wood Design
Sponsored by the Ministry of Natural Resources

FORT ERIE:  Canada Border Service Agency Building- Peace Bridge - NORR Limited Architects and Engineers (Toronto)

The 29,000 square foot Canada Border Service Agency Building at the Peace Bridge is composed of Spruce-Pine-Fir glulam beams and decking. The modern roof contains an interwoven glulam sub-structure, supporting an exposed wood roof deck that is evocative of shelter construction and the canoes of local First Nations. The curving wood roof creates an embracing space that is materially warm and animated, making the vehicle inspection area atmosphere less intimidating and more welcoming. The wood components are fundamental to the design. They go beyond an elegant structural solution and sculptural form to make a connection to a material that is part of the Canadian identity.

Interior Wood Design
Sponsored by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

TORONTO:  Four Season’s Centre for the Performing Arts - Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. (Toronto)

This 265,000 square foot structure uses wood to create interest within a minimalist design. The spaces are warmed and coloured subtlety but significantly by an extensive use of wood on the inside. Wood is used at several scales. On one hand, it is grand and elemental to the space, equal to the exposed steel and structural glass; while on the other hand, it humanizes the design: railings, drink rails and cabinetry – elements in proximity to human touch – are all wood.

Green Design
Sponsored by the Canadian Wood Council

VAUGHAN:  Restoration Services Centre, Toronto Region Conservation Authority - Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. (Toronto)

Using only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified wood, this 11,800 square foot structure was designed to meet LEED Platinum certification (pending) by incorporating a wide range of environmentally friendly components and systems. Wood was chosen as the primary material, forming the main structural and cladding systems, because it has low-embodied energy, is a renewable resource, has good thermal properties and does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The use of wood also promotes the growth of forests, increasing the carbon sink effect and reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Sponsored by FedNor

WATERLOO:  Seagram Barrel Warehouse / Centre for International Governance Innovation – Barton Myers Associates (Los Angeles)

This 40,000 square foot structure was part of the distillery founded in 1857 on Beaver (Laurel) Creek by William Hespeler and George Randall. A careful blend of new office space was mixed with traditional brewing and wood barrel storage components. Large, spliced posts and beams rise 5 stories, still supporting barrels. These storage racks were preserved to give the building structural stability and an impression of original purpose, while defining the strength and beauty of wood. Ties with the local Mennonite communities were also maintained by using post and beam barn building techniques.

Architect - Wood Advocate
Sponsored by Grant Forest Products

TORONTO:  Montgomery Sisam Architects

Established in 1978, Montgomery Sisam Architects have developed a reputation for design excellence. They are the winners of this year’s Green by Design Award for the Toronto Region Conservation Authority’s Restoration Services Centre. Other recent outstanding wood projects by this firm include the Island Yacht Club (Toronto), Bloorview Kid’s Rehab-Pavilions (Toronto) and Norview Lodge (Simcoe).

Community Leader - Wood Advocate
Sponsored by Hydro One

GRAVENHURST:  Corporation of the Town of Gravenhurst

The Town of Gravenhurst demonstrated wood advocacy leadership in the Muskoka Wharf project, a $170 Million project situated on 90 acres of waterfront. The development has more than a dozen wood-framed buildings, which include several restaurants and specialty retail shops, in addition to 700 metres of wooden boardwalk and 129 docking slips. This community embraces wood construction as part of its heritage and culture and takes pride in the way the wooden buildings of the wharf reflect the social history and casual elegance typically associated with the Muskoka region.

Engineer - Wood Advocate
Sponsored by Louisiana Pacific

TORONTO:  Blackwell Bowick Partnership Limited

Blackwell Bowick Partnership Limited, the successor firm to Blackwell Engineering Limited founded in 1987, provided the structural design for the Canada Border Service Agency Building (Peace Bridge) project, which garnered this year’s Institutional Wood Design Award. Other outstanding wood structures recently completed by Blackwell Bowick Partnership include Camp Arowhon Headquarters (Toronto), the Brampton Soccer Centre (Brampton), and the Fielding Estate Winery (Beamsville).

Jury’s Choice - Corporate Leader
Sponsored by the Ontario Forest Industries Association

OAKVILLE:  The TDL Group Corp. (Tim Hortons)

The TDL Group Corporation has chosen to use wood in its Tim Hortons stores where possible because it is an effective and cost efficient material. In 2006 and 2007, 30% of the stores built in Ontario were wood frame construction. Designing and building with wood products also allows for a much shorter construction cycle. Most products are inventoried and sourced locally; this eliminates the need to pre-order building materials due to manufacturing lead times.

Wood Champion - Wood Advocate
Sponsored by Tembec

KINGSTON:  Dr. Pierre Quenneville

Dr. Quenneville, formerly with the Department of Civil Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada, is a leading innovator in wood structural design. His research focuses on the resistance and behaviour of connections in timber structures. He obtained his bachelor education in civil engineering at RMC in 1983, his M. Eng. degree at École Polytechnique in Montreal and his Ph. D. at Queen’s University in Kingston in 1992. Among many other accomplishments, he has served on the Canadian Standard Association’s technical committee for the Design in Wood Structures since 1992.


For more information or to arrange interviews contact Sarah Hicks at 1-866-886-3574 ext. 384,  OR  Marianne Berube at 705-471-1641,

For high resolution photos of the winners and projects, contact Brent Kulba, e|c|o, 416-972-7401,

Wood WORKS! is a national, industry-led initiative spearheaded by the Canadian Wood Council and industry partners to promote the increased use of wood in commercial, industrial and institutional construction.