Great Places Awards

Suburbs

Cities that are designed to bring people together and foster community pride are considered great places - and ours ranks highly on the list.

To celebrate the people, businesses and organizations who have helped make Kitchener a great place to live, work and play, we offer the Great Places awards program - an expansion of our long-standing Urban Design and Mike Wagner Heritage awards programs. You can see past winning projects by visiting our Story Maps.

Through the Great Places program, every other year we honour projects that:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to design excellence and innovation in the areas of urban design, sustainability and heritage conservation, and
  • Contribute to creating a built environment that enhances our quality of life.

2016 winners

The following projects, people and businesses earned Great Places awards in 2016:

Future Design Leaders Award

  • Arc Union

Master Planning Award

  • Kitchener multi-use pathways and trails master plan

Mike Wagner Heritage - Individual contribution

  • Rych Mills

Mike Wagner Heritage - Preservation / Restoration Award

  • 883 Doon Village Rd. - Alison and Robert Lafrance; Paradigm Shift Customs; M-Z Renovation

Mike Wagner Heritage - Rehabilitation / Adaptive Reuse Award

  • 68 Schneider Ave. - Maureen and John Dinner; Thomas J. Reinhart, architectural technologist; and Mike Bebenek Carpentry

People's Choice Award

  • Westmount Public School

Placemaking Award

  • Walter Bean Trail bridge (between Doon Valley Golf Course and Pioneer Tower Trail)

Sustainable Kitchener Award

  • Mennonite Central Committee Head Office

Urban Design Excellence Award - Low-rise category

  • Mennonite Central Committee Head Office
  • Innisfree House
  • The Boardwalk Station

Future Design Leaders Award

This award may be given to an exemplary project completed by secondary or post-secondary students, which is either theoretical or studio based, focusing on urban design, public realm or land-use planning innovation, with a study site in Kitchener.

Eligibility

  • Anyone can nominate a project for this award; students can nominate their own projects.
  • Nominated projects must comply with our Official Plan, zoning bylaw and urban design manual.
  • Projects that have been entered into previous City of Kitchener awards program(s) in the same category are not eligible.
  • Interior design projects are not eligible.
  • Nominations must comply with detailed specifications, including a written application, and other supporting material as described in the call for nominations and application form(s).
  • Student projects must be completed through a secondary or post-secondary school program within three school years of the call for nominations.
  • The studio or theoretical project must pertain to a site or location within the City of Kitchener addressing urban design, sustainability, heritage conservation and/or land use planning.
  • Nominations must be acknowledged by and provide contact information for a member of the students' school faculty.
  • Nominations must clearly demonstrate comprehensive evaluation of the project context, innovation in recommendations and/or conclusions, and alignment with our own policy framework.

Submission requirements

Nominations for the 2018 awards program will open early next year. More information on submission requirements and the deadline to submit will be available at that time.

Shortlisted nominees

Nominated projects shortlisted in each award category will be notified later in 2018, and required to prepare and submit a detailed presentation board about the project.

Master Planner Award

This award may be given to an exceptional plan or study of a significant area within Kitchener that provides a development strategy for urban transformation.

Eligibility

  • Anyone can nominate a project this award, such as residents, property owners, consultants, etc.
  • Nominated projects must with comply with our Official Plan, zoning bylaw and urban design manual.
  • Projects that have been entered into previous City of Kitchener awards program(s) in the same category are not eligible.
  • Interior design projects are not eligible.
  • Nominations must comply with detailed specifications, including a written application, and other supporting material as described in the call for nominations and application form(s).
  • Nominations must clearly demonstrate comprehensive evaluation of the project context, innovation in recommendations and/or conclusions, and alignment with our own policy framework.
  • Master planning projects can include approved urban design briefs and development strategies, such as subdivision or major infill master plans, site specific urban design briefs or master plans, infill property master plans, and streetscape master plans within Kitchener.
  • The master plan must have received applicable approvals within the past four years, or since the last awards program call for nominations, whichever is greater.

Submission requirements

Nominations for the 2018 awards program will open early next year. More information on submission requirements and the deadline to submit will be available at that time.

Mike and Pat Wagner Heritage Awards

The Mike and Pat Wagner Heritage Awards honour people, property owners, businesses, organizations and institutions, who have contributed to the conservation of our city's cultural heritage resources. The awards are named after former Kitchener city councillor Mike Wagner, who was a strong advocate for heritage, culture and the arts; and Pat Wagner, a long time member of the Heritage Kitchener committee.

Up to four awards may be presented in the following three categories:

Preservation/restoration of cultural heritage resource

  • Preservation projects focus on protecting, maintaining and stabilizing the existing form, material and integrity of a cultural heritage resource, while protecting its heritage attributes and values. These projects generally relate to cultural heritage resources that are intact and do not require extensive repair or replacement, alterations or additions.
  • Restoration projects focus on revealing, recovering or representing the state of either a cultural heritage resource or of an individual heritage attribute from a particular period in its history, as accurately as possible, while protecting its heritage value. These projects are based on physical and documentary, or oral evidence.

Rehabilitation/adaptive reuse of cultural heritage resources

  • Rehabilitation and adaptive reuse projects focus on the sensitive adaptation of either a cultural heritage resource or of an individual heritage attribute for a continuing or compatible contemporary use, while protecting its heritage value. This may be achieved through repairs, replacements, alterations and/or additions.

Individual contributions to the field of heritage conservation

  • Awarded to individuals, businesses, organizations or institutions, who have made exceptional and/or long-lasting contributions to the conservation of our city's cultural heritage resources.

Eligibility

Anyone can nominate a project this award, such as residents, property owners, consultants, etc.

Submission requirements

Nomination forms and all required supporting information for the 2019 Kitchener's Great Places Awards will be made available prior to deadline.

Nomination packages can be submitted in person or by mail to:

Kitchener's Great Places Awards
c/o Janine Oosterveld
Kitchener City Hall
Planning Division, 6th Floor
200 King Street West, P.O. Box 1118
Kitchener ON  N2G 4G7

Neighbourhood Design Award

This award may be given to an exceptional, approved and substantially built subdivision that includes our neighbourhood design objectives, which include: walk-ability, variety, place-making, conservation, connectivity, transit-supportive and safety.

Eligibility

  • Anyone can nominate a project this award, such as residents, property owners, consultants, etc.
  • Nominated projects must with comply with our Official Plan, zoning bylaw and urban design manual.
  • Projects that have been entered into previous City of Kitchener awards program(s) in the same category are not eligible.
  • Interior design projects are not eligible.
  • Nominations must comply with detailed specifications, including a written application, and other supporting material as described in the call for nominations and application form(s).
  • This category is open to all publicly visible or accessible urban development projects in Kitchener. These include subdivisions, site development of a building or group of buildings, adaptive reuse of existing buildings, building additions or exterior renovations. Parks, open spaces, public utilities, street improvements and civic structures are also eligible.
  • Placemaking nominees must be a distinct feature(s) that make a project or place outstanding, such as public art, landscape features, architectural elements and streetscape elements. They can be part of a new development or a new/renovated feature in an existing development, neighbourhood or public space.
  • The project must have all required approvals, and/or have been constructed or substantially completed within either the past four years or since the last awards program call for nominations, whichever is greater.
  • Projects that do not have a public realm component, such as private gardens or backyards, are not eligible.

Submission requirements

Nominations for the 2018 awards program will open early next year. More information on submission requirements and the deadline to submit will be available at that time.

People's Choice Award

This award may be given to a project that receives the most votes from the community through online polling and/or in person at select locations/times.

Eligibility

  • Projects chosen for consideration will be selected from eligible nominees from the Urban Design, Neighbourhood Design, Placemaking, Mike and Pat Wagner Heritage and Sustainable Kitchener categories.
  • Nominees must have a publicly visible and accessible component.

Placemaking Award

This award is given to a distinct feature(s) that makes a project or place outstanding, such as public art, landscape features, architectural elements and streetscape elements. They can range from a unique feature of a larger development project to a neighbourhood-initiated community project.

Eligibility

  • Anyone can nominate a project this award, such as residents, property owners, consultants, etc.
  • Nominated projects must with comply with our Official Plan, zoning bylaw and urban design manual.
  • Projects that have been entered into previous City of Kitchener awards program(s) in the same category are not eligible.
  • Interior design projects are not eligible.
  • Nominations must comply with detailed specifications, including a written application, and other supporting material as described in the call for nominations and application form(s).
  • This category is open to all publicly visible or accessible urban development projects in Kitchener. These include subdivisions, site development of a building or group of buildings, adaptive reuse of existing buildings, building additions or exterior renovations. Parks, open spaces, public utilities, street improvements and civic structures are also eligible.
  • The project must have all required approvals, and/or have been constructed or substantially completed within either the past four years or since the last awards program call for nominations, whichever is greater.
  • Projects that do not have a public realm component, such as private gardens or backyards, are not eligible.

Submission requirements

Nominations for the 2018 awards program will open early next year. More information on submission requirements and the deadline to submit will be available at that time.

This award may be given to an exceptional project that achieves overall excellence in meeting our objectives in two or more of the following categories:

  • urban design
  • heritage conservation
  • sustainable design

Schmalz Award for Design Leadership

Named after W.H.E. Schmalz, the architect who designed Kitchener's first city hall, clock tower and many other local buildings, this award represents the best overall project of the program.

Eligibility

  • Nominees must be the winning projects in the Urban Design, Neighbourhood Design, Mike and Pat Wagner Heritage and Sustainable Kitchener categories.

Sustainable Kitchener Award

This award may be given to either a civic or private-development project that demonstrates innovation and exceptional design with respect to sustainable development, water conservation, energy conservation and generation, air quality, waste reduction and management, supporting active transportation and transit-oriented development.

Eligibility

  • Anyone can nominate a project this award, such as residents, property owners, consultants, etc.
  • Nominated projects must with comply with our Official Plan, zoning bylaw and urban design manual.
  • Projects that have been entered into previous City of Kitchener awards program(s) in the same category are not eligible.
  • Interior design projects are not eligible.
  • Nominations must comply with detailed specifications, including a written application, and other supporting material as described in the call for nominations and application form(s).
  • Projects must have one or more prominent sustainability components as per our Official Plan policies. These projects can be new developments, or adaptive reuse of existing buildings, building additions or renovations. Parks, open spaces, public utilities, street and site improvements and civic structures are also eligible.
  • The project must have all required approvals, and/or have been constructed or substantially completed within either the past four years or since the last awards program call for nominations, whichever is greater.

Submission requirements

Nominations for the 2018 awards program will open early next year. More information on submission requirements and the deadline to submit will be available at that time.

Urban Design Awards

These awards cover four possible categories, recognizing either civic or private projects that demonstrate urban design excellence and innovation in site and building design, which is context-sensitive, functional, engaging and memorable. Categories include:

  • Low-rise development projects (one to three storeys)
  • Mid-rise development projects (four to eight storeys)
  • High-rise development projects (nine storeys or more)
  • Civic projects

Eligibility

  • Anyone can nominate a project this award, such as residents, property owners, consultants, etc.
  • Nominated projects must with comply with our Official Plan, zoning bylaw and urban design manual.
  • Projects that have been entered into previous City of Kitchener awards program(s) in the same category are not eligible.
  • Interior design projects are not eligible.
  • Nominations must comply with detailed specifications, including a written application, and other supporting material as described in the call for nominations and application form(s).
  • Projects must have one or more prominent sustainability components as per our Official Plan policies. These projects can be new developments, or adaptive reuse of existing buildings, building additions or renovations. Parks, open spaces, public utilities, street and site improvements and civic structures are also eligible.
  • The project must have all required approvals, and/or have been constructed or substantially completed within either the past four years or since the last awards program call for nominations, whichever is greater.
  • Projects that do not have a public realm component, such as private gardens or backyards, are not eligible.

Submission requirements

Nominations for the 2018 awards program will open early next year. More information on submission requirements and the deadline to submit will be available at that time.

 

 

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