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 Kitchener's 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, 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.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Kitchener Great Places Awards!  

Watch the complete video or click on the winners below to view their individual segments.

Mike & Pat Wagner Heritage Awards - Preservation / Restoration Category

Mike & Pat Wagner Heritage Awards - Rehabilitation/Adaptive Re-use Category

Placemaking Award

Sustainable Kitchener Award  

Urban Design Excellence Awards - Low-Rise Category

Urban Design Excellence Awards - Mid-Rise Category

Urban Design Excellence Awards - High-Rise Category

Urban Design Excellence Awards - Civic Category

People’s Choice Award

Schmalz Award for Design Leadership

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 align 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 include the information requested through the nomination form including a digital representation of the project and other supporting material.
  • 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.

Nominations for the next award cycle are expected to open in early 2021.  Subscribe to this page for updates.

Master Planning 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 include the information requested through the nomination form including a digital representation of the project and other supporting material.
  • The plan or study 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.

Nominations for the next award cycle are expected to open in early 2021.  Subscribe to this page for updates.

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 and recipient of the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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.

  • Projects that have been nominated for past Mike Wagner Heritage Award(s) are not eligible.
  • Nominations must follow the currently approved program criteria.
  • Interior design projects are not eligible.
  • Nominations must include a written application and other supporting materials.
  • Property must be a cultural heritage resource and be either designated under Part IV (individual) or Part V (heritage conservation district) under the Ontario Heritage Act, listed as a non-designated property on the municipal heritage register; or identified on the Heritage Kitchener Inventory of Historic Buildings.

Submission requirements

Nominations must include the information requested through the nomination form including supporting material.

Nominations for the next award cycle are expected to open in early 2021.  Subscribe to this page for updates.

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 include the information requested through the nomination form.
  • 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.

Nominations for the next award cycle are expected to open in early 2021.  Subscribe to this page for updates.

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 include the information requested through the nomination form.
  • 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.

Nominations for the next award cycle are expected to open in early 2021.  Subscribe to this page for updates.

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 include the information requested through the nomination form.
  • 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.

Nominations for the next award cycle are expected to open in early 2021.  Subscribe to this page for updates.

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 include the information requested through the nomination form.
  • 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.

Nominations for the next award cycle are expected to open in early 2021.  Subscribe to this page for updates.

 

 

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