The Ottawa Heritage Awards

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The Ottawa Heritage Awards

The City of Ottawa recognizes outstanding achievements in heritage conservation with the Ottawa Heritage Awards, formerly known as the Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards. The application period for the 2019-2022 awards is now open. The deadline for applications is Friday, November 4, 2022.

There are two types of awards, those that are project-based, and one that is for a community member/group.

Project awards may be presented in seven categories:

  • Restoration: Returning a heritage resource to its original form, material and integrity.
  • Adaptive Reuse: Adapting an old building for a new purpose while retaining its heritage character.
  • Infill: New construction in a historic context.
  • Addition: New additions to historic buildings.
  • Government: Awarded to a restoration project at a public sector property.
  • Heritage Grants: Awarded to recipients of funding under the Heritage Grant Program for Building Restoration.
  • Other: This category will change depending on the projects submitted in a given year. Projects could include engineering projects (i.e. bridge restoration) or landscaping projects (i.e. restoration of historic gardens or parks).

Some projects may qualify in more than one category. Please note that projects related to properties owned by the federal government will only qualify for the “Government” category.

Entry Form

  • Community Heritage: Awarded to an individual or group, who has had a positive impact on heritage conservation in Ottawa

Entry Form

Projects completed between January 2019 and December 2022 are eligible. Projects must be substantially complete by the submission deadline. Final elements such as landscaping (where it is not integral to the project) may be completed after the deadline. Heritage staff will have the discretion to determine whether a project is substantially complete. If you have any questions regarding the completeness of a project, please contact the Heritage Planning Branch prior to submission.

Awards will be presented in February 2023.

For more information, please contact:

Adrian van Wyk
613-580-2424, ext. 21607

2019 Award Winners

The Ottawa Heritage Awards (formerly the Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards) were held on February 19, 2019 at the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall at the University of Ottawa. The presentations were made by Mayor Jim Watson for projects completed from 2016 to 2018. These biennial awards recognize outstanding contributions to the restoration and conservation of Ottawa’s heritage properties.

Mayor Watson

Award of Excellence: Adaptive Re-Use (Government)

The Senate of Canada Building
2 Rideau Street

The Senate Building

The Senate of Canada Building was built between 1909 and 1912 to the original design of B. Gilbert, as modified by Ross and MacFarlane. Designed in the Beaux- Arts Style, the building served as Ottawa’s Union Station until 1966. It later became the Government Conference Centre, until this restoration project began in 2014. The project consisted of transforming the building into the temporary home of the Senate of Canada. The work included restoring the plaster ceilings and walls, restoring the windows and masonry, and adding an addition to the eastern part of the building as well as on the roof. In addition to the restoration, the scope of the work included a new Senate Chamber, three committee rooms, offices, as well as accessibility upgrades.

Project Team

  • Diamond Schmitt Architects & KWC Architects, Architects in Joint Venture
  • E.R.A Architects
  • John G. Cooke & Associates Ltd
  • Crossey Engineering Ltd
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada, Property Owner

Jury Comments

This stunning transformation of the Senate of Canada Building returned key heritage features of the former Union Station building to their original Beaux-Arts splendour, while introducing contemporary and reversible updates appropriate to the building’s new use. Restoration of the original vaulted ceiling and multi-paned windows creates a dramatic counterpoint to the enclosed committee rooms and the Senate Chamber. The design of the newly completed east façade respects the historic structure while showing that with sensitive consideration, heritage buildings can be successfully updated with modern elements. Overall, this project is an outstanding example of adaptive reuse, using the highest standards to breathe new life into this iconic building.

Award of Excellence: Adaptive Re-Use

Flora Hall Brewing
37 Flora Street

Flora Hall Brewery

The building was constructed in the early 20th century and was used as garage for many years. The building is a two-storey flat-roofed structure with a curved wood canopy, and stucco and brick quoins around the windows and on the corners. The building fell vacant in the early 2000s, before the property was bought by the current owner to convert it into a brewery. The project consisted of maintaining as many of the original industrial features as possible. These includes the glass block windows, wooden plank floors, stucco cladding and brick accents.

Project Team

  • Larchwood Urban Developments
  • Atelier 292
  • Dunbar Railings
  • David Longbottom and Carrie Colton, Property Owners and Designers

Jury Comments

The transformation of this derelict industrial heritage building to a vibrant gathering place is an excellent example of adaptive re-use. Retention of the building’s original massing and fenestration, combined with restoration of original architectural elements blends cohesively with new interior elements custom-fabricated with respect for the original structure’s industrial roots.

This project is a laudable example of private citizen engagement in preserving Ottawa’s built heritage and an innovative and important showcase for adaptive re-use, demonstrating that with vision, heritage buildings can be successfully restored and repurposed.

Award of Excellence: Restoration

Centre Block Ventilation Towers
Parliament Hill

Centre Block vents

The ventilation towers are a functional part of the original 1916-1921 Centre Block Parliament Building. They are situated on the north side of the Centre Block and exhaust air from the both the Senate and House of Commons chambers. The towers had developed structural problems and had been temporarily braced for quite some time. The project consisted of the installation of structural steel channels that were mounted into the masonry to provide capacity to resist reinforcement. Additionally, a significant amount of brickwork had deteriorated and would need either repair or replacement. The conservation approach was consistent with other work on the Centre Block and with the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

Project Team

  • Watson MacEwen Teramura Architects
  • KIB Consultants Inc.
  • Atwill-Morin
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada, Property Owner

Jury Comments

This well-considered restoration project involved considerable technical analysis in its successful determination of how best to resolve significant structural stability issues in a heritage sensitive manner. Engineering solutions and extensive masonry work were balanced by the retention of original materials and minimal intervention wherever possible. Traditional cleaning methods were carefully controlled to retain an appropriate degree of exterior patina, resulting in a nearly imperceptible restoration of these important architectural elements with heritage character intact.

Award of Excellence: Addition

National Arts Centre
1 Elgin Street

National Arts Centre

Built as a centennial project, the National Arts Centre is a Brutalist performing arts centre featuring geometric shapes, textured aggregate cladding and open terraces. This 2016 project features three new wings and a marquee tower. The contemporary glass additions wrap around the building and takes inspiration from the original structure in terms of geometric patterns and public spaces.

Project Team

  • Diamond Schmitt Architects
  • Fast + Epp
  • E.R.A. Architects
  • Barry Padolsky Associates Inc., Architects
  • Fisher Dachs Associates
  • Threshold Acoustics LLC
  • National Arts Centre, Property Owner

Jury Comments

The glass curtain wall addition creates inviting new public spaces and improves connectivity between the National Arts Centre and its urban environment, while maintaining a respect for the building’s original Brutalist façade. Contemporary elements including perforated bronze fins, wood-coffered ceilings and marble floor tiles express geometric characteristic of the original heritage structure, enhancing cohesion between old and new. Dramatic new views of Parliament Hill and Confederation Square from new spaces on the second level further enhance the NAC’s connection to its dramatic site.

Award of Excellence: Other

Minto Bridges
Rideau River

Minto Bridges

The Minto Bridges were constructed between 1900 and 1902 as a processional route from Rideau Hall to Parliament Hill. The bridges were built under the direction of Robert Surtees, Engineer and advisor to the Ottawa Improvement Commission as a four-span bridge of steel construction with decorative details. The rehabilitation project included structural work, the conservation of the masonry substructures, steel trusses, concrete parapet wall and decorative steel railings, as well as the in kind replacement of the wooden sidewalks.

Project Team

  • Parsons Inc
  • Pomerleau
  • Barry Padolsky Associates Inc., Architects
  • City of Ottawa, Property Owner

Jury Comments

The outstanding restoration of the Minto Bridges combined engineering and other technical considerations with sensitive attention to detail, preserving this beloved historic landmark with its heritage character intact. Careful restoration of these jewels on the Rideau River, involved both engineering considerations and a careful hand to bring these magnificent bridges back to their original splendour.

Award of Merit: Adaptive Re-Use

Dairy Building
Rideau Hall

Diary Building

The Dairy Building was constructed in 1895 for dairy-related uses at Rideau Hall. Over the years, the building has been used as an artist studio and storage area. This octagonal wood-clad building is capped with a multi-faced lantern. The project consisted of a thorough analysis of the wood deterioration. The decayed wood was replaced, new windows were installed to replicate the original, and new steel was applied to the lantern’s roof to replicate the original, and the lower roof was reshingled in cedar shingles. An early colour scheme applied to other outbuilding across the site was adopted for this restoration project. Today, the building is used as a winter pavilion next to the skating rink.

Project Team

  • Roberston Martin Architects
  • John G. Cooke & Associates Ltd
  • Ed Burnet & Associates
  • Bala Structures
  • National Capital Commission, Property Owners

Jury Comments

This project is a successful repurposing of a significant building on the iconic Rideau Hall site. Preservation, restoration, and re-use of original materials, selective replication of elements based on historic evidence, and sensitive attention to detail, along with a return to historic colours based on original evidence, all demonstrate respect for the continued integrity of this building’s original 1895 design. A distinctive heritage structure lives on to serve a delightful new purpose while becoming accessible to the public, thanks to this well considered project.

Award of Merit: Adaptive Re-Use

The Innovation at Bayview Yards
7 Bayview Road

Bayview Yards

The Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards was constructed in 1941 as the City of Ottawa Workshops as part of an industrial complex centered on the railway tracks. The modernist building features reinforced concrete and a brick veneer and includes a flat roof and large windows. The project included rehabilitating the building for conversion into a technological hub while incorporating as many of the industrial elements as possible. This included retaining the exterior cladding, some of the steel windows as well as the wooden garage doors.

Project Team

  • Hobin Architecture
  • Commonwealth Historic Resource Management Limited
  • Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited
  • Morley Hoppner
  • 4té Inc
  • City of Ottawa, Property Owner

Jury Notes

This is a highly successful repurposing of Ottawa’s industrial architectural heritage and an important showcase for adaptive reuse. The transformation of this 1940s “industrial modern” building to a technology hub for 21st century entrepreneurs celebrates Ottawa’s legacy of innovation. Preservation of the original structure and key heritage elements including the “City of Ottawa Workshop” name on the front façade, select multi-paned windows, and wooden service bay doors evidence the building’s industrial roots while integrating with contemporary elements of the rejuvenated interior.

Award of Merit: Restoration

Canada’s Four Corners Building
93 Sparks Street

Canada's Four Corners

The building was completed in 1871 in the Second Empire style with sandstone cladding, a mansard roof, wooden cornice and decorative stone elements. By 1918, the rusticated ground floor stones were removed to accommodate large storefront windows. The building required major restoration work. This included restoring the masonry, windows and cornice. New replica doors were created, and the roof form was reinstated from an earlier version. A paint analysis was completed to reveal the original colour scheme for the wood and copper detailing.

Project Team

  • Robertson Martin Architects
  • John G. Cooke and Associates
  • EllisDon
  • Trevor Gillingwater
  • Craig Sims
  • Brian Hierlihy
  • Stantec
  • Atwill Morin
  • Heritage Grade
  • Northern Art Glass
  • Heather and Little
  • Covertite Eastern
  • MoMetal
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada, Property Owner

Jury Comments

This project involved the careful restoration of what was discovered to be a structurally unsound building. The efforts have revealed a jewel on Sparks Street, which had been invisible for years. Considerable challenges resulting from delayed maintenance were addressed in the restoration of this historic façade at the corner of Sparks and Metcalfe Streets. Preservation and restoration of original elements, combined with replacements in kind, preserves a valuable element of the streetscape’s history and heritage character, providing a tangible reminder of its historic origins as a commercial district.

Award of Merit: Restoration

Churchill Seniors Centre
345 Richmond Road

Churchill Seniors Centre

The Churchill Seniors Centre was constructed in 1896 as the Nepean Town Hall. The building features a gabled cedar roof, bell tower and projecting entranceway. The scope of the project included repointing the walls with a lime-based mortar, replacing hand carved stone window sills, and replacing cut stones.

Project Team

  • Keystone Traditional Masonry
  • N45 Architecture Inc
  • Cleland Jardine Engineering
  • BMI Inc
  • City of Ottawa, Property Owner

Jury Comments

The careful restoration and cleaning of the exterior stonework of this 1896 building, once the Town Hall for Nepean, preserves a local heritage structure which continues to make a valued contribution to the community. This restoration project showcases heritage masonry at its finest.

Award of Merit: Other

National War Memorial
Wellington Street

War Memorial

The National War Memorial is a cenotaph in the heart of downtown dedicated to the memory of all Canadians having served in the Armed Forces during a time of war. The memorial was unveiled in 1939 and has recently undergone restoration work. The scope of the project included restoration of the granite stones, cleaning and rehabilitating the bronze figures and structural reinforcement of the podium.

Project Team

  • KWC Architects Inc
  • Conservation Solutions Inc
  • WSP Canada Inc
  • Lashley and Associates
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada, Property Owner

Jury Comments

This project featured detailed heritage preservation and restoration work, performed in balance with structural and accessibility upgrades. These efforts have returned this highly significant monument to its original splendour while securing the future use of the site for all.

Award winners


Previous Winners

2014 to 2016 Award Winners

Restoration (Large-Scale), Award of Excellence
The Wellington Building
180 Wellington Street

This award recognizes the extensive restoration, repair and adaptive re-use of 180 Wellington Street to accommodate committee rooms and offices for the House of Commons. The restoration of key elements such as the mosaic ceiling, marble-clad lobbies and historic stairs celebrates the historical character of the building.

Wellington Building

Restoration (Large-Scale), Award of Merit, Sculptural Elements
Supreme Court of Canada 
301 Wellington Street

This award recognizes the restoration of the flagpoles, torchères, light standards and sculptures in front of the Supreme Court of Canada. The restoration preserves the historic features of the site and celebrates the heritage value of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Supreme Court of Canada

Restoration (Small-scale), Award of Excellence 
Fréchette House
87 MacKay Street 

This award recognizes the successful restoration of exterior and interior elements of the 1877 Frechette House located in New Edinburgh after a devastating fire. The meticulous restoration acknowledges the historic value of the house and the heritage character of the neighbourhood. 

Maison Fréchette House

Restoration (Small-Scale), Award of Merit
Kipp House
144 Cathcart Street

This award recognizes the restoration of the front facade of the Kipp House (1876) in Lowertown using a historical photograph as evidence.

Kipp House

Adaptive Re-Use, Award of Excellence
Sir John A. Macdonald Building
144 Wellington Street

This award recognizes the restoration of the former Bank of Montreal, a Beaux-Arts building, which was transformed into a conference facility for the House of Commons. The building’s significant heritage attributes served as inspiration for the contemporary addition.

Sir John A. MacDonald Building

Adaptive Re-Use, Award of Merit
Alex Trebek Alumni Hall
155-157 Séraphin-Marion Private 

This award recognizes the restoration and adaptive re-use of two houses in Sandy Hill to create the University of Ottawa’s Alex Trebek Alumni Hall. The buildings’ exteriors were restored and a large front porch was reinstated, while the interior was made more functional for contemporary uses to comply with current accessibility requirements. The project maintains the historic streetscape.

Alex Trebek Alumni Hall

Addition, Award of Excellence
House of Commons
Parliament Hill

This award recognizes the addition of seating in the House of Commons to accommodate an increased number of Members of Parliament. The new seating was designed to match the existing and was accommodated within the seating configuration.

House of Commons

Infill, Award of Excellence
Ravenhill Common
450 Churchill Avenue

This award recognizes the infill project known as Ravenhill Common, which is sympathetic to and compatible with its surroundings, yet distinguishable as a contemporary work. The project highlights the Westboro United Church and the massing, materials and form of the townhouses ensures that the character of the streetscape is maintained.

Ravenhill Common