STORIES

A

R

C

H

I

T

E

C

T

U

R

E

I

N

C

O

N

T

E

X

T

Canadian society is changing.

 

As our population nears 35 million people, Canada has become the fastest growing country in the G8, and two-thirds of our population growth is coming from immigration.

 

Now, seven out of every ten Canadians live in big city regions that represent almost 90 per cent of the country’s population growth.

 

It is clear that the future of Canada is based largely around its big cities, a phenomenon unlike anything we’ve ever known in this country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In what is being called an “urban era” around the world, this growth has brought new wealth and opportunity, and along with it, all of the challenges that come with big change.

 

Issues of social inequality, increased poverty levels and environmental damage are constantly boiling to the surface of Canadian politics.

 

Our response to the most pressing issues of our time will be apparent in our architecture – in what we build and what we leave behind.

 

 

 

 

Our challenge is to design cities and neighbourhoods that can act as the critical foundation for Canada’s prosperity: our competitiveness, sustainability and the social inclusion of people who might otherwise be marginalized.

 

Over the past year, In-Context traveled across Canada collecting stories of real people and places, to report on the impact of recent architecture projects at the foreground of this great evolution of Canadian cities.

 

 

SCROLL  TO READ MORE

HOW DO WE BUILD FOR TODAY'S SOCIETY?

Increasingly, architects are becoming concerned with broader issues that extend past the four walls of a building. Water scarcity, population increases, environmental concerns, climate change and rising poverty levels are just some of the issues that demand new creative design solutions from architects. These new challenges mean that architects are now collaborating with professionals from a vast number of related fields.

SCROLL

HOW CAN WE PARTICIPATE

IN CITY BUILDING?

A public that takes pride in the quality of their environment takes care of their buildings and public spaces for years to come. In essence, they become stewards of their cities.

 

In Toronto, a neighbourhood activist group concerned with soaring housing prices started a series of town halls asking the question: where will our children live? Their lobbying for increased affordable housing is one way that citizens have acted to help shape the future of their cities.

 

 

 

 

 

SCROLL

WHAT MAKES SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC SPACE?

When architecture is defined in its broadest sense, it includes the building inside and out, the landscape around it and the building's contribution to the rest of its surroundings: its greater context. That means that architects have the ability to shape the way that spaces in the city can be used, who can use them and for what purpose.

 

In our growing cities, space is becoming more and more valuable. How can architecture be designed to ensure that the urban environment is shared fairly amongst its citizens, and that all members of society have access to urban parks, playgrounds, streets, squares and services?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCROLL

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BUILD SUSTAINABLY?

The word 'sustainability' has become contentious within the architectural profession. We have systems of measurement in place that try to define aspects of sustainability, but how do we ensure that the building as a whole will last for generations and contribute to the health of our environment? Technological advances in building envelopes and systems design seem hopeful; what can historical precedents teach us about sustainable practices? Does a collection of sustainable buildings make for a sustainable city?

 

 

 

 

 

SCROLL

HOW DOES ARCHITECTURE AFFECT THE QUALITY OF OUR LIVES?

“Today, when so much seems to conspire to reduce life and feeling to the most deprived and demeaning bottom line, it is more important than ever that we receive that extra dimension of dignity or delight and the elevated sense of self that the art of building can provide through the nature of the places where we live and work. What counts more than style is whether architecture improves our experience of the built world; whether it makes us wonder why we never noticed places in quite this way before.”

 

- Ada Louise Huxtable from the book On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change.

 

 

 

IN-CONTEXT WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR LEADING SPONSORS.   SEE OUR FULL LIST OF SUPPORTERS HERE