Architecture firms in Toronto are known for producing some of the world’s most impressive architecture. Their work is not limited to merely the Greater Toronto Area but rather graces just about every continent. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the top architecture firms in Toronto, as outlined by BlogTO and Azure Magazine.
KPMB distinguishes itself among its peers with three principals honoured by the Order of Canada. They are Shirley Blumberg, Marianna McKenna, and Bruce Kuwabara.
KPMB’s past projects include work on some of Toronto’s most iconic architectural landmarks, including Massey Hall. Their international work includes the Adams Center for Musical Arts at Yale in Connecticut and the Canadian embassy in Berlin.
Hariri Pontarini was founded by David Pontarini and Siamak Hariri in 1994. It is a full-service architectural firm that employs 130 architects. Their work spans several categories, including master planning and institutions for cultural, educational, residential, and commercial purposes.
Between 2018 and 2019, Hariri Pontarini received awards from the following institutions:
- American Institute of Architects
- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
- Azure Magazine
Shim Sutcliffe is recognized as one of the best architecture firms in Toronto when it comes to residential projects. Their Integral House is known as Toronto’s most stunning residence. Built into a hillside, the property makes liberal use of curves and reflective surfaces. It appears almost otherworldly.
The firm’s founders, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, have received 10 Governor-General Medals from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Their success (which dates back far further than their design of the Integral House) and acclaim has allowed them to justify having one of the sparsest websites of the Toronto architecture firms on this list.
ZAS Architects has produced numerous iconic examples of contemporary architecture. These include the Rosemont Five Star Hotel & Residences in Dubai as well as the Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library.
The firm’s Toronto and Vancouver offices handle all Canadian projects while their location in Dubai handles international work. They have received numerous awards, including from the Ontario Library Association and BILD.
As with many of the best architecture firms in Toronto, Bortolotto has built a name for itself designing new buildings and revitalizing existing ones. New work includes Pier 8 Promenade Park in Hamilton while revitalization efforts include the restoration of Victoria College and Amnesty Hall on the University of Toronto campus.
architectsAlliance (also known as aA) is a full-service architectural firm in Toronto. Their work includes institutional facilities, mixed-use structures, and affordable housing. Among their projects are the Niayesh Hotel and Residences in Iran as well as the SP!RE condominium building in Toronto.
The firm employs 70 architects and has projects all over the world.
Moriyama & Teshima
Moriyama & Teshima is known for designing such impressive civic structures as Toronto’s Reference Library. The firm also revitalized that same structure in more recent years. They’ve been in business for more than a half century, providing services such as interior design, master planning, and feasibility studies in addition to their architectural work.
Moriyama & Teshima have received six Governor General’s Awards and countless other accolades from institutions such as the Ontario Association of Architects.
Superkul’s architectural work occupies the academic, civic, commercial, and residential spaces. Some of their residential work (particularly the Gradient House in Kensington Market) has drawn acclaim from Toronto locals. Larger projects include the University of Toronto’s Student Commons.
RDHA’s architectural work is primarily focused on institutional and corporate facilities. One of their most notable projects in Toronto was the revitalization of the Bloor/Gladstone Library, a heritage site. Other projects include the Doris McCarthy Art Gallery at the University of Toronto in Scarborough and the Toronto Regional Sports Complex.
RDHA is one of the nation’s oldest architectural firms, having celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2019.
Among the most renowned projects by Teeple Architects is the housing development at 60 Richmond East. The project came about as a means of housing hospitality workers forced to leave their homes during Regent Park’s redevelopment.
The building is a communal masterpiece, with a terrace garden providing supplies for a restaurant that helps residents earn extra income. This project received awards from the Governor-General, ArchDaily, AZ Awards, and many more organizations.
Ian MacDonald Architect
Ian MacDonald Architect is one of the best small architecture firms in Toronto. Its namesake graduated from Carleton University in the late 1970s before working at Thom Partnership with Ronald Thom. He founded Ian MacDonald Architect in 1984 and has since established a reputation for designing stunning residences and spaces such as the Sidney Smith Hall at the University of Toronto.
Partisans is a firm that blurs the line between ‘design firm’ and ‘architectural firm.’ Their projects include conceptual storytelling pieces but also a number of mind-bending real-world structures. A prime example of the latter is their Grotto Sauna in Georgian Bay, a residential spa. Another mind-bending design by the firm is the Bar Raval in Toronto.
Diamond Schmitt is a prime example of an architectural firm from Toronto making its name all over the world. One of their most acclaimed international projects is the reimagining of the David Geffen Hall building, which houses the New York Philharmonic. The aim of the project (which is set to open in 2024) is to expand the variety of presentations that take place within the facility.
In Toronto, one of the firm’s best-known works is the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
CORE Architects’ founding principals are Babak Eslahjou, Charles Gane, and Deni Poletti. Since they began the firm in 1994, it has completed more than 160 condo projects, with more than 50 of those existing in Toronto’s downtown core.
One of the most iconic examples of these is the Flat Iron Lofts building on Dundas Street West.
Paul Raff Studio
Paul Raff Studio is another one of the most renowned small architecture firms in Toronto. One of their best-known projects within Toronto is the Cascade House, a stunning sustainable residence that maximizes natural light and espouses passive architecture motifs such as solar systems.
Lebel + Bouliane
Luc Bouliane is an alumnus of Teeple Architects, one of the other renowned Toronto architecture firms on this list. He started this studio in 2010 alongside Natasha Lebel and it quickly grew from small projects to larger industrial and educational institutions.
Among their impressive works are the Canadian Museum of Immigration and Port Hope House.
Lebel + Bouliane was selected as Designlines Magazine’s Designer of the Year in 2019.
Studio AC drew plenty of attention in 2017 for their Broadview Loft project. It is a residential space designed for a young professional in one of Toronto’s many old industrial facilities. Beyond this and other blog-worthy projects by Studio AC, the firm has created a name for itself with experimental design projects like the Idea Haus.
Office OU co-founder Nicolas Koff has extensive architectural experience in both Beijing and Toronto. Co-founder Uros Novakovic similarly worked abroad — Shanghai, in his case. Today, Office OU is one of the Toronto architecture firms at the forefront of new building techniques. K-House in Dundas Ontario, designed by the studio, is one of Canada’s first net zero homes of its kind. Although you’d never guess by looking at it (or even walking through it), the residence is made of straw bale.