Architecture + Building


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Local architects propose 10 low-cost green design solutions

August 1, 2014

Richmond Hill Post 1 Aug 2014 Page 22

Toronto may soon be home to a chain of DIY back­yard bee ho­tels and a nat­u­ral for­est in a down­town al­ley­way.

Those were the win­ning de­signs se­lected in the first Homegrown De­sign Chal­lenge, launched this spring by Work­shop Ar­chi­tec­ture and the David Suzuki Foun­da­tion.

The ju­rors se­lected two win­ning sub­mis­sions: DIY Back­yard Bee Ho­tels, by Sus­tain­able.TO Ar­chi­tec­ture + Build­ing, and Carolinian Way, a nat­u­ral­ized, forested al­ley by land­scape ar­chi­tect Tawab Hlimi. The two win­ning sub­mis­sions shared the $500 in prizes.

David Suzuki is the host of the CBC’s The Na­ture of Things and au­thor of more than 30 books on ecol­ogy.

Lauren Harper tours rooftop pollinator bee initiative

July 27, 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's wife, Laureen, is either very brave, very comfortable around bees, or a bit of both.

Harper was at Toronto's Royal York hotel Sunday to visit the rooftop garden and beehive.

The rootop bee hive is part of an initiative between the hotel and Burt's Bees, Sustainable.TO Architechture + Building and Pollinator Partnership Canada to help preserve Canada's bee population.

Reaching for the Sky-O-Swale

July 23, 2014

Rendering of the Sky-o-swale at the East Scarborough Storefront

For years, a water tower was the major physical landmark of east Scarborough's Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park neighbourhood. Built in 1952 on Lawrence Avenue East, just as the then-township began its postwar boom, it was decommissioned in 1970. Until its demolition in 2007, the tower's decay reflected the economic and social problems surrounding it. 

At the same address, a new landmark is rising. For the past few months, residents have watched curiously as construction of a community-designed project with a tongue-twisting name proceeds. Its evolving appearance has induced some head-scratching—one passer-by pointed out to an onsite engineer that the recycled hydro poles sticking out of the ground were crooked. 

But the angles are intentional, and are among the many complexities involved in the development of Sky-O-Swale. Intended as both an eco-friendly water filtration system and a community gathering space, the project displays the collaborative spirit and community goodwill fostered by its host, the East Scarborough Storefront (ESS).

Bee hotels hang out a welcome sign for solitary bees

July 10, 2014

Toronto’s population of pollinators is in for a freebie: a complimentary stay at a “bee hotel,” thanks to Toronto firm Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building.

Built primarily from recycled materials, these bee billets target solitary pollinator bees, which, as their name suggests, do not live communally like honey bees but still play an important role in the pollination process.

The firm’s designs have nabbed a prize in the Homegrown Design Challenge.


Homegrown Design Challenge winners unveiled!

July 9, 2014

TORONTO, July 9, 2014 — Toronto may soon be home to a chain of DIY backyard bee hotels and a natural forest in a downtown alleyway. Those were the winning designs selected in the first Homegrown Design Challenge, launched this spring by Workshop Architecture and the David Suzuki Foundation.

The Homegrown Design Challenge jurors selected two winning submissions. "DIY backyard bee hotels" by Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building, and "Carolinian Way," a naturalized, forested alley by landscape architect Tawab Hlimi, shared the $500 in prizes. Juror Faisal Moola from the David Suzuki Foundation said, "The DIY Backyard Bee Hotels and the Carolinian Way are excellent demonstrations of how to bring nature to the city."


June 26, 2014

SUSTAINABLE.TO is proud to celebrate our 5th anniversary as a company!  Over this short time, we have grown from a one-man operation to a team of 10 architects and designers, and our success continues to multiply.  The last 5 years have proven that Toronto has a demand for practical, environmentally-sensitive design, and that our collaborative approach to business is one that resonates with our staff and clients.

We would like to thank our over 200 clients in 16 cities and 3 continents who have helped us along the way, and can't wait to see what the next 5 years holds in store!