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Home in the Valley

Home in the Valley

Making the mixture work. Words by Steve Pecar It’s a valley by definition, but perhaps not the kind you imagine. Indeed, it’s a geographically low area of the city, defined…

Urban Design and Transit

Urban Design and Transit

A lesson in approach and avoidance. Words by Michael Spaziani I have often wondered why we had to study Psychology 101 in university when pursuing an architecture degree. After three and…

Business Re-Creation

Business Re-Creation

This architectural firm succeeded through market diversification. Words by Michael Spaziani Photography by Michael Spaziani, except where noted Architects are uniquely positioned to witness the negative effects of economic downturns, interest rate…

2014 Urban Design Awards

2014 Urban Design Awards

The making and rewarding of excellence in design and architecture. Words by Michael Spaziani Many cities in Canada hold urban design awards to celebrate excellence in architecture, urban design, planning,…

Heart of Darkness Redux

Heart of Darkness Redux

Two Mikes conquer the mighty Credit River in a skiff! Words by Michael Spaziani (with apologies to Joseph Conrad) “Going up that river was like travelling back to the earliest beginnings…

Humbertown: Mixed-Use Paradise

Humbertown: Mixed-Use Paradise

Communities and developers can work together—in Toronto. Words by Michael Spaziani  If one had to define my mission in life, it might be characterized as “urbanizing the suburbs.” This question usually…

[UPDATED] June 11: 40 Years of Milestones and Opportunities at Culture Café

[UPDATED] June 11: 40 Years of Milestones and Opportunities at Culture Café

On June 11, architect Michael Spaziani and local musician Johnny Max hosted a free presentation, Building Mississauga: 40 Years of Milestones and Opportunities at Culture Café inside the Civic Centre.…

The Missing Links

The Missing Links

Interconnectedness is just good planning. Words and photography by Michael Spaziani I have often, in half-jest, quipped about the implication of the miss in Mississauga—that is, another missed opportunity, not another young…

The Public Realm

The Public Realm

Defending the people places in urban spaces. Words by Michael Spaziani What is the public realm? Let’s break this down (with a little help from the Oxford English Dictionary): Public realm (n):…

Mississauga Urban Design Award 2013 Winners

Mississauga Urban Design Award 2013 Winners

This past Friday (September 27) saw the 32nd Annual Mississauga Urban Design Awards—the longest-running municipal urban design awards program in Ontario—arrive at the Civic Centre. The awards honour design excellence,…

“Cascading Mississauga” and Amanda Browder

“Cascading Mississauga” and Amanda Browder

Words and photography by Jordan Villanueva What do you think of when you hear “fibre art”? Traditionally fibre art consisted of utilitarian or decorative work using thread, string, yarn or…

Storm Clouds Ahead

Storm Clouds Ahead

Dramatic new commitments to water management are needed now. Words by Michael Spaziani If you’ve ever taken a bath, then you know all the basics of storm water management. (And…

Modern Masters

Modern Masters

Modernism in architecture is history. Words by Michael Spaziani Did you know that the term modernism today can be seen as a nostalgic return to those glass boxes of 1920s…

Mixed Messages

Mixed Messages

Is our City ready for mixed-use development? Words by Michael Spaziani It’s 1922 on Clinton St. in downtown Toronto. That’s my mother and my grandmother in the photograph. They ran…

The Architecture of Worship

The Architecture of Worship

The power of imagery and design. Words by Michael Spaziani, OAA, FRAIC   Have you ever cried when you entered a building? No, I’m not talking about the Revenue Canada…

Green By Design

Green By Design

The consequences of going green are sustainable and humane but the costs and complexity can be daunting. Words by Michael Spaziani, OAA, FRAIC Green has many meanings today. Green with…

Twisted Sisters

Twisted Sisters

Engineering, math and human elegance come together in the new icons of Mississauga’s skyline. Words by Michael Spaziani   There is a trend emerging in design these days and I…

Who Designs Our Town?

Who Designs Our Town?

There was a time when designing cities was really quite simple. Words by Michael Spaziani Napoleon Bonaparte simply ordered it done. Popes issued a Papal Bull. Peter the Great loved…

Is the OMB necessary? An expert witness shares experiences

Is the OMB necessary? An expert witness shares experiences

An expert witness in urban design and architecture shares his views on the always controversial Ontario Municipal Board. Words by Michael Spaziani If you have read this far you probably…

Love Where You Live

Love Where You Live

This is the first of a series introducing the organizations and individuals that are shaping a legacy of distinct and unique communities in our City. Words by Mike Douglas The…

And the Winner Is…

And the Winner Is…

They say competition is healthy, but is it really the best way to decide the fate of our local landmarks? Words by Michael Spaziani Competition — A contest between rivals,…

You Want a Woonerf?

You Want a Woonerf?

This series on Urban Design began with the author’s contention that Mississauga has limited types of public spaces. Here he introduces a new one. Words and Photography by Michael Spaziani Woonerf…

Symphony In Three Chords

Symphony In Three Chords

Lifting expectations for a better designed city takes a new vocabulary. Below a prominent architect provides creative options.Words and Photography by Michael Spaziani I have been pondering Gertrude Stein’s assessment…