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This category was created to recognize past examples of good urban design that have had a transformative impact on our quality of life in Edmonton. The nominated projects were built before the start of the Edmonton Urban Design Awards program in 2005.*

Here’s your chance to choose which project you feel best exemplifies the qualities of good urban design.

What is urban design?

Urban design involves the arrangement and design of buildings, public spaces, transport systems, services, and amenities. Urban design is the process of giving form, shape, and character to groups of buildings, to whole neighbourhoods, and the city. Source:

The Nominees

City Hall

Edmonton City Hall

Our City Hall, designed by Edmonton architect Gene Dub, opened in 1992. The City Room is a very active space in all seasons with festivals, workshops, performances, ceremonies and many other events. Its soaring glass pyramid roofs are an extension of the exterior space. The forecourt plaza has become a hub of activity during hot summer days as citizens enjoy the fountain and cold winter days when people return to skate on the same frozen pool.

Hotel Macdonald Renovation

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

Built in 1915 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, the Hotel Macdonald is one of Edmonton’s foremost symbolic and visual landmarks. It was designed by Ross & MacFarlane Architects and was named after Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, and has remained a dignified and solid presence overlooking Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River valley for generations. The hotel fell into disrepair and was closed in 1983. There was talk of demolition but Canadian Pacific Hotels bought the hotel in 1988 and restored the building and grounds to their original grandeur in 1991.

Feedback from Edmonton Resident Anne Matei

"The Hotel MacDonald is always in my very fond memories.  When I got married in 1950, my bridal brunch get-together was held on the patio at the back of the hotel, with the beautiful view of the North Saskatchewan River.  Another great memory is when our dear Harriette Winspear and I would attend our favourite waffle brunch every Sunday at the hotel.  I cannot express my joy enough to have this marvelous building in our city." 

HUB Mall and Residences at the University of Alberta

HUB Mall and Residence

Built in 1973 this structure is familiar to generations of University of Alberta students. The building designed by architect Barton Myers, is centred on a climate-controlled interior galleria with businesses and restaurants on the main level overlooked by student apartments. It became a widely-emulated prototype for interior public spaces in colder climates.

MacEwan University City Centre Campus

MacEwan University City Centre Campus

City Centre Campus was built in the 1990s on land donated by CN. The design was a joint venture between Barry Johns Architects, Wood O’Neill O’Neill Architects and Wensley Webster Fry Rodrigues Architects, with Barry Johns as Partner in Charge of Design. The main complex consists of a series of structures stretching from east to west. Between each of the lower profile buildings is a grouping of four concrete spires which give the campus its distinctive look. Each grouping of towers forms a terminating vista from the adjacent streets.

Peter Hemingway Fitness and Leisure Centre

Peter Hemingway Fitness and Leisure Centre

Peter Hemingway Fitness and Leisure Centre is considered a modern landmark and a significant piece of Canadian 20th century architecture. Formerly known as Coronation Pool, the building was designed by architect Peter Hemingway as a project to mark Canada’s centennial. It was completed in 1970. The facility was renamed in 2005 to honour Hemingway.

*Projects submitted for this category were chosen by members of the Edmonton Urban Design Awards Steering Committee with input from the Edmonton Design Committee. The nominated projects should reflect high inspirational urban design and have had a positive impact on our urban environment.

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