John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design

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John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
Established 1890
Type Faculty
Academic affiliation University of Toronto
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dean Richard M. Sommer

The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design is a Faculty within the University of Toronto located in Toronto, Ontario. It offers undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and visual studies. The Faculty is considered one of the leading schools in architecture and urban design in Canada.[1]

The Daniels Faculty was the first school in Canada to offer an architecture program (founded in 1890),[2] and was one of the first in Canada to offer a landscape architecture program (founded in 1965).[3] In 2008, the Faculty changed to its current name — the “John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design” — to acknowledge a sizable donation made by benefactors John and Myrna Daniels.[4] Following an additional gift from John and Myrna Daniels granted in 2013, the Daniels Faculty announced its plans to rehabilitate the One Spadina building into a headquarters for all facilities and programs associated with the Faculty.[5]


Headed by a well-known engineer named C.H.C. Wright, the Department of Architecture was established at the University of Toronto in 1890, making it the first architecture program in Canada and one of the earliest on the continent. The Department started as an affiliation with the School of Practical Sciences, and offered a Bachelor of Applied Sciences. In 1922, the undergraduate degree was changed to the Bachelor of Architecture and a Master's of Architecture degree was initiated. After this change was made, architectural instruction at U of T rapidly achieved its own identity. By 1931, an official School of Architecture was established, and courses in Landscape Architecture and Town and Regional Planning were included in the roster. After a 44-year-long term, C.H.C. Wright handed over administration of the School to Colonel H.H. Madill in 1934. Limited first-year enrollment was introduced to the School in 1959, after an increase in applications to the School's programs following the return of citizens involved in World War II. Dr. Thomas Howarth was appointed as Director in 1958, and brought about many changes under his leadership. The School opened up its course offerings to include related fields: a two-year Master of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning was established in 1963, and a Division of Landscape Architecture was established in 1965 that introduced a new Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree.[6]

In 1961, the School moved to its long-term home at 230 College Street where facilities were developed to accommodate students and faculty members: a library, a construction laboratory, a workshop, photography darkrooms, exhibitions areas, lecture and seminar rooms, and well-lighted studio spaces. In 1967, the School was granted faculty status with three departments: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning. The Faculty experienced a risk of dissolution in the 70s, but returned to its establishment as the Faculty of Architecture in 1980 under the appointment of Dean Blanche Lemco van Ginkel. Shortly afterwards, George Baird was appointed as Acting Chair following the resignation of Antonio de Souza Santos. The Faculty was under threat of closure from the Provost for the first half of the 80s, but settled as a School after faculty members, the profession, the local community, and the broad architectural academic community defended the field of study to remain at U of T. Within this new framework, Anthony Eardley was appointed Dean, and shared responsibilities of Program Chair with Steven Fong; this assignment lasted until 1997 when Larry Wayne Richards assumed the role of Dean and Chair of the Architecture Program. Richards created a divisional plan for the Faculty, which was approved by the University's Academic Board, that implemented five new academic programs: an undergraduate Major in Architectural Studies, jointly with the Faculty of Arts and Science; a trio of Master's programs in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design; and a small Ph.D. program in Architecture. Following the approval of this plan, the Faculty officially changed its name to the "Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design" in 1998. Ten years later, John and Myrna Daniels made a historic gift of $14 million to the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. The gift established an endowment for financial aid to students, and also launched the implementation of the expansion and renovation of the Faculty’s building. In recognition of the gift, the Faculty’s name was changed to the “John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design”.[7] Richard M. Sommer became Dean of the Faculty in 2009, succeeding George Baird.[8]

Following an additional donation by John and Myrna Daniels in 2013, the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design revealed its plans to shift focus from 230 College to rehabilitate the One Spadina building and incorporate a large, contemporary extension on the northern half of the site.[9] Through a design competition, Nader Tehrani, principal of the internationally acclaimed firm NADAAA, and collaborator Katie Faulkner were chosen to lead the design. Toronto consultants Public Work were chosen as the landscape designers, ERA Architects as the preservation architects, and Adamson Associates as the executive architects.[10]

Degree Programs[edit]

The degrees granted at the graduate level include:

  • Master of Architecture (MArch) (Professional)
  • Master or Architecture (MArch) (Post-Professional)
  • Master of Urban Design (MUD)
  • Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)
  • Master of Visual Studies (MVS):
    • Studio Art
    • Curatorial Studies

In addition to the graduate programs, the Daniels faculty offers a collaborative program in Knowledge Media Design through the University of Toronto's Knowledge Media Design Institute to all masters’ students in the MArch, MLA, and MUD programs. Master of Visual Studies candidates are eligible for a collaborative graduate program in Sexual Diversity Studies.[11]

On July 7, 2016, the Daniels Faculty announced a new curriculum for the undergraduate degrees, beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. This new selection of degrees include:

  • Honours Bachelor of Arts with a Specialist in Architectural Studies:
    • Comprehensive
    • Design of Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism
    • History and Theory of Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism
    • Technology of Architecture, Landscape, and Urbanism
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts with a Specialist in Visual Studies:
    • Studio
    • Critical Practices
  • Honours Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Visual Studies

Daniels Faculty Public Lecture Series[edit]

Each year, the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design presents public lectures, fora, and symposia that showcase leaders in the fields of architecture, landscape, urban design, visual studies, as well as important thinkers and opinion makers in allied fields. The public lectures cover the wide range of approaches taken by professionals and academics who are asking important questions about, and tackling the significant challenges facing, cities and landscapes. These events provide students, alumni, and members of the public with access and insight into the work of esteemed colleagues and visitors to the Faculty from around the globe. Most of the public lectures can be viewed online at the Daniels Faculty YouTube Page.

Notable Lecturers[edit]

Research and Publications[edit]

Modal Cities Theatre and Lab[edit]

Located in the new One Spadina building, the Model Cities Theatre and Lab will bring together cutting-edge urban metrics and immersive visualization techniques, creating an unparalleled venue for research and teaching. Metrics-driven research on cities will inform complex multi-dimensional city models, creating alternate design, planning, and technology-based morphologies for cities. The Theatre and Lab offer the potential to undertake needed research on designing cities holistically, creating a needed public forum to engage new constituencies and instigate new decision frameworks, design options, policy alternatives, and industry solutions.[12]

Institute for Architecture and Human Health[edit]

The new Institute for Architecture and Human Health will draw on the University’s traditional strengths in the health sciences and public policy to develop new ideas for reforming the built environment. It will also research the impact architecture and design have on the quality of patient care, the delivery of health care services, and the creation of more efficient, cost-effective health care facilities. The Institute will anchor a new Masters program in Health Design, which will educate professionals on how to address health care and wellness through innovations in architecture, landscape, and urban design.[13] The Institute for Architecture and Human Health will be established once One Spadina opens to the public in the fall of 2016.

Global Cities Institute[edit]

The recently launched Global Cities Institute (GCI) — under the leadership of newly appointed Director, Professor Patricia McCarney — will help meet the demand for better tools for designing and planning cities by providing globally comparable data, strategic analytics, and synthetic media to model alternative urban futures. The GCI will house the Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF) — a world leading research centre for urban metrics, governance, and policy. Originally established with funding from the World Bank, the CGIF is developing standardized metrics for the global comparison of cities. These metrics are critically important because there is currently no data that conforms to a standardized methodology, which makes comparisons across the world’s cities difficult. Having standardized metrics for decision makers in cities around the world creates a common platform for achieving sound policy and improved quality of life. The GCIF’s database comprises 115 indicators across a standardized set of definitions and methodologies, which enable cities to track their effectiveness on everything from planning and economic growth to transportation, safety and education. The data captured by the GCIF will inform the work of urban researchers, architects, designers, policy makers, developers, economists, and industry leaders the world over, providing them with a common, reliable set of metrics to model and visualize new, progressive forms of urbanization.[14] The Global Cities Institute in currently located at 170 Bloor Street West, but will be incorporated into the One Spadina building.

One Spadina Green Roof Innovation Testing Lab[edit]

Established in 2010 by the Daniels Faculty’s Centre for Landscape Research, the Green Roof Innovation Testing Lab (GRIT) is a state-of-the-art facility for testing the environmental performance of green roofs, green walls, and solar photovoltaic technologies in the Canadian context. The GRIT lab is setting standards and testing policy-based initiatives for the City of Toronto and other jurisdictions. The GRIT Lab consists of 33 green roof test beds, three green walls, a weather station, and 270 sensors connected to over 5,000 linear feet of wiring. Data on soil moisture, runoff, temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar energy, and wind is collected every five minutes. The lab sits currently sits atop of the Daniels Faculty building at 230 College Street, but will later continue its work from a more prominent space atop the landscape pavilions of the new One Spadina building.[15]

The Annual[edit]

The Annual, a publication by the Graduate Architecture Landscape and Design Student Union, is a curated compilation of student work from all graduate programs at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.[16]


Place-Holder, is a graduate student-run journal that is an archive of unseen products, set-aside ideas, and scrapped technologies. Whether they are temporary trends or resilient values, Place-Holder brings this content into the conversation on design and cities. Place-Holder creates a home for that which is otherwise lost — off-hand musings, abandoned models, and interviews with practitioners. It is active catalogue of design, for contemporary use and future reference, and a repository of ideas. The latest edition of the journal was edited by Michael Abel and Mina Hanna.[17]

Shift Magazine[edit]

Shift Magazine is the online blog and the annual undergraduate publication for the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design that showcases student work and the lifestyle of the Architecture and Visual Studies undergraduates.  The current editors are Phat Le and Josie Northern Harrison.

Clubs and Activities[edit]


The Graduate Architecture Landscape and Design Student Union (GALDSU) represents students in all graduate programs at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. GALDSU serves as the liaison with the faculty, administration, other student groups, and professional organizations such as the OALA and OAA.

GALDSU is run by a democratically elected Executive Council composed of the president, vice-president, treasurer, social events chair, health & sustainability officer, and secretary. The Executive Council is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the union. A six-member executive council is elected each year. Two students represent each class by attending monthly GALDSU meetings with the executive council.[18]

In 2013, GALDSU launched the annual GALDSU Health and Well-being survey and report, which catalogues and visualizes the experiences of graduate students. The report provides a platform for discussion of health and well-being within architectural and design education. The initial report, published in 2014 received wide international attention, and was covered in popular blogs including Archdaily and Archinect. It helped catalyze a number of initiatives within the Faculty: the Faculty’s first Health and Well-being Committee, and the renovations to the graduate student lounge.[19]


Established in 2014, the Architecture and Visual Studies Student Union (AVSSU) represents and acts as the official voice of undergraduate students at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Their mission is to help improve student life in the architectural and visual studies programs, and to foster a community amongst the undergraduate students. The AVSSU executives are dedicated to helping ensure easier access to academic resources and general information, providing a direct communication link to the faculty, and working to provide an overall better university experience through social and educational opportunities outside the classroom.[20]

Café 059[edit]

Café 059 is a student café, currently located at 230 College Street, that is under the operation of students from the Daniels Faculty. They serve fair trade coffee, assorted teas, and a selection of snacks and treats. It's a place to meet other Daniels students, get your caffeine fix, and take a break from working on projects. Café 059 also hosts events throughout the school year. The café managers for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year are Josh Kirk and Elly Selby.

Distinguished Alumni and Faculty[edit]


Current Faculty[edit]

Professors Emeriti[edit]

  • George Baird BArch (Toronto), AM (Hon)(Harvard)
  • Carmen Corneil BArch (Toronto)
  • Anthony Eardley AA Dipl (Hons), MA (Cantab)
  • Ants Elken Dipl Ing Arch (Munich)
  • George Hawken BA (Honours) 1969 (Toronto)
  • Douglas H. Lee BArch (McGill), MSc (Illinois), MBA (York)
  • Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, C.M., BArch (McGill), M.C.P. (Harvard), Hon Doc (Aix -Marseille)
  • Peter Prangnell AA Dipl, MArch (Harvard)
  • Larry Wayne Richards BArch (Miami, Oxford, OH), MArch (Yale)
  • Paul Sandori Dipl Ing Arch (Zagreb)

Associate Professors Emeriti[edit]

  • Klaus Dunker Dipl Ing Arch (Hannover)
  • Gerald Englar
  • Edward Fife BLA (RISD), MLA (Harvard)


  1. ^ "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015 - Architecture / Built Environment". QS World University Rankings. 
  2. ^ "History". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  3. ^ "Landscape Architecture". Canadian Encyclopedia. 
  4. ^ "History". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  5. ^ "The University of Toronto to transform an iconic Toronto landmark into the new home of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  6. ^ "History". The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  7. ^ "History". The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  8. ^ "Dean's Welcome". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  9. ^ Blackett, Matthew (June 11, 2013). "U of T reveals new design for One Spadina Crescent". Spacing. 
  10. ^ Calvet, Stephanie (June 12, 2013). "Iconic Spadina Building to be Transformed into Architecture School". Urban Toronto. 
  11. ^ "Collaborative Programs". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  12. ^ The Model Cities Theatre and Lab  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Institute for Architecture and Human Health". 
  14. ^ "Global Cities Institute". 
  15. ^ "One Spadina Green Roof Innovation Testing Lab (GRIT)". 
  16. ^ "The Annual". GALDSU. 
  17. ^ "Place-Holder awarded 2016 grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts". John H. Daniels Faculty of Landscape, Architecture, & Design. 
  18. ^ "GALDSU". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 
  19. ^ León, Joël. "GALDSU Mental Health Report". Joël León. 
  20. ^ "Student Unions". John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. 

External links[edit]