The Next Big ThingMississauga Urban Design Awards 2023
The awards are a celebration of excellent design in our city. Nominate an innovative, dynamic, trendsetting urban design project that’s transforming our community.
Submissions close on April 14, 2023
About the awards
Mississauga is emerging from a period of transition. Once a collection of villages, the city has matured into a vital and connected urban community and it took careful planning and ambitious design to get here. The City set out a bold vision in our Strategic Plan to inspire the world as a dynamic and beautiful global city for creativity and innovation, with vibrant, safe and connected communities.
Established in 1981, the City has the longest running Urban Design Awards program in Ontario celebrating accomplishments in design for over 40 years. In 2023, the City is celebrating the Next Big Thing: design that is forward thinking, innovative and bold.
People’s Choice opens
People’s Choice closes
*Exact date to be confirmed
“Design excellence is essential in shaping the identity of our places and raising the quality of life in our communities.”
Sharon Mittmann, Manager of Urban Design
Why you should submit a project
Benefits to nominating a project for the Mississauga Urban Design Awards:
- Nominees are recognized by a community of their industry peers for excellence in design
- Design award nominations are excellent additions to project portfolios and marketing materials
- Winners are awarded a fee waiver to the prestigious 2024 National Urban Design Awards, a Canada-wide celebration of the best in contemporary urban design
- Winners are nationally and internationally recognized as standing shoulder to shoulder with the best in contemporary urban design
Past winners in this prestigious program include:
Absolute World Tower
2013 Award of Excellence
The Absolute World Tower redefined the downtown skyline, and exceeded conventions in residential tower design. The project dared to be different and set the stage for an architecturally sophisticated, cosmopolitan Mississauga (2013 Jury Report)
Mississauga Celebration Square
2011 Award of Excellence
Celebration Square was recognized for being an example for other cities of how to revitalize a central urban space. It has gone on to receive other laurels, including the Rick Hansen award for Accessible Design (2011 Jury Report)
Lakeview Village Public Art Program
2021 Award of Excellence
Located along a multi-use trail, and intended to promote the future use of the site. The integrated art installation contributes to the vibrancy of the public realm. The installation has provided colour and hope during the pandemic and turned into a major tourist attraction (2021 Jury Report)
How to submit a project
To submit a project for the 2023 Mississauga Design Awards, you’ll need to include:
- Exterior photos of the project (minimum of five)
Tip: Projects are best photographed in full daylight (unless nighttime/architectural lighting is a key component for review in the nomination process) and with flora in full bloom. However, it’s not a requirement to include spring or summer photos because the jury will visit each project during the evaluation process
- Brief project description providing the backstory, outlining the project’s urban design merits and its contribution to the City’s design objectives in reference to the judging criteria (150 words or less). Projects do not have to reflect the program theme “The Next Big Thing”
- Names and email addresses of key project contributors
- Signed permission form from the project owner for the jury to visit the project site
- Exterior photos of the project (minimum of five)
- Projects must be complete at the time of submission. If the project isn’t complete, consider submission in 2025
- Owners, architects, designers, landscape architects, developers or others who’ve played a key role in the design, development or construction may nominate a project
- Project owner permission is required to visit the property as part of the evaluation process
- More than one project may be submitted for consideration, so long as all projects meet the eligibility criteria
- Projects must be located within Mississauga
- Projects can be entered in only one category which will be confirmed by the awards committee
- Projects that have been previously nominated are not eligible for reconsideration
- Projects must be submitted by the April 14, 2023 deadline
- The following project types are not eligible: interior design projects, plans, proposals and master plans
Award winners stand shoulder to shoulder nationally and internationally, and are recognized for excellence in design.
The Mississauga Urban Design Awards invites a broad range of nominations, including:
A standalone object, public artwork, small-scale building component or landscape element which contributes significantly to the quality of the public realm.
This includes infill housing, additions, public art on public or private lands, street furniture, light fixtures, canopies, signage, walkways, stairways, or other unique design element.
A building or group of buildings in all types and scales that achieve urban design excellence and is precedent setting for a project of its type. Submissions should address how the project contributes to successful city-building through its contextual relationship, design quality and measures of sustainable and healthy design. Submissions may include residential, employment, commercial, mixed-use, heritage restoration and adaptive re-use buildings, parks, private open spaces, or plazas.
A building or group of buildings that serve the public and are accessible to the public. All building types and scales are eligible.
This includes education, healthcare, recreation, cultural, community, civic buildings, heritage restoration and adaptive re-use buildings, bridges, parks, streetscape, public or private open spaces, plazas, landscaped areas, or stormwater facilities.
Types of awards and judging criteria
The Mississauga Urban Design Awards recognize three awards of distinction. The number of awards bestowed in each category, if any, is at the discretion of the jury.
Award of Excellence
Given to projects that demonstrate excellence across all judging criteria
Award of Merit
Given to projects that demonstrate excellence in one or more of the judging criteria
Healthy by Design
Given to projects that exemplify the six Healthy Community Design elements
The Mississauga Urban Design Awards also includes a People’s Choice Award where the public can vote for their favourite urban design project online.
People’s Choice Award
Given to the project that receives the most public support through online voting.
Every nomination will be reviewed for excellence across several criteria, including:
Considers whether the project contributes to the City’s design objectives as related to city image, visual identity, vistas, skyline, streetscapes, recognition of sites and location opportunities.
Considers whether the project contributes to the quality of the environment within a community which demonstrates regard for the context of the locale, enhancing a sense of place, personal health, and safety, or reinforcing a unique history.
Considers whether the project demonstrates an integrated approach to design which supports environmental and sustainable site and building practices, while providing benefits to the community and supporting active modes of transportation, walkability and green infrastructure.
Considers the degree of creative response to program requirements and site constraints, considering sustainable best practices, including LEED and Low Impact Development, with the ability to influence trends.
Considers the relationship or blending of built form and spaces with existing and planned development, and respect for and enhancement of the area’s character.
Considers the quality of construction materials and the interpretation of design into reality and how it supports the City’s Strategic Plan and the five Strategic Pillars for Change:
- Move: Developing a transit-oriented city
- Belong: Ensuring youth, older adults and new immigrants thrive, ensure accessibility
- Connect: Completing our neighbourhoods
- Prosper: Cultivating creative and innovative businesses
- Green: Sustainability and environmental considerations
Healthy by Design
Considers whether the project contributes to the creation of walkable, sustainable and complete communities by demonstrating inter-related healthy development elements: density, service proximity, land use mix, street connectivity, streetscape characteristics and parking.