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Announcing the 2011 Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Eb Zeidler’s contribution as an architect, planner and city builder dedicated to improving the public realm spans the length and breadth of Canada over more than four decades.  

Although his firm’s designs have won considerable professional acclaim - Eb was awarded the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Gold Medal in 1986 and last year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Academy for Design and Health – the popularity with the general public of important iconic projects like Ontario Place (1967-1971), Toronto’s Eaton Centre (1977-1981) and Canada Place in Vancouver (1986) have put Mr. Zeidler in a class of his own.  Few architects can claim success in as many different categories of building – commercial, residential, entertainment, healthcare, education and places of worship.  If there is a common theme, however, it is the prominence his approach to design has given to the human scale – which ensures that buildings large and small fit into the urban fabric and place a priority on ease of pedestrian access.   Whether it is a high activity atrium in a children’s hospital or an innovative master plan for a major university, Zeidler’s philosophy of planning and design has consistently focused on creating opportunities for stimulating, authentic urban spaces.

Eb Zeidler’s work also includes many restoration projects that have helped nurture cultural initiatives, not just in Canadian cities but internationally on several continents.  In his adopted home town of Toronto, Eb’s close ties with the arts community led him to play a key role helping Toronto Artscape become established in Toronto’s Distillery District.  Restoration of the Gladstone Hotel is another example of his influence – as different in scope and scale as it is possible to be from the Trump Hotel in the downtown core – one of his current projects.  His stunning re-imagining of the Queen’s Quay Terminal on Toronto’s waterfront in the 1980s is another example of how intelligent adaptive re-use can be effectively harnessed to inspire and stimulate urban vitality.

Eb Zeidler’s vision and insights into the intricate workings of the urban fabric have also influenced how decision makers view the infrastructure that keeps cities moving.  Whether it is finding ways to open up the “teamways” under the railway viaduct that separates Toronto’s downtown core from the waterfront or proposing innovative solutions to building over an expressway that divides neighbourhoods in the city’s north end, Eb Zeidler is constantly working to improve the urban experience.

The awards ceremony to honour this year’s exceptional urban leaders will be held on June 9th from 5-7:30-pm  at the Liberty Grand.  (Exhibition Place)  To see a complete list of this year's award recipients, please visit our website here. Join us for an hour of cocktails at this at at this beautiful lakeside location, followed by the ceremony, where guests will enjoy a diverse selection of Chef''s platters.

For more information about this year’s Urban Leadership Awards Program and to buy tickets for the ceremony, please visit our website at

About the Urban Leadership Awards Program

Since its inception in 2004, the Urban Leadership Awards program has been paying tribute to individuals, groups and organizations that have made a profound and lasting impact on the quality of life in Canada’s cities and urban regions.

The awards program is also a fundraiser for the Institute in support of our internship program, dedicated to providing undergraduate scholars with practical work experience.

For more information, please visit or contact Glenn Miller, Vice President of Education and Research with the Canadian Urban Institute at 416 365 0816 ext 284.