Christopher Hume picks the best architecture of 2012
20 Dec 2012

Given the amount of construction underway in Toronto, it’s no surprise architecture looms almost as large as the towers its practitioners produce. These days, however, those towers are overwhelmingly residential, not commercial, as they would have been decades ago.

High-rise condo architecture has steadily improved, and now interesting things are starting to occur in midrise residential, a form that historically has not fared well in the city...projects such as Market Wharf and Clear Spirit in the Distillery District, both by Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance, have brought a new level of urbanism to condo architecture.

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Cathedral Centre, St. James Cathedral: The smart architect approaches a job like this one with trepidation. After all, you don’t mess with one of the city’s oldest and most impressive cathedrals without a heavy sense of responsibility — and a light touch. Regardless, the exquisite glass pavilion designed by Peter Clewes for the Parish Hall at the north end of the site is a marvel of simplicity and crystalline beauty. Clewes’ modernism and the cathedral’s Gothic revivalism couldn’t be more dissimilar. Yet the one complements the other effortlessly.