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February 13, 2018

Submit your registration – 5th annual Student Design Competition

Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) Grand Valley and Toronto Chapters proudly present the 5th annual Student Design Competition, open to all current post-secondary school students in Ontario with an interest in construction-related activities including architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, interior design, construction management, innovative products, and manufacturing.  Each year a site of significant historic, architectural or community interest is chosen as a case study with the potential of aligning with concurrent design studio curriculum.

This year’s theme for the challenge is “Hospitality” and the subject building is 48 Ontario Street, a 15,000+ sq ft building in the heart of Kitchener’s downtown technology cluster.  Recently acquired from the City of Kitchener through a competitive pitch process, the new owner has a vision to repurpose the building in a way that both celebrates its past and guarantees its future.  Voisin Capital  is committed to playing an active role in shaping the Region of Waterloo, the City of Guelph and surrounding communities and is an enthusiastic supporter of student mentorship, partnering with us for three successful challenges.  More about Voisin Capital at

Entries may be submitted by individuals, or by teams consisting of up to 4 people.  While no budgetary restrictions are imposed, design proposals will be judged, in addition to visual and programming content, on their effective use of prescribed materials and (not surprisingly) the strength of their technical specification documentation  Registration closes on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 and the final deadline for submissions is Friday, April 27th at midnight.

For complete details visit the official website at


The CSC Student Design Competition Committee gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the iGuide team, a local Kitchener-Waterloo start-up and emerging leader in real estate technology products with market penetration throughout the world.  The iGuide 3D virtual tour of the main and second floors at 48 Ontario Street (complete with software that dimensions the space), allows us to open up the competition to all students, providing the benefits of a site visit to those unable to travel to the site while eliminating the risks of exploring an unrestored heritage building, particularly liability to Owners and Contractors.

Enjoy the virtual tour of 48 Ontario Street at

The Latest:

Students & faculty from the Ryerson School of Interior Design were welcomed by City Councillor, Sarah Marsh and Raj Saini, MP of Kitchener Centre on Friday, February 2nd during a tour of the site and of downtown Kitchener.  This was the school’s fourth visit to Waterloo Region to experience the local culture and study our architectural, economic and demographic influences.  Their research will inform a case study of the former Bell Telephone Co. building turned Royal Canadian Legion Branch 50, otherwise known as “the Legion” at 48 Ontario Street.  Restaurateur Glenn Smith joined the tour to get reacquainted with the building where back in 1986 he launched an outrageous experiment as a concert promoter and introduced such talented blues artists as Buddy Guy and Mel Brown from (mostly) New Orleans, Detroit and the Chicago area to a new audience in Kitchener-Waterloo. Legendary performances and Sold-Out shows at the Legion Dance Hall animate the story of Kitchener’s love affair with the Blues.  Glenn Smith will be sharing more about the City’s blues roots following the release of a live interview with Martin de Groot shot at the Commons Studio later that afternoon.

Design Competition Backgrounder:

The Design Challenge is a student outreach initiative championed by participating members of Construction Specifications Canada in the Waterloo Region (Grand Valley) – Toronto Corridor with generous support at the CSC National level.  Since 2014, it has opened new avenues of collaboration with post-secondary design schools, and with industry, municipal and community partners.  The success of the first Competition, featuring the iconic Galt Post Office, designed by Architect Thomas Fuller, prompted information requests from other CSC Chapters across the country.  Document templates and guidelines were published in both official languages as a starting point for committees to develop their own localized design challenges, and so, unexpectedly, a new opportunity arose to promote the unique, multi-disciplinary role that Construction Specifications Canada plays in the AEC space, and, more importantly, to raise awareness, early on in a student’s career journey of the necessity of quality specifications in construction documentation; a painful and problematic gap in industry practice.

The winners of this year’s challenge will be announced in May during the annual Grand Valley Chapter Connections Café, an industry networking event where Invited guests from the local construction and design community will join us in rallying around the finalist teams.   The winning submissions will be decided by a panel of select judges with particular expertise in interior design, architecture and construction specifications.  During Connections Café, students will have the opportunity to showcase their work in front of a diverse cross section of AEC professionals while vying for the “People’s Choice Award” decided by popular vote and tallied moments before the Awards Presentation.

We invite you to visit the official website and follow the developing story at