Sandy Nicholson

On Tuesday, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) announced that it awarded its 2017 Gold Medal to the late urban designer and landscape architect Roger du Toit. The award is the highest honor an architect can receive in Canada, and recognizes the contributions the architect has made to the Canadian built environment.

Before moving to Toronto in 1965, du Toit earned his B.Arch. in his birthplace of Cape Town, South Africa, at the University of Cape Town. He then studied for his master’s at the University of Toronto and received his M.Arch. in 1966, when he also joined Toronto-based John Andrews Architects.

CN Tower
City of Toronto CN Tower

In 1975, du Toit established his Toronto firm, Roger du Toit Architects, which is now known as DTAH, du Toit Allsopp Hillier. His well-known Canadian projects include: the CN Tower in Toronto; the Parliamentary Precinct in Ottawa, Ontario; the Wascana Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan; and more than 45 projects at several Canadian universities. During his lifetime, he also completed projects in Australia, Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

In 2015, at the age of 75, du Toit died due to injuries from a bicycle accident. His wife, Sheila, and sons, Rob and Andre, will accept the award on his behalf at the RAIC/Ontario Association of Architects Festival of Architecture in Ottawa in May.

Previous winners of the RAIC Gold Medal include: Brian MacKay-Lyons, Hon. FAIA, principal of Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, in 2015; Peter Busby, Intl. Assoc. AIA, managing director at Perkins+Will, in 2014; Aga Khan, founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, in 2013; Peter Cardew, principal of Peter Cardew Architects, in 2012; Bing Thom, founder of Bing Thom Architects, in 2011; and George Baird, Intl. Assoc. AIA, partner at Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, in 2010.