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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Headlines (News Releases)

Recruitment & Admissions Office - Waterloo Campus

Joint Laurier-YMCA athletic facility earns prestigious architecture award

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Feb 16/12| For Immediate Release


Kevin Klein, External Relations Coordinator
Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford campus
519-756-8228 ext. 5753 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

BRANTFORD – The design for the future Laurier-YMCA athletic facility in Brantford has earned Cannon Design a prestigious Progressive Architecture (p/a) award from Architect Magazine. The facility design was one of 10 selected for its “invention and innovation” from among hundreds of submissions from around the world.

The joint Wilfrid Laurier University and YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford facility is designed to be a community athletics and recreation centre with gyms, pools, meeting rooms and other spaces to be used by students and the broader community. The community partnership involves Nipissing University, Mohawk College, the City of Brantford, Six Nations Elected Council and Six Nations Polytechnic.

Cannon Design focused on themes of memory, movement and landscape in its integrated design. The designers describe the facility as an “elongated bar anchored by subterranean volume” that will offer the public a “unified and cohesive experience that asserts a new identity to the block and city as a whole.” In their commentary, the Progressive Architecture award jurors also recognized the design for its positive urban contributions.

Lesley Cooper, acting principal/vice-president: Laurier Brantford attended the Progressive Architecture award ceremony Feb. 16 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City with Andrew King, project design principal from Cannon Design.

“We take great pride that this incredibly unique facility design has been recognized with such a prestigious international award,” said Cooper. “We see the positive impacts the facility will have on Laurier, the City of Brantford and our partners, and believe it will be a landmark in downtown Brantford for years to come.” 

“We are delighted to hear that Cannon Design has received this prestigious award,” said Jim Commerford, president and CEO of the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford. “A new athletics and recreation centre is an important part of the downtown core’s continued economic growth, and we are pleased to be a partner in meeting the future health and wellness needs of Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations residents.”

The design of the project was funded in part through a grant from FedDev Ontario. In July, 2011, the Government of Ontario announced $16.7 million in infrastructure funding toward the estimated project cost of $58.4 million. Brantford City Council passed a motion on Feb. 6, 2012 approving in principal a contribution of $5.84 million. The municipal funding supports an application for $16.7 million in federal funding, which is currently being reviewed by the Government of Canada.

For information about the proposed Laurier Brantford/YMCA Athletics Complex, including artist’s renderings, please visit the project website:, which will be updated as new information becomes available. To see the design in Architect Magazine, visit:


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