Prominent Heritage Conservation Architect Appointed to Order of Canada

Left: Vimy Memorial via juliansmitharchitects.caRight: Photo of Julian Smith by Jonathan Castellino

Monday, January 2, 2017


Heritage Ottawa warmly congratulates heritage conservation architect Julian Smith on his appointment to the Order of Canada.

During his long and distinguished career, Julian's work has contributed enornomously to the advancement of Canadian heritage conservation.

Julian served as Chief Architect for the National Historic Sites program while employed at Parks Canada, where he also helped to design and implement the Federal Heritage Buildings Review program. After establishing his own architecture and planning practice in 1987, his many heritage projects included restoration of the Vimy Memorial in France, the restoration and rehabiitation of the Aberdeen and Horticulture Buildings at Lansdowne Park, and the adaptive reuse of the Lister Block in Hamiltion.

His planning work has included heritage conservation district studies for the Byward Market and the village of Rockcliffe Park, as well as management and landscape plans for the Central Experimental Farm, Rideau Hall and Parliament Hill.

"The work in helping save the Byward Market back in the 1980s is something I’m particularly proud of because I don’t think many people realize that the plan was to demolish the 30 square blocks and just build a lot of modern buildings in that area" said Julian in a recent interview with Canadian Geographic magazine. "It was a real last-ditch chance to try to save something of that whole area of the city. They decided to stop demolition for one year to let us do this study and come up with any reasonable arguments as to why we shouldn’t allow the demolition to continue. It was a very complicated, tough environment, both politically and philosophically. I remember the Ottawa Citizen wrote an article saying it was ridiculous to think anything good could emerge out of the Byward Market from all those old buildings that were falling down anyway."

In 1988, Julian's interest in education led to his creation of the master's program in heritage conservation at Carleton University. More recently he was involved in development of the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts and its Centre for Cultural Landscape.

Julian has served on the Board of Heritage Ottawa, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Queen Elizabeth II  Golden and Jubilee Medals, the National Trust's Gabrielle Léger Award and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario's Eric Arthur Award, both for Lifetime Achievement.

Created in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service, the Order of Canada is one of our country's highest civilian honours. The newest group of honourees, announced on December 30 by Governor General David Johnson, will be recognized at a future ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Congratulations, Julian!


Read an interview with Julian Smith in the September 2016 issue of Canadian Geographic Magazine.