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Banff Springs Hotel - Faimont Banff Springs - Bruce Price 1888 - 1928 Walter S. Painter

Banff Springs Hotel (built 1928, replacing the original from 1888 – both designed by Architects hailing from the United States), now the Faimont Banff Springs. Image Credit: Banff Springs Hotel.

What is Canadian architecture? Thursday night’s book launch of Canada: Modern Architectures in History, by Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe and Michelangelo Sabatino, hosted by Infom Interiors, was enlightening. The speaker (Liscombe), noted his hesitation to write a book that categorizes architecture by the national borders within which it is found – architectural ideas and climatic conditions have little concern for the invisible lines separating one country from another.

Liscombe continued by suggesting the classification of architecture by country was in fact a worthwhile pursuit, as the differences in political forces within borders can cause unique architectural elements to form in ways not found anywhere else.

July 1st marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, a small dimple in roughly 13,000 years of human cohabitation with this land. What will the idiosyncrasies of our confederation’s next 150 years bring our architecture?  Tipis, long houses, Pier 21, Banff Springs Hotel, the Canadian Parliament Buildings, the Ogden Federal Elevator, the Spiral Tunnel, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Habitat ’67, Toronto City Hall, the Museum of Civilization, Seabird Island Community School, Ghost Laboratory: what is Canadian architecture?