Ideas About Projects
Institutional Educational Residential Urbanism Commercial Interiors Public Private

Corporate Commercial

  • Type: Commercial, Interiors, Private
  • Client: Confidential
  • Collaborators: CBRE, Artemide Lighting
  • Size: 60,000 sf
  • Location: St. Catharines, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Photography: Naomi Finlay

This Fortune Global 500 company with about 600,000 staff worldwide engaged DPAI as prime consultant to design a state of the art, modern facility consistent with their brand; one that would reinforce their innovative and strategic position in the marketplace, amalgamating two offices into one centralized location over two floors (60,000 sf) in St Catharines, ON. The project’s mandate created synergies, reduced redundancy and accommodated our client’s rapid growth, while providing spaces that would attract and retain the best talent. A variety of meeting spaces with video conferencing abilities, collaborative spaces, event spaces, yoga studio, innovations showcase, reception, cafe with a fully equipped cafeteria style break area, games room, mother’s and wellness rooms, prayer room, all gender washrooms, universal and barrier-free washrooms, training centre, admin and support spaces were provided.


  • Type: Private, Commercial
  • Client: The Seedworks Urban Offices
  • Collaborators: Historia Renovation
  • Size: 1394 m2
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete

The building, dating back to the 1890s, was originally home to the Hamilton Buggy Whip Manufacturing company. When acquired in 2012, siding blocked its expansive windows and the interior was timeworn from its previous uses. The post and beam structure and interior brick surfaces were cleaned of many years of paint and left exposed to reveal the building’s history to its new inhabitants. The second floor is home to downtown Hamilton’s first co-working space and includes two glazed meeting rooms and a central lounge with tiered upholstered seating facing the staircase projection wall. Along the western and southern walls is the kitchen, which boasts clean minimal white counters and a touchdown station running along the length of windows. The lounge and the touchdown station are fully wired, offering secondary working spaces. They also offer great flexibility for holding community events, lunch and learns, movie nights and presentations. Over the course of the last few years, as needs of tenants changed, a separate suite of open and closed workspace was created on the main floor, adding options for private office space to current and prospective users.


2013 Heritage Property Conservation Award, Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee


BUILDING MAGAZINE – Canada, May 2017, Share and Share Alike, The Seedworks Urban Offices.

Real Offices

  • Type: Private, Commercial
  • Client: Real Properties
  • Collaborators: ARC Engineering, Seguin Engineering
  • Size: 190 sqm
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Project Architect: David Premi
  • Project Team: Petra Matar, Patty Clydesdale

This office renovation provides a new home for the property managers of Jackson Square indoor shopping mall, a 40-year-old commercial complex is located in Hamilton’s city core. The existing space was composed of raw concrete and block, initially planned to be a restaurant but was never developed. The space is comprised of two distinct portions, a lower one overlooking the plaza, and double height space towards the back. By carefully reviewing existing drawings dating back to the 1970s, a blocked-in clerestory window was discovered. Opening and reactivating this feature transformed the quality of the space.

The client shifted from a private office model to an open plan design. The program included a private meeting space, board room, visible reception point with access control and gathering area. The space was designed to have the communal and public functions facing the plaza, with the private office functions occupying the double height space in the back. The open plan office is symmetrically laid out with desks installed against the existing concrete block walls. The bright red Jackson Square brand colour is strategically placed throughout the space on furniture upholstery, linear acoustic panels and in the alcove on the back wall. Baltic Plywood panelled walls and millwork provide warmth and bring natural elements to the space..

Grant Thornton

  • Type: Commercial, Interiors, Private
  • Client:Grant Thornton
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete

DPAI led the interior design, FFE, tender and contract administration services for Grant Thornton’s (GT) Hamilton branch. Project goals included creation of an interior space befitting GT values, provision of client engagement, entertainment opportunities, and ultimately a space that has a transformative effect on and supports greater connection between team members and clients. This budget friendly interior design project modernized the space with minimal demolition or revision to the interior architecture, maintaining a balance of open collaborative workspace with enclosed private offices.

A fresh, modern, warm, unique and fun environment with a focus on biophilic elements was created. New modern furniture was chosen to increase sight lines and connection between team members, provide diverse collaboration opportunities, and accommodate various working styles of a team who often work varied hours throughout the year. A fresh, modern reception area greets visitors with a view to the café work lounge beyond on the main level. The new café work lounge provides bar top workspaces, providing a view to the urban park outside.

On the 2nd level, two new touchdown, quiet spaces, a quiet lounge area with soft seating, and a newly enlarged area with updated kitchen complete with an ice well and live wood harvest table for client and team kitchen parties round out the interior space.

Stanley Residence

  • Type: Private, Residential, Interiors
  • Client: Private
  • Collaborators: Jain & Associates Inc. , MTE Consultants Inc.
  • Size: 3000 sq. ft.
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Photography: Tom Arban

A complete interior renovation of this private residence communicates that a new and sustainable form can be invented while highlighting and celebrating the neighbourhood’s historical legacy. The house celebrates and reminds us of the social importance of the front porch. Its material palette is chosen to be deliberately commensurate with established patterns. The form of the carport and absence of an enclosed garage increases the likelihood of spontaneous contact between neighbours in the few seconds between car and front door. The house is respectful to the context from within as well.

Views from the house’s horizontally oriented windows offer spectacular panoramic views of neighbourhood houses churches and schools that are not commonly experienced by residents. The Niagara escarpment is visible to the north, west and south. It promotes a new perspective. Open living spaces promotes interaction between the resident family and offers a “venue” for community activity.


HAMILTON INTERIORS MAGAZINE – Inspiration Beyond Design, Fall, Stanley Residence
E-ARCHITECT – The Stanley Residence in Hamilton, United Kingdom, February, Stanley Residence
HOME ADORE – Private House in Hamilton by DPAI, USA, March, Stanley Residence

The Hambly House

  • Type: Private, Residential, Interiors
  • Client: Private
  • Collaborators: Toms + McNally Design, Mantecon Partners
  • Size: N/A
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Photography: Revelateur Studios

The Hambly House is a rare example of 1930s Streamline Moderne architecture in Hamilton, and one of only a handful of Art Moderne houses in Ontario. Since the purchase of the house by its new owners in 2012, dpai worked with the clients to design a full restoration with an additional second storey wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass. The renovation respects the original character and detailing of the designated heritage house while celebrating its contemporary spirit with a bold addition. The interior has been completely refinished and clean, minimalist custom millwork was designed throughout the house. The dining room addition at the rear opens the house to the backyard and celebrates views of the 300-year-old maple tree.


2015 Award of Excellence in Architecture, Hamilton Urban Design and Architecture Awards

Warehouse Office

  • Type: Private, Commercial, Interiors
  • Size: 2,000 SQFT
  • Location: Toronto, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Year: 2016
  • Photography: Revelateur Studios

The second floor of a three-storey commercial warehouse in Toronto’s oldest standing row of buildings, is now home to a busy, real estate/design PR Firm. DPAI was commissioned to design a space that enables the firm’s flexible and collaborative work style, while functionally and aesthetically aligning with the firm’s creative philosophy.

The existing textured, minimalist palette was emphasized. A boardroom and a pitch room was carved out with floor-to-ceiling glass partitions. At the back of the space, a new kitchenette opens onto an informal lounge area and a touch-down station was paired with lockable file storage.

The large, custom pendant fixture by Toronto’s Lightmaker Studio was intimately suspended over a modular custom sofa set upholstered in bright, eclectic fabrics. The blackened brass of the pendant fixture echoes the existing steel hoist beam, which lent a helpful hand in the fixture’s installation.

Caroline Medical Group

  • Type: Private, Commercial, Interiors
  • Client: Caroline Medical Group
  • Collaborators: N/A
  • Size: 1393.5 m2
  • Location: Burlington, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Photography: Jeff Tessier

The Caroline Family Health Team of Burlington, with eight physicians, allied health professionals and support staff required more space to house their busy practice. Several ideas were explored through feasibility studies, with the resulting solution to relocate the practice to a more suitable location with a total interior renovation to meet the needs of the clinic. The project explored the adaptation of a specific, user-generated design to an existing industrial “big box” space. The office layout was developed through participatory design workshops which included the entire clinic’s staff and the DPAI team.

Ripple Residence

  • Type: Private, Residential, Urbanism
  • Client: Sonoma Homes
  • Collaborators: Wellings Planning, Adesso Design
  • Size: 35,000 sqm
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: In-Progress

Ripple is a mixed use residential tower proposed to redefine the existing contextual fabric of the site and work integrally with the future park planned for the block immediately to the south of the property.

The building defines a complete edge of the future planned John/Rebecca park, and is designed to create a visually compelling organic backdrop to its activities. The mass of the building is divided into a mid-rise portion on the west and a tower portion on the east which are formally tied with continuous cantilevered balconies around each floor. The curvilinear balcony guards establish a formal horizontality composing the façade as a natural landscape.

The ground floor is transparent allowing direct connection and flow of the commercial uses into the future park. The space immediately outside of the commercial spaces is generous to provide significant opportunity for outdoor patio and retail spaces during favourable weather conditions. These activities will help to activate the north edge of the park with continuous activity. Further emphasizing the connection is proposing transforming Rebecca street into a “Woonerf” condition, where curbs would be eliminated, allowing the building edge to meet a continuous plane of the public space into the park.

The development includes 313 dwelling units, 205 parking spaces on two underground and one above ground levels, 13,000 sf of leasable commercial space, and rooftop amenity spaces. Vehicular circulation for the site has been designed away from the woonerf by designing access via Catharine Street for all vehicles entering the site for parking, loading, deliveries, or garbage removal.

Connect Communities Hamilton

  • Type: Private, Institutional, Interiors
  • Client: Connect Communities
  • Collaborators: Ira McDonald Construction Ltd., Blackwell, CK Engineering Ltd., Adesso Design Inc., A.T. McLaren Ltd, ODAN-DETECH, Terra – Dynamics, Soil-Mat Engineers & Consultants Ltd
  • Size: 3743 M2
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete

Connect Communities, a transitional residence for those recovering from Acquired Brain Injuries or Stroke, implemented a new treatment model in Ontario that assists their residents in a life redesign process. This treatment program’s traditional barrier-free code requirements be creatively avoided or hidden where possible, creating a definitively residential environment. The care facility belies its formal identity to fit within the scale and persona of the residential community it which exists. Boasting 42 bedrooms and ensuites, communal living areas connected by amenity spaces and offices, the facility is complemented by a tangible connection to the landscape and thoughtful access to the surrounding community. A treatment room includes consideration for flooring and equipment as well as a ceiling mounted patient lift to assist in client rehabilitation and fitness programs. Care was taken to provide both privacy to the clients in the treatment room, but also provide views out to the protected conservation lands outside.

The building sits on a slab on grade foundation that respects the protected karst geology beneath. A compressed approvals and construction schedule was aided by a pre-engineered steel structure that is prefabricated and assembled on-site in large panels – saving time, ensuring tight construction tolerances and increasing safety on the construction site.

Cathedral Place

  • Type: Private, Residential
  • Client: Windmill Developments + The Anglican Diocese of Niagara
  • Size: 115 Condominium Units | 10 storeys
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: In Progress

DPAI were engaged by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara to develop a strategy for sustainability of their Cathedral Place site. Fund for upkeep of the historically designated Cathedral were dwindling and a sustainable source of funds were required to save the building. The resultant mixed use development will provide this sustainability. The Diocese has partnered with Windmill Developments from Ottawa, and DPAI have partnered with RAW design from Toronto.

Tiffany Square

  • Type: Private, Residential
  • Client: White Star Group
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Concept

DPAI was approached by White Star Group to create the image for a proposed condo building in a mixed-use development overlooking Hamilton’s west harbor. The terraced form of the building was a response to the development’s context. The slope of the terraces responds to the slope of Bay Street, and celebrates the view of Hamilton’s Bayfront Park and Lake Ontario. The building further celebrates the views with enclosed balconies on the North and West, and open air balconies on the East and South.

The structure includes 9 levels of residential units, 3 levels of parking, including a loading dock. The roof-top level is a proposed retail space with access to a terrace. The residential plaza also includes a gym that overlooks the future mixed-use square.

York Retirement

  • Type: Private, Residential, Institutional
  • Client: Royal Development Group
  • Collaborators: Wellings Planning, Wood PLC
  • Location: Dundas, ON
  • Status: In-Progress

This retirement residence presents an opportunity to retrofit an existing suburban structure to provide a desirable use in a suburban setting. An existing 2-storey L-shaped commercial strip is proposed to be renovated, and to receive an addition of a third wing to facilitate the expansion of an existing 16-unit retirement home to 100 units. To facilitate this expansion, the existing ground floor commercial units will be converted to residential suites, the existing second floor apartments will be re-designed to suit the retirement home’s needs, and a two-storey south wing will be constructed along York Rd.

The proposed addition and renovations will improve the existing L-shaped building’s streetscape presence by adding the missing frontage along the York Rd. property line. In addition, the relatively long building facades will be broken down into components that more appropriate in scale to the neighbouring residential properties by introducing shallow recesses and projections in the south-façade and alternating cladding materials. The addition is proposed with brick veneer in conjunction with metal siding, and the existing brick veneer will be stained to match the new siding.

The addition creates an interior courtyard which will be the primary exterior amenity space for residents. Sheltered on three sides, the courtyard provides both privacy and protection from nuisance noise from York Road. New concrete and unit paving will provide a safe walking surface and create visual interest for the courtyard. Planting beds will separate the several informal spaces within the courtyard allowing for privacy between intimate seating areas and the open dining patio.

Cannon Knitting Mills

  • Type: Private, Residential, Urbanism, Commercial
  • Client: Hamilton Realty Capital Corporation/ Forum Equity Partners
  • Size: 10,000 sqm
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Concept

The Cannon Knitting Mills are a historic complex of industrial buildings in Hamilton, dating back as early as the mid-19th century. The Mills were for generations an economic powerhouse in Hamilton as home to the Chipman-Holton Knitting Co. The buildings’ history is ready to be reclaimed as plans are drawn for its next chapter — as pioneers in sustainable urban growth strategies, DPAI has been at the forefront of envisioning the rebirth of the Cannon Knitting Mills as a community and entrepreneurial hub in the city.

With a footprint of half a city block and rising to three to four storeys, the Mills are capable of housing a diverse and mutually-supporting range of programmatic activity, from live-work studio space opening onto Beasley Park, open-plan office space in century-old brick warehouse, to large public exhibition space and atrium and a brew-pub in the cavernous old boiler room. The complex will be extensively renovated with new sprinkler, mechanical and electrical systems. The existing timber frame structure will be restored and repaired as required. The final scheme will incorporate 90 new residential units with storage and amenity space included. New retail/ commercial space at street level will be incorporated.

The Cannon Knitting Mills looms over Beasley Park: at 110,000 square feet of the richest urban industrial space in Hamilton, the complex of five adjoined brick buildings is poised to be a game-changer in the city’s already-rapid downtown renaissance. With portions dating to the 1850s, the complex stands as a monument to Hamilton’s urban-architectural grace of a rich industrial heritage. DPAI is proud to be leading the ongoing development strategies for this pivotal project.

Gore Mixed Use

  • Type: Private, Commercial
  • Client: Markland Property Management
  • Size: 3417.36 sqm
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: In-Progress

The Gore Block Mixed Use Development overlooks Gore Park in Hamilton’s central downtown core. The proposed development, located at 18-22, 24 and 28 King St. East, will revive and preserve this historical landmark with leasable retail space on the main level with an upper 5 storeys reserved for office space. The development also plans to feature publicly accessible outdoor space and an internal courtyard, contributing to the vision of a pedestrian-friendly downtown.

The proposed structural system is Mass Timber, a rapidly renewable resource. Through high performance envelope design, and innovative mechanical and electrical systems, the intention of the development is to meet the performance criteria of a Net Zero or near-Net Zero building. Access to an underground parking garage will be located on the alleyway behind the building.

The proposed project considers the preservation and renewal of the 4 designated heritage façades that frame the south side of Gore Park. As the most intact historic streetscape on Gore Park, the conservation of the façades will preserve the history and character of these notable buildings. Extensive conservation has been, and continues to be, undertaken by a team of heritage specialists to restore original elements and integrate the façades into the new structure.

DPAI has worked with Hamilton’s City Council, staff, and respective to arrive at a design that best serves the community and satisfies the client.