OAW 2019:

Under water – Weathering the new normal

Sep 30 – Oct 6, 2019


The theme

The word ‘affordability’ itself is somewhat innocuous, however when combined with the concept of housing, it generates varied and strong ideas and opinions. This year’s Ottawa Architecture Week (OAW) will explore this complex issue throughout the week.

For decades, our country has experienced a market-driven approach to housing which has generated stratification within our cities and created a series of counter-points throughout our culture; young vs. mature, community vs. individual, vulnerable vs. wealthy, quality of living vs. material wealth, renter vs. owner, resulting in several problems we’re now facing, including:

  • a lack of affordable social housing for vulnerable and low-income Canadians,
  • a real-estate market that’s created a housing affordability crisis making ownership impossible for many and even the prospect of renting difficult

The complexity and ambiguity creates many questions that need to be answered. What is affordable housing? Or housing affordability? Are they the same idea or completely different issues?  OAW will look to answer these questions and more through a series of talks, tours and a critical examination of affordable housing through an architectural lens.

The time is now for citizens, architects, policy makers, and developers to come together to create a new vision where housing isn’t out of reach. 

Ottawa Architecture Week is an annual week-long festival that welcomes everyone to explore architecture, urbanism, art and design in Ottawa. It is presented by the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA) with the help of local volunteers and businesses.

Let’s start the conversation. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


About OAW

Ottawa Architecture Week is a public forum that explores the ways in which architecture and urban design affect our daily lives. Throughout the week, we celebrate the role of architecture and the related trades in a way that is fun and engaging. We strive to bridge the gap between the architectural community and the public, in order to facilitate a constructive dialogue on the relationship between the built environment and Ottawa’s people.

Each annual edition is curated around a trending theme relevant to the architectural profession and the Ottawa–Gatineau community as a whole. The program features a variety of public events that include talks, exhibitions, installations, workshops, film screenings, tours, and panel discussions.


About ORSA

Ottawa Regional Society of Architects is a non-profit volunteer organization that represents the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) within the community. ORSA works to raise the profile of the architectural industry and has given voice to the local architectural profession for over 100 years.

ORSA Membership includes registered members of the OAA, as well as people involved in related industries. ORSA also welcomes members of the general public who have an interest in architecture and want to further their involvement in the architectural community.

ORSA is committed to presenting an informed opinion on issues affecting architecture in the National Capital Region, as well as to increase public awareness of the social importance of architectural design.

For more information, visit the ORSA website.