5 Canadian Architectural Masterpieces

Amazing architecture beyond the CN Tower

When you think of Canadian architecture, the CN Tower might be top of mind. Look beyond the Toronto skyline and check out 5 of Canada’s coolest architectural masterpieces below.

Do you have a favourite Canadian building? Tell us in the comments.

Habitat 67 (Montreal, QC)


(Photo By barnyz. Licensed under Creative Commons via Flickr.)

What originally began as a Master’s thesis in architecture transformed into one of Canada’s most widely recognized housing complexes. Habitat 67 is the brainchild of Israeli-Canadian architect, Moshe Safdie. Years after its conception, it was submitted as a proposal for one of the pavilions for Expo 67, a world fair held for seven months in Montreal from April to October 1967. It consists of 354 greyish-beige cubes stacked upon one another to create a massive sculpture. Today, it holds 146 residences.

Fogo Island Inn (Fogo Island, Nfld & Labrador)


(Photo By Wyatt Clough. Licensed under Creative Commons via Flickr.)

Accessible by ferry, this distinctive inn located on a granite hillside on one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest islands is part of a community revitalization project worth millions. The minimalist design calls on the traditions of Fogo Island by resembling a fishing stage propped up on 50-foot legs. Newfoundland and Labrador native Todd Saunders is the architect behind this 26-room paradise that features a dining hall with an ocean view, bar, art gallery, library and cinema.

Gooderham Building (Toronto, ON)


(Photo By Bob Jenkin. Licensed under Creative Commons via Flickr.)

Toronto’s iconic red-brick Flatiron building predates its more famous New York sibling by 10 years. Completed in 1892, the building was erected as office space for George Gooderham –son of the wealthy William Gooderham – at a cost of only $18,000. William was part owner of the famous Gooderham and Worts distillery. The five-storey triangular monument is equipped with stained glass windows, 12-foot ceilings, and an old-fashion crank-style elevator. It was designed by Toronto architect David Roberts Jr., who often worked on many of the Gooderham commissions around the city.

Royal Canadian Mint, (Winnipeg, MB)


(Photo By Daniel Brock. Licensed under Creative Commons via Flickr.)

The Royal Canadian Mint facility in Winnipeg is responsible for producing the entire country’s supply of circulation as well as coinage from over 70 countries. It was opened in 1976 after much debate over its location. Manitoba native Etienne Gaboury was the architect behind this remarkable triangular state-of-the-art facility. Every year, billions of coins pass through this landmark.

Montreal Biosphère (Montreal, QC)


(Photo By Naquib Hossain. Licensed under Creative Commons via Flickr.)

Like Habitat 67, the Montreal Biosphère was developed as a US pavilion for the Montreal Expo 67. It was designed and created by (self-taught) American architect, engineer and inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller. Fuller championed the idea that we are able to create livable space using one fifth of the materials normally used by incorporating geodesic design. The Biosphere is a geodesic dome – a spherical or partial-spherical structure based on a network of circles that intersect to form triangles. In 1976, an uncontrollable fire destroyed the building’s transparent coating and remained closed until 1990. It has since been purchased by Environment Canada and has become an interactive environmental museum.