TO Live & CreateTO


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TAWAW role

Design Contributor

architect of record

Hariri Pontarini Architects, LMN Architects, Smoke Architecture, and SLA




Tawaw reimagines this Centre for the Arts as a testament to cultural diversity, inclusivity, and respect for Indigenous traditions. The design embraces the principles of Maamwizing, the Anishinaabe term meaning “coming together” or “collaborating together.” It serves as a cultural hub where diverse audiences and artists can gather and celebrate.




In line with the spirit of Maamwizing, the design honors the Indigenous treaty agreement symbolized by the Dish with One Spoon, representing peace and cooperation among Indigenous nations in the Great Lakes region. The design reflects Tawaw’s deep understanding of the Indigenous communities’ needs and aspirations, addressing the gaps in services and programming experienced by Indigenous creatives in Toronto. The building’s façade is inspired by the visual intrigue and unifying nature of the Wampum belt, an iconic Indigenous symbol. 


number of community engagements


Collaborative Space

Through these design considerations, the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts becomes a vibrant and inclusive space that honors the diverse Indigenous cultures of the area while fostering a sense of belonging and authenticity for maximum creative expression.


Honorary Fellow

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is proud to announce that Wanda Dalla Costa, a prominent Indigenous voice and practitioner in North American architecture, has been awarded honorary fellowship for 2022. Wanda Dalla Costa is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and was the first First Nation woman to become an architect in Canada. Her firm, Tawaw Architecture Collective, is based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the director and founder of Arizona State University’s Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program that brings together tribal community members, industry and multidisciplinary teams of university students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities. Dalla Costa is a prominent Indigenous female voice within the architectural profession–specifically within the academic sphere in North America.

YBCA's 100 Honorees: Wanda Dalla Costa

Indigenous Design Collaborative's founder and design director Wanda Dalla Costa was recognized as YBCA 100 list of change makers and cultural activists working at the intersection of art, social change and civic life.

Trailblazer Award: Wanda Dalla Costa

Presented this year as part of NZ20, the world's largest net zero conference and expo, the Trailblazer Awards celebrate leaders who are building a net zero future through their work in the carbon, energy, water, waste, transit and/or policy sectors.

St. Lawrence Center Competition Award 2023


Jeff Harnar Award
Unbuilt Architecture 2021