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Lebovic Jewish Community Campus wins Urban Design Award
Daniel Horowitz

Although the new Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus won’t be officially opening its doors until 2008, its visionary and cutting-edge design and architecture is already garnering rave reviews from the city of Vaughan.

Guela Solow-Ruda, the architect behind the campus – an initiative of UJA Federation’s Tomorrow Campaign – and her company, ARK-Petroff, were recently named as the recipients of a Vaughan Urban Design Award.

The bi-annual award recognizes local development initiatives that exemplify excellence in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture while contributing to the positive image and identity of the city.

The Lebovic Campus – which will cover 50 acres of prime real estate on the corner of Bathurst and Weldrick, north of Rutherford Road, will include schools, community agencies, recreation and fitness facilities, as well as plenty of welcoming open spaces.

The Tomorrow Campaign, chaired by Gerald Schwartz and Larry Tanenbaum, is the largest not-for-profit Jewish community infrastructure project in North American history with a goal of raising more than $250 million for three Jewish campuses in the Greater Toronto Area.

“I’m honoured to receive this wonderful award because it represents recognition by the municipality of the excellence that was achieved from the integrated design process,” said Solow-Ruda. “It puts UJA Federation in a wonderful leadership position.”

“The biggest question we had while judging the merits of the Lebovic Campus was how to judge something that had yet to be built,” said Frank Miele, commissioner of economic technology development and communications with the city of Vaughan. “Basically, it won the award because of its design vision for the community and its diverse range of uses for people of all ages and backgrounds. The master plan demonstrated an intelligent treatment of a complex and challenging project. Its design - which includes buildings that also form courtyards, parks and playing fields - is unique in its vision and functionality.”