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Bruce Kuwabara receives honorary degree from the University of Toronto

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June 27, 2024

On June 20, founding partner Bruce Kuwabara received an honorary degree — a Doctor of Laws — from his alma mater, the University of Toronto (U of T), “for his superlative architectural and design sensibility, and for his outstanding contributions to the university.” 

“It was here, at the School of Architecture, where I developed a passion for life-long learning and forged many life-long relationships” he said, reflecting on this honour. “The idea of the university, and particularly the University of Toronto, as a place of learning and research is central to my life.”  

A Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medalist and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Kuwabara has led the design of 14 of KPMB’s 18 Governor General’s Award-winning projects. In 2014, he received the Lifetime Design Achievement Award from the Ontario Association of Architects for his “career-long contribution to Architectural Design Excellence.” 

“We have a collective responsibility as architects, landscape architects, urban designers, visual artists, and foresters to engage with the issues of our time,” he said to the graduating class, encouraging them to find the “social purpose” in their careers. Those who do that, he said, “will become the leaders who make the world we want, a just society which is essential to democracy.” 

His portfolio spans arts and culture, education, healthcare, housing, and mixed-use development, and includes projects like the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at U of T; Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital and the CAMH Discovery Centre, both winners of the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence; and Gardiner Museum and Remai Modern, both winners of the Ontario Association of Architects’ Design Excellence Award. 

A devoted supporter of the next generation of Canadian architects and designers, Kuwabara has lectured at several schools in Canada and the United States, including Harvard University, Cornell University, the University of Waterloo, and U of T.  

In 2023, he donated 900 books from his personal collection that positively impacted his architectural career to the library at the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University. 

Watch his full remarks here.