Architect Jack Diamond, whose stylus designed the Four Seasons Center, the Museum subway station, the Richmond Hill Central Library and the Holy Flower Synagogue, died Sunday afternoon, according to a press release from Diamond Schmitt. Born in South Africa, Jack Diamond studied architecture before going to Oxford to study politics, philosophy and economics. He then moved to Philadelphia in the early 1960s, then came to Toronto. He started working as an architect in 1968.
His experiences of apartheid in South Africa left an indelible mark on him. His business partner Don Schmidt believes that despite the decision to leave South Africa, the architect has retained a sense of activism. His friend explained that he was fighting against inequalities and the feeling of racism in our society.
He has always been an activist because he is always looking for solutions that can benefit the community. Don Schmitt explained that all these questions, his interest in human rights and his personal investments made him an architect, but also more of a person. He added that Jack Diamond has been a leader in Toronto for the integration of infill housing to strengthen at-risk communities.
He demonstrated the social and economic benefits of the exchange. It shows the negative impact of suburban expansion on public transport, service costs, social cohesion and the environment, Don Schmidt’s press release read. Jack Diamond will also make his mark outside of Toronto. His work can be found in the Israeli Foreign Ministry building in Jerusalem, the Mariinsky II Opera House in St. Petersburg, and the University of British Columbia Medical School.
During his career, he was also a Gold Medalist from the Royal Canadian Architectural Institute and a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. One of his latest projects is the design of the British Holocaust Memorial in London.
In his speech at the 2014 Toronto Heritage Awards, Jack Diamond stressed the importance of a long-term vision for urban development. Our leaders do not understand this and continue to cut taxes. He explained that I think we need to raise taxes, not cut them. Now there is a mentality that is only a slogan and a negative form, not a statement of fact. A good policy must be based on concrete facts. Democracy needs well-informed voters.
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