Internship opportunities for summer 2021

Interested in architecture and heritage? Then take part in one of our internships!

These arts-based internships are open to students at the University of Toronto through the Department of Art History. Offered as a course credit (FAH 481 H1/Y1), these internships are provide advanced students with the opportunity to work with local organizations for a semester or academic session.

We have secured a number of internship placements for the Summer 2021 term for students interested in architecture, architectural history, and heritage. Check out the opportunities below with 401 Richmond, ACO NextGen, The Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, Spacing Magazine, and TO Built!

Interested students should send an application by March 26, 2021 to Dr Jessica Mace ( Applications should include a letter of interest (including any relevant coursework or experience), and a resume. Please indicate to which posting you are applying.

401 Richmond

Urbanspace Property Group is seeking an exceptional undergraduate candidate to work with the organization in the summer of 2021. The organization is eager to connect with students from any course of study who are passionate about urban planning, creative space-making, architecture, design and the Urbanspace Property development mission.

Brief description of organization:

Urbanspace Property Group owns and operates 401 Richmond Street West, a heritage-designated building in downtown Toronto since 1994. As a mission-driven developer and property manager, Urbanspace Property Group’s initiatives are directed toward the preservation and restoration of historic and architecturally significant spaces. The overall goal is to adaptively reuse old buildings to provide commercial opportunities for creative, non-profit and innovation sectors. Urbanspace incorporates sustainable building efforts and a commitment to environmentally sound practices in the restoration, operation, and maintenance of its property. The 401 Richmond complex provides space for artists’, galleries, film festivals, charities, not-for-profits, magazines, architects, theatre groups and design firms and fosters the development of an inspiring integration of commerce, culture, and community. The building’s renewal, more than 25 years ago, was inspired by author Jane Jacobs’ observation that “new ideas need old buildings” and the importance of diversity and mixed-uses in the city.

Description of placement:

We are undertaking a research initiative aimed at capturing an important narrative connected to the contribution of the 401 Richmond facility as a cultural influence in Toronto and beyond. Seen generally as a research and archiving initiative aimed at capturing a now fleeting historical narrative, the project will also serve to provide a platform on which future and ongoing analysis of 401 Richmond’s activity can be conducted. This initiative can be broadly described as an analysis of history, philosophy and architecture as it relates to the activities and tenancy of 401 Richmond Street. Currently, there is a dearth of documentation that preserves the narrative of the 401 Richmond contribution to Toronto’s cultural life. It is anticipated that this initiative would function as a living archive with a dynamic, media-rich and searchable online database as a key component.

Tasks and responsibilities of the placement may include:

  • Conducting historical and present-day research around the function and impact of 401 Richmond Street West as a cultural hub and creative catalyst;
  • Undertake the examination and contextualization of organization’s archival materials, and data from other sources such as press items, related to the general history and record of tenancy at 401 Richmond in an effort to create a detailed, content-rich timeline of the facility’s evolution;
  • Develop and implement an interview strategy that will engage former and current tenants along with select external stakeholders with the purpose of capturing unique narrative that evidences the importance of 401 Richmond as community contributor and nexus;
  • Utilize textual and multimedia approaches to capturing narrative material, which will become a foundation component of a dedicated website presence;
  • Assist in the development of a dedicated website including conceptualization of its architecture and navigation along with content archiving.

Virtual team meetings will take place weekly, and the candidate will work in consultation with the organization’s Curator, Special Projects, who will also provide ongoing support particularly as liaison with tenants and stakeholders.

Special Requirements for a student placed in this organization: Currently, the opportunity is largely expected to take place remotely with the possibility of occasional site visits as permitted by provincial pandemic guidelines.

Timing or hours of placement: 8-10 hours per week.

Architectural Conservancy of Ontario NextGen

The ACO Next Gen is seeking a student intern to contribute to our outreach initiatives, assist with programming, and lead their own research project.

Brief description of organization:

ACO NextGen is a group within the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) dedicated to students and emerging professionals who share an interest in historic architecture and conservation. Since 2011, NextGen has led a series of programs and events for our members, including our annual Design Charrette and Job Shadow Program, Ontario Heritage Conference sponsorships, NextGen Awards, pub nights, building tours and lectures.

The ACO is a charitable organization operating through a network of autonomous local branches in communities across Ontario. ACO has been involved in preserving Ontario’s architectural and environmental heritage since 1933 by helping communities and owners preserve structures of architectural merit, and places of natural beauty or interest.

Description of placement:

We are constantly seeking to reach more students and emerging professionals with the goal of helping them in their careers and creating interest and awareness of the importance of heritage preservation. The intern will help us reach new members through social media, programming, and will have the opportunity to create and lead their own projects based on their interests.

This is an opportunity to learn about working at a non-profit, understand the main players in the heritage sector, and spend time researching, writing, and publishing about their topics of interest. The intern will report directly to the ACO NextGen Chair and work in consultation with the ACO NextGen Outreach Director, meeting regularly to discuss work.

The intern should have strong writing skills, graphic design skills (for social media), and an interest in heritage, history, or architecture. They should be able to work independently and take initiative. We are flexible in working with the interests of the intern.


  • Assist with online outreach and promotion using Instagram and Facebook by creating heritage-related posts, researching news and job opportunities.
  • Contribute to website redesign project.


  • Research topics of choice related to architecture, art, or heritage, in consultation with ACO NextGen Executives, and submitting regular articles to be published on the ACO NextGen Blog.
  • Research organizations in the heritage sector.
  • Contribute findings to the TOBuilt database, if relevant.


  • Assist with the planning and execution of NextGen programming to engage members, including planning heritage walking tours, a speaker series, or NextGen’s annual Charrette.
  • Assist with the development of NextGen Groups at provincial branches


  • Other duties as assigned

Timing or hours of placement: 8-10 hours per week/12 weeks.

Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada

The Society for the Study of Architecture (SSAC) seeks a student intern to help organize its first online annual conference.

Brief description of organization:

The SSAC annual conference is a dynamic forum that brings together historians, architects, professors, heritage professionals, and architectural enthusiasts to discuss all aspects of the Canadian built environment. At the conference, a wide range of topics will be explored using historical and contemporary approaches at the scale of the building, city and wider landscape.

The SSAC is a learned society and registered charitable organization dedicated to the study of the Canadian built environment. It has a varied membership that includes students, historians of architecture, architects, heritage practitioners and cultural planners. Founded in 1974, it has encouraged the collection and preservation of the country’s architectural records, stimulated and supported important scholarly publication, and, through both its members and its Journal, has fostered the understanding and preservation of the built environment. 

Description of placement:

The successful applicant will be supervised by and work closely with the SSAC’s VP Conference, and will learn the basics of event planning and gain insight into the day-to-day running of a not-for-profit organization. The intern will play a key role in shaping the conference and will assist with post-conference activities.

Tasks may include:

  • Researching and/or writing and/or podcasting brief reports on buildings and/or neighbourhoods in Canada
  • Preparing and/or leading virtual tours of historic sites in Ontario
  • Writing brief book reviews
  • Preparing and conducting interviews with architects, historians, and/or conference presenters
  • Contributing to the SSAC newsletter
  • Promoting the conference on social media

The successful applicant will be invited to attend the SSAC conference and all events associated with it, where they will have the opportunity to network with professionals from a variety of architectural fields.

Additionally, the intern will receive all benefits of society membership for one year.

Special Requirements for a student placed in this organization: The ideal candidate would be able to dedicate a large portion of their hours (up to a maximum of 120 hours) in May, as the conference takes place at the end of May. Some tasks will require attention after the conference.

Spacing Magazine

Spacing Magazine is willing to host a highly motivated student intern to produce articles for publication.

Brief description of organization:

Spacing is one of the most unique magazines on Canadian newsstands. The magazine uncovers the joys, obstacles and politics of Canada’s big cities by cutting through the cynicism that often pervades any discussion about urban issues. Spacing pushes readers to think critically about how they can shape the public spaces that surround their everyday lives. is home to regular features, opinion writing, and podcasts. Since 2016, Spacing has published eight books on a range of local topics.

Description of placement:

During the course of the internship, the student would research and write on topics pertinent to Spacing’s mandate. The editor is open to ideas, but topics of interest include the missing-middle, housing, the suburbs, modernism, urbanism, and heritage. The ideal candidate would come prepared with ideas for articles, and would produce a total of three articles, under the guidance of one or two of Spacing’s editors.

If the student has experience with podcasting, there is the possibility that they could contribute to one of its related podcasts.

Timing or hours of placement: Hours per week can be flexible, and would be divided up across the production of the three articles (up to a maximum of 120 hours).

TO Built

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) is looking for an intern to contribute to their TOBuilt database’s ongoing project documenting the city’s missing middle architecture.

Brief description of organization:

The role of the ACO has been to set the stage for conservation advocacy through public education. Our public information efforts have evolved from public events and publishing books and magazines, to development of our most significant research project to date: TO Built, a publicly accessible online database. TO Built offers a means of recording all property in Toronto, including photographs, research, drawings, and links to other, external sources of information. The database is open source and provides an opportunity for anyone with information to share it with others. We hope that consolidating community research will facilitate protection for future generations!

Description of placement:

Internship responsibilities would include photographing, researching and documenting pre-war low-rise apartment buildings, duplexes/triplexes, converted mansions and other buildings which represent a distinct building typology designed to sensitively increase density while maintaining a neighbourhood’s character. Interns will be joining a team of heritage researchers, working alongside city heritage planners and consultants. This is an excellent opportunity for students interested in historic architecture, heritage and urban planning! 

The student intern may also have opportunities to participate in and engage with other ACO operations.

Special Requirements for a student placed in this organization: While most of the internship would take place remotely, the ideal candidate would be based in Toronto in order to assist with photographing Toronto buildings.

Timing or hours of placement: 8-10 hours per week.

More opportunities for Summer 2021 may come available soon. Be sure to check back for Fall/Winter offerings!

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