Firm +



We approach every project with a determination to fulfil and exceed the Client’s needs, to create an extremely functional facility, and to create an appealing design that is suitable for its context.

As each Client’s site and set of requirements are unique, each design must be individually addressed and customized to provide the best possible solutions. We believe in Client Integration, which involves the Client’s participation during each step of the project. This involvement allows for a clear and collaborative understanding of their needs, and fosters a strong mutual commitment to the design. This relationship also provides for the distinctly unique approach to every new project, for every client becomes an involved component in every project.

We stress the team approach, with each member encouraged to contribute to their maximum potential. The main objective throughout the planning process is to develop the ideal solution which satisfies or exceeds our client’s requirements while maintaining budget/schedule control and achieving maximum energy efficiency with an environmentally sensitive design.


The award-winning firm of COLE+Associates Architects Inc. stems from a long history in Ottawa dating back to 1907. Richards & Abra passed the firm onto Balharrie & Helmer in 1956. Helmer and various partners carried the firm until 1986 when Helmer Stranks Cole Architects was formed. Since that partnership was formed, the company has been under the management of David K. Cole, who in 1990 became the company’s sole owner and principal, following the retirement of Helmer and Stranks. In 1995, Mr. Cole and his associates announced the formation of COLE+Associates Architects Inc.

In January 2019, COLE+Associates joined IDEA Inc., a boutique design firm with offices in Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie that offers integrated architectural and engineering services, to become COLE+Associates — an IDEA company.



We provide professional services to meet the needs and requirements of our diverse clients as required to meet the demands of any project. C+A can provide architectural services to complete a successful project on time, on budget and using the most current building design technologies and construction techniques all the while providing strong design advocacy in coordination with our project by project selected specialized multidisciplinary team of consultants.

Budget Confirmation
By-law and Code Reviews
City Approvals
Cost Control
Concept Sketches
Construction Documents
Contract Documents
Construction Management
Construction Field Review
Design Development
Engineering Co-ordination
Environmental Assessment
Existing Building Analysis
Feasibility Studies
Interior Design & Fit-up
Advanced 3d modeling and presentation boards
Project Scheduling
Project Management
Project Studies/Master Planning
Site Evaluations

Client List

AECON Construction
Algonquin College
Brookfield Lepage Johnson BLJC Properties
Brunstad Christian Church
Cadillac Fairview
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Canada Science and Technology Museum Corp.
Canadian Federation of Students
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Canadian Museum of Civilization/History
Canadian Space Agency
City View Curling Club
Canadian War Museum
Cannonbye Construction Ltd.
Carlsson Group
City of Clarence-Rockland
City of Ottawa
Conservation Co-op
Correctional Service of Canada
Dana & Michael Guest
Department of National Defence
Diefenbunker  Museum
Dolyn Construction
EJ SPA Corporation
Environment Canada
Export Development Canada
French Embassy
Giant Tiger
Greenough Environmental Consulting Inc.
Iogen Corporation
Lundy Construction
National Capital Commission
National Gallery of Canada
OC Transpo
Ottawa Inuit Child Care Centre
Ottawa-Carleton School Board
Palladium Insurance
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre
Rivermead Golf Course
Ron Engineering
Royal Canadian Mint
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
SNC-Lavalin O&M
South Glengarry
Taplen Construction
TDL Group Corp
Township of Mississippi Mills
University of Ottawa
Upper Canada District School Board
Village of Casselman