Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
Diamond Schmitt Architects employees hold a meeting in the office's library   (Photo credit: Jim Ryce)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2021):

Here are some of the reasons why Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2021):

  • Diamond Schmitt Architects offers learning and development opportunities for individuals at various stages of their careers, from paid internships for recent grads, to in-house Diamond Schmitt University programming to foster ongoing education
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects provides maternity and parental leave top-up payments for employees who are new parents, including adoptive (to 80 per cent of salary for up to 12 weeks)
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects encourages employees to be active in their local communities, providing matching charitable donations along with paid time off to volunteer -- employees also enter their own cycling team in the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Ride for Heart fundraiser and have raised over $260,000 over a decade of riding
Diamond Schmitt Architects employees hold a team meeting   (Photo credit: Jim Ryce)

Employer Background

Industry Architecture
Established in Canada 1975
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON, Vancouver BC
Full-time employees in Canada 301
Part-time employees in Canada 17
Full-time employees worldwide 305
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 6%
Average age of employees in Canada 38 years
Longest serving employee 29 years

COVID-19

Pandemic response utilized the company's 3D printers to make face visors, launched an internal hub to share updates and information on COVID-19, offered virtual and digital resources related to health and well-being

Physical Workplace Rating: B+

Commuter amenities secure/sheltered bicycle parking, nearby bike sharing station
Workplace features located in an early 20th-century industrial loft-style building (which the firm renovated to LEED Commercial Interior standards), the office features exposed brick walls and plenty of natural lighting, a 3D printer modelling room, a newly constructed quiet room (which can be reserved online), expanded bicycle storage (few employees drive to work), sit-stand workstations, nap room, religious observance room, self-serve lunchroom
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, music, television
Snacks available beer, cider, beverages and popcorn for Friday afternoon design meetings, lunch provided every Thursday for special lunch and learn sessions, a variety of festive baked goods during the holiday season, rotating soup days 4 days a week from September to May (courtesy of employees who are responsible for each day and receive a subsidy from the firm)
Other nearby amenities Trinity Community Recreation Centre, St. Andrews Playground (also features an off-leash dog park), seasonal farmer's market, short walk to the Queen Street West shopping district and King Street West theatre district, Scotiabank Arena, Rogers Centre

Work Atmosphere & Communications Rating: A

Employee social committee name Diamond Schmitt Social Committee (est. 1995)
Past social events Chinese New Year, Pride event, summer solstice client appreciation event, social evening outings and pub nights, Diamond Schmitt Mixer (to encourage staff to mingle outside of their work teams), winter ski and snowshoe day (Toronto and Vancouver employees receive a paid day off), annual winter holiday party hosted at a downtown venue, in-house employee band ThunderTruss performs at various company events, tickets for soccer, baseball and hockey games, annual Pi Day (in-house pie tasting competition)
Cultural aspects business-casual dress daily, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, music while working, employee sports teams
Employee communications intranet site, traditional/email suggestion box, internal social media

Financial Benefits & Compensation Rating: B

Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months
Long-term savings matching RSP
Long-term planning retirement planning assistance, phased-in retirement work options, life & disability insurance
Year-end bonuses available to all employees
Referral bonuses (max) new employee referral bonuses (up to $2,000) for some positions
Additional financial benefits profit-sharing plan available to some employees, corporate discount program (e.g. retail, services, travel, etc.)

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits Rating: B+

Health plan note Diamond Schmitt Architects has multiple employee groups, health plans may vary by position
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 75% of the premiums
Flexible coverage health plan is flexible with adjustable premiums and coverage levels
Minimum hours worked for coverage 25 hours per week
Waiting period for coverage 90 days
Family coverage option yes
Retiree coverage option up to 75 years of age
Dental coverage routine
Paid sick days employees receive 8 days off each year
Health plan includes traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs), employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. acupuncture, naturopathy)
Mental health practitioner benefit up to $1,500 each year
Health spending account up to $500 each year
Wellness spending account up to $250 each year
Fitness club subsidy up to $60 each year
Additional health plan information mental health practitioner benefit ranges from $500 to $1,500
Wellness initiatives health and wellness committee (with an operating budget of $5,000 annually), mental health week activities (mindfulness meditation, yoga classes, webinars)
Family-friendly benefits note Diamond Schmitt Architects has multiple employee groups, family-friendly policies may vary by position
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 1 week
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 80% of salary for 12 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 80% of salary for 12 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 80% of salary for 12 weeks
Additional family-friendly benefits phased-in return to work for new parents
Flexible work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, reduced summer hours

Vacation & Personal Time-Off Rating: A

Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Vacation jump vacation increases after 8 years of employment
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 5 weeks of vacation over their career
Paid summer shutdown employees receive 8 days off during the summer months
Paid holiday shutdown during the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 3 days off
Personal paid days off employees can schedule 2 personal days off each year, as needed
Unpaid leave of absence option yes

Employee Engagement & Performance Rating: B

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition online recognition platform, individual performance bonuses, long-service awards
In-house survey period in-house surveys are conducted every 6 months

Training & Skills Development Rating: B+

Career planning in-house career planning services, online employee skills inventory
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, mentoring, in-house training, online training, leadership training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Unique training & development programs depending on the course, tuition subsidies range between 25% to 100%, Diamond Schmitt University internal programming on design, project delivery and practice support (programming developed my a staff committee and advisory group)

Community Involvement Rating: A+

Scope of charitable involvement local, national
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities, employees receive paid time off to volunteer
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 27 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported matches employee donations
Community highlight Employees are encouraged to suggest initiatives and charitable causes that are important to them. The firm endeavours to support all selected charities through direct financial donations or formal fundraising events.

Recognized as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2021):

Here are some of the reasons why Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Top Small & Medium Employers (2021):

  • Diamond Schmitt Architects encourages employees to become recruiters for the firm with generous new employee referral bonuses, up to $2,000, depending on the position
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects starts its new employees with three weeks of paid vacation and offers additional paid time off, with two paid personal days as well as summer and Christmas holiday shutdown days
Employees at Diamond Schmitt Architects hold an informal meeting in one of the company's kitchens   (Photo credit: Jim Ryce)

Highlights

Industry Architecture
Established in Canada 1975
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON, Vancouver BC
Full-time employees in Canada 301
Part-time employees in Canada 17
Full-time employee growth in the past year 30.3 %
Average age of employees in Canada 38 years
Longest serving employee 29 years
Long-term savings matching RSP
Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 75% of the premiums
Flexible work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), compressed work week, reduced summer hours
Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
In-house training initiatives apprenticeship/skilled trades programs, in-house training, online training, leadership training, mentoring, paid internships
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Performance recognition individual performance bonuses, long-service awards

COVID-19

Pandemic response utilized the company's 3D printers to make face visors, launched an internal hub to share updates and information on COVID-19, offered virtual and digital resources related to health and well-being

Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2021):

Here are some of the reasons why Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2021):

  • Diamond Schmitt Architects helps champion the movement towards greener building with over 40 completed LEED projects and an additional 18 LEED registered projects on the go, including two projects designed to meet the "2030 Challenge" to be completely carbon neutral -- or even better than neutral
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects is a leading advocate for the use of living walls and the use of timber in major construction projects, highlighting the advantages of natural materials and the beneficial effects on individual health and well-being on indoor environments
Employees at Diamond Schmitt Architects participated in the 2019 global climate strike  

Highlights

Industry Architecture
Major Canadian hiring locations Toronto ON, Vancouver BC
Full-time employees in Canada 301
Part-time employees in Canada 17
Employee green team sustainable design committee (includes 5 working groups who support research, education, mentoring and peer engagement)
Senior executive who oversees initiatives Chair, Sustainable Design
Green highlights numerous projects have achieved certifications and recognition, from LEED Platinum and Gold certification to Commercial Interiors designation (over 40 projects registered and an additional 18 underway), and numerous projects designed to meet other environmental building accreditations, including 6 Net-Zero (6 projects completed with 5 underway), Green Globes (3 completed and 4 ongoing) and One Planet Living (2 projects), NEDLAW Living Walls (designed more than two dozen living wall filters in projects across North America), advocate for the increased use of wood timber in construction projects (recognizing wood as a renewable building material and positive attributes that contribute to healthier indoor environments)
Noteworthy initiatives committed to the industry's 2030 Challenge that includes a commitment to design all projects as carbon neutral by 2030, founding signatories to the Canadian Architectural Professionals Declare Planetary Health Emergency and Commit to Urgent and Sustained Action initiative (2019)
Building footprint includes leased space has achieved LEED Commercial Interiors standard, showers (with low-flow fixtures), low-VOC materials throughout, energy efficient appliances and LED lighting system, upgrading to new energy efficient servers (from 9 down to 2)
Extended recycling glass, soft plastics, metal, polystyrene, batteries, light bulbs, e-waste, furniture, (organics planned for near future), paper use reduction strategy (incorporates the increased use of a digital project management program for document sharing and 3D visualizations)
Commuter amenities shower facilities and indoor bicycle storage to accommodate over 60 bikes, walk to public transit, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Community partnerships Habitat for Humanity (employee volunteers help to build a house), sponsors the annual Green Building Festival (local industry conference on sustainable design)

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