After I landed in Vancouver yesterday, I opened up my inbox and found a cease and desist letter on behalf of the Ontario Association of Architects. The OAA had an issue with me using the following text description on my blog: “I’m an architect-trained and tech-obsessed real estate developer based in Toronto.” More specifically, they had a problem with “architect-trained.” They were of the opinion that I was “holding myself out as an architect.”
When I wrote that text description many years ago, I was actually trying to be sensitive to the fact that, because I’m not licensed, I’m not allowed to refer to myself as an architect. I hold a professional master’s degree in architecture, but I do not hold a certificate of practice in Ontario. The text description I chose was actually meant to communicate that I’m a real estate developer who cares deeply about and sees the value in great design.
The OAA and their lawyers clearly read it differently. So I have removed the derivative “architect” language from this blog. Frankly, it’s not a big deal to me. And in the almost 6 years that I have been writing this blog, I don’t think anyone has ever reached out to me thinking that I was a practicing architect. To be clear: I am not an architect. In case any of you are curious, here is a copy of the letter that I received.