Urban Toronto: Shiny New Additions to GTA Campuses
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Urban Toronto: Shiny New Additions to GTA Campuses

A look at two new buildings by Diamond + Schmitt in Scarborough, and one by Shore Tilbe Perkins + Will at U of T's Mississauga campus.

The history, design, and development of building projects, brought to you by Urban Toronto.

Instructional Centre at University of Toronto Scarborough, image by Cicada Design, courtesy of Diamond + Schmitt Architects.


As classes get underway at colleges and universities for the 2011-2012 school year, many students are returning to campuses with major new facilities meant to address the growing need for classroom and other postsecondary academic space in the province.

The University of Toronto Scarborough has seen increasing enrollment, and therefore was in need of new instructional spaces. UTSC hired Diamond + Schmitt Architects and EllisDon to design and construct a new building that would increase classroom space by 25 per cent in two quick years. The resulting triangular Instructional Centre, at the northwest corner of Ellesmere Avenue and Military Trail, presents both glass-and-steel and black-brick facades on either side of an entrance plaza facing the corner.

Not far from UTSC, and closer to Scarborough City Centre, is the Progress Campus of Centennial College (the first college in Ontario to open up under the program set up by former premier William G. Davis). Centennial is the new home of another Diamond + Schmitt beauty, this one also expanding the campus’s classroom space and making a new home for its library behind a rich oxidized-copper-hued brick facade. The library is located behind the serrated edge of north-facing windows. Classrooms and study areas are above, below, and around all sides of the library, encircling the building’s central atrium. Replete with projecting balconies which provide casual study space like at the UTSC Instructional Centre, the Centennial College Library and Academic Centre’s atrium is dominated by a lush biofilter living wall by an Ontario leader in the field, Nedlaw. The wall acts as an air purifier, a humidifier, and a spectacular visual and aural centrepiece for the building.

Last, a stop at the University of Toronto Mississauga, where a number of new buildings of high architectural quality are underway or have been completed in the last couple of years. Most recently opened is the Instructional Centre (photo above) by Shore Tilbe Perkins + Will (now Perkins+Will Canada). This building, most dramatically marked by its patinated copper exterior, increases classroom space at the Mississauga campus by 50 per cent.

Learn more about the new buildings on Ontario campuses here.

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