17-25 Broadway Ave and 70 Roehampton
Type: New construction
Size: 156,000 sf
Project Cost: $52 million
—Toronto District School Board
Status: Opened in 2010
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) North Toronto Collegiate Institute / Republic integrates a four-storey high school with two 24 and 27-storey condominium towers that contain 450 units. The development includes a new football field and an underground parking garage. Before undertaking a planning process in 2003, the high school had fallen into disrepair and was one of the oldest buildings in the TDSB system. Although renovation was originally favoured, a limited school board budget meant that external funding sources were needed. The redevelopment is the result of a public-private partnership between the TDSB and the developer Tridel in which the old high school was demolished to make way for new development. The state-of-the-art school is now used by over 1200 students and features a roof garden, 600- seat theatre, library, and triple gymnasium.
Complexity / Collaboration
Community opposition to the sale of public land led to a participatory planning process to engage stakeholders. Heritage issues were also a concern. A key feature of the project is the integration of a ‘heritage courtyard’ at the centre of the building, where historically significant elements of the original building were rebuilt. During construction the school remained open because the new building was built at the location of the old sports field.
User Interaction / Partnership Framework
The tower and podium model allows for the functional separation of building users. There are no unsupervised connections between the school and condominium. Parking is in separated lots and entrances are on diﬀerent sides of the building. A new pedestrian walkway links the components of the site and gives a public mid-block connection between adjacent streets.
Costs / Funding
The redeveloped school was funded by the sev- erance and sale of land on the existing 5.2 acre school site combined with investment from the school board. Tridel bought 0.7 acres of land from the TDSB for $23 million.
High rise schemes in the neighborhood at the time were facing significant opposition. The TDSB undertook a lengthy community engagement process to build trust and public support.
TDSB’s North Toronto Collegiate Institute is the first public school in Toronto to be involved in a public-private partnership. This along with extensive comunity participation makes it a model for other school sites.