Skip to Content
View site list

Profile

Pre-Bid Projects

Pre-Bid Projects

Click here to see Canada’s most comprehensive listing of projects in conceptual and planning stages

Projects

New Lawrence Heights community centre designed to reflect the land it will sit on

Angela Gismondi
New Lawrence Heights community centre designed to reflect the land it will sit on
CITY OF TORONTO PRESENTATION/CS&P SCREENSHOT - The architects are CS&P Architects Inc. and Two Row Architect and the landscape is being designed by PMA Landscape Architects Ltd. Other members of the consultant team include LEA Consulting LTD (structural); Smith & Andersen (mechanical and electrical); Footprint (energy model/sustainability); MGM Consulting Inc. (civil); LMDG (building code); DEI & Associates Inc. (aquatics); and Ingersoll & Associates (cost consultant). Shown is a design concept for the centre.

A new Lawrence Heights Community Recreation Centre (CRC) in Toronto will reflect the history, character and archeology of the site.

Designed by CS&P Architects and Two Row Architect for the City of Toronto, the centre is a four-storey, 80,000-square-foot structure that will also include a 10,000-square-foot child care centre.

“Working with Two Row Architect on the design and the narrative, we were looking at the archeological assessment of the site. What we found interesting is that this area is tablelands between the Don and Humber watersheds which supported this rich, diverse forest,” explained Ryan Giuricich, an associate with CS&P Architects.

“Cladding at the base of the building relates to the idea of the tablelands or this form coming out of the ground, a rock or stone base. A heavy timber structure sits on top of that which acts as a treehouse-like form within the forest.”

The Lawrence Heights Community Recreation Centre is meant to reflect its location on the tablelands between the Don and Humber watersheds in Toronto.
CITY OF TORONTO PRESENTATION/CS&P SCREENSHOT – The Lawrence Heights Community Recreation Centre is meant to reflect its location on the tablelands between the Don and Humber watersheds in Toronto.

 

New facility part of community revitalization

The project is part of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization project, led by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC).

As TCHC’s largest revitalization project, it will see a 100-acre site south of Yorkdale Shopping Centre transformed into a vibrant, mixed-income community.

The revitalization includes replacing 1,208 TCHC units and building over 4,000 new market units, along with new parks, retail space and roads connecting Lawrence Heights to the surrounding community.

The CRC is part of phase two and is expected to be the centrepiece. It will replace an existing community centre in a different location, which will remain open until the new facility is built.

“The whole 1950s development is being rethought, redeveloped,” Giuricich said.

The new CRC will be located near Varna Drive and Ranee Avenue, north of Flemington Public School.

“Building up to our design, what we looked at was…making sure the building relates to the street, helps to animate the street,” said Giuricich. “One of the challenges of the site is working with that existing school, which in the future will maybe be relocated. So we wanted to locate the building to the north to provide a green buffer for the interim and then in the future phase where there is a park, the centre is then able to relate to that future greenspace.”

The project is part of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization project, led by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). As TCHC’s largest revitalization project, it will see a 100-acre site south of Yorkdale Shopping Centre transformed into a vibrant, mixed-income community.
CITY OF TORONTO PRESENTATION/CS&P SCREENSHOT – The project is part of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization project, led by Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). As TCHC’s largest revitalization project, it will see a 100-acre site south of Yorkdale Shopping Centre transformed into a vibrant, mixed-income community.

 

Design informed by extensive community consultation

The centre will include a six-lane, 25-metre lane pool; a leisure/tot pool; a double gymnasium with raised track; fitness/dance/aerobic studios; multi-purpose spaces and activity rooms; a community kitchen; enhanced youth space; a weight and conditioning room; a social services office; an active rooftop; active outdoor space and Indigenous placekeeping elements.

“A lot of these spaces have also been informed by extensive community engagement that we’ve done, which we’re also in the middle of,” said Giuricich. “Enhanced youth space has come up as a huge focus for this community, making sure that there is a safe, dedicated youth space here is important.”

Food security issues are also a priority for the community.

“There’s a community kitchen and there is also the intent to run a food bank out of this area,” Giuricich added.

While the child care centre will operate as its own separate building, it’s all combined into the same structure. It will have 88 spaces with rooms for infants, toddlers and preschoolers as well as outdoor spaces.

The leftover area on the site will be used for outdoor recreation activities like a community square, a sports court and playground areas.

“The site is fairly tight for this size of building…but we wanted to maximize it as much as possible,” Giuricich explained, adding in addition to the 1950s development of low-rise housing, it also includes the Allan Expressway which divides the site. “We see the (city’s) master plan as making an attempt to try to reconnect the site, create more densification, more clearly defined greenspace and sort of healing the site in a way and our building is tying into that as well.”

In terms of sustainability, the mass timber building is expected to be a net-zero carbon building, meet Toronto Green Standards Version 4. It will also include PV panels, geothermal, a compact building shape, a reduced amount of glazing and a high-performance envelope.

The project is currently in the design development phase and the team is looking to lock down its design in order to move it forward to detailed drawing development which then gets tendered out to contractors.

Construction is expected to begin in 2026.

Follow the author on X/Twitter @DCN_Angela.

Recent Comments

Your comment will appear after review by the site.

You might also like