In less than two decades, Toronto’s Railway Lands district has transformed from an industrial waterfront railway yard into a city within a city, aptly named CityPlace. More than 20,000 people call CityPlace home. Most reside in a collection of residential and mixed-use towers. While the district’s vertical living lifestyle is geared for young singles and empty nesters, CityPlace has attracted a surprising number of families.
To meet the growing demand for education and social spaces in the area, the city announced plans for a 158,890-sf, $65 million community campus set among the rising towers. The new Canoe Landing Campus, designed by ZAS Architects, will house spaces for a recreation center, public and Catholic elementary schools, and a childcare center. The campus provides an opportunity for shared community spaces: gardening plots, rooftop basketball courts, spaces for indoor and outdoor play, a community kitchen for canning parties and cooking classes, and a grand lobby for neighbors to meet.
The two schools share indoor play spaces, a learning commons, gymnasium, and educational areas. The outdoor park and community rooms are accessible by all.
A flexible design solution features two- and three-story buildings that anchor the east side of the park. C-shaped planning maximizes solar access while sheltering play areas from the adjacent expressway.
Bisected by a pedestrian corridor, the building connects through an elevated bridge, forming an east-west gateway. One side of this link contains the community center, with a gymnasium and fitness center.
The clients on the project are the City of Toronto, Toronto Children’s Services, Toronto District School Board, and Toronto Catholic District School Board.