Main entryways into school
View of classrooms from park
View from Estate House of College School, main entry point
Interior atrium and rear courtyard
Upper corridor, classroom entrances from park

Senator O'Connor College School

Kearns Mancini's design for this project knits together existing school buildings, an existing seminary (formerly Senator Frank O’Connor’s original home and estate) and the suburban fabric of parks and roads that surround the site.

Kearns Mancini was originally retained by the TCDSB to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study that would provide a development strategy for replacing the existing Senator O’Connor High School. After finishing the feasibility study, Kearns Mancini was again retained to design plans for the new school. The resulting project was a multi-year, 23 million dollar complex with phased construction. The facility was designed to be capable of accommodating and adapting to the changing needs of the students, the educators and the local community.

View from park

Comprehensive 3D modelling played a critical role in the project’s early stages of the project and continued to give Kearns Mancini and the client opportunities to explore various finishes, forms and spatial layouts in full detail. The new state of the art facility is capable of accommodating and adapting to the changing needs of the students, the educators and the local community. One of the focuses of the design of the school is the transition of classroom and common spaces on the ground floor towards the outside.


Toronto, Ontario

Completed, 2005

Building Size
150,000 sq. ft.

Project Value
$23.4 Million

Toronto Catholic District School Board

Project Team
Jonathan Kearns, Dan McNeil, Peter Ng, Lucy O’Connor

Steven Evans

View of main entry

The classrooms on the ground floor are framed by a primarily glazed mass, and are oriented towards the Senator O'Connor Estate House in order to create a courtyard space between the two buildings. In order to refract direct sunlight, a series of sun-shading louvers are mounted above the windows, creating a horizontal band along the glazed mass. One of the project’s earlier phases included the construction of a biology lab, a chemistry lab, a physics lab and three general science labs. The labs cover approximately 96 m. sq. in area. In addition to science labs, the school also offers its students five high-tech computer labs. The original Estate House and Coach House, which are heritage buildings, were restored by Kearns Mancini Architects in subsequent phases for future use by the School Board.


Jonathan Kearns is worth his weight in gold in terms of his ability to deal with the community. In our case, this meant dealing with four distinct groups representing the four streets that surround the school. He did a brilliant job of addressing the concerns of each group - even though, for the most part a different group came out to each of the public meetings. One has only to meet Jonathan to understand why his unique blend of intelligence, calm and empathy enables him to defuse fear so that people are then free to see the solutions he proposes with objectivity and fairness.
John Dean
Senator O'Connor College School

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  • Toronto, Ontario, M6K 3E7 Canada
416 536 5666
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