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.
Gross Project Area
150,000 sq. ft.
Toronto District Catholic School Board
Jonathan Kearns, Dan McNeil, Peter Ng, Lucy O’Connor. Photography: Steven Evans
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.
View from park
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.