After completing the design and construction of the Senator O’Connor Secondary School in 2005, Kearns Mancini was again commissioned by the client, as a heritage architect and prime consultant, to complete the restoration and adaptive reuse of three heritage-designated estate buildings on the campus.
All three buildings required full masonry and window restorations, including repointing and brick replacement. Wherever possible, Kearns Mancini’s design prescribed for the historical brick to be salvaged. New energy efficient Mechanical, Electrical, and Life Safety systems were designed and implemented in the three buildings. Discreet additions were made to the Estate and Coach House to facilitate upgrades for fire exiting and wheelchair accessibility. These alterations and additons sensitively blended the existing materials, details and building techniques with the new architectural elements.
60 Rowena Drive, North York, Ontario
Gross Project Area
15,028 sq. ft.
Toronto District Catholic School Board
Jonathan Kearns, Dan McNeil, Lucy O'Connor, Orla Canavan, Mae Shaban, Zhivka Hristova
Heritage Toronto - Award of Merit | 2014
The Senator O’Connor Estate buildings were constructed in 1932, on Maryvale farm, located north of Lawrence Avenue East, between Don Valley East and Pharmacy Avenue. The Estate is comprised of three buildings: the Senator’s Estate House, the Coach House and a smaller ancillary building. Upon the Senator’s death in 1939, Frank O’Connor endowed his Estate lands and the buildings to be used by a Catholic religious order for educational purposes.
In 1963, the Toronto Catholic District School Board established the Senator O’Connor College Secondary School on the site, and continued to use the buildings as staff facilities. The three buildings, built in the Colonial Revivalist style, became designated heritage buildings. The design approach for the additions was to clearly distinguish the new from the old while exposing as much of the original façade to view. The elevator shaft was expressed in new but matching masonry, with slender spandrel glazing abutting each side. This formal arrangement resonates with the neoclassic architectural style. The buildings now have a new life as community facilities and additional temporary classroom spaces. The project represents the potential of adaptive reuse as a means to regenerate a school campus and foster educational growth.