Cooper Koo Family Cherry Street YMCA

Toronto, ON
Construction Cost: Not Available
Area / Square Feet: 69,775 sf
Occupancy Date: June 2016

The PanAm & Parapan Games Athletes' Village was designed to deliver a home away from home for more than 10,000 athletes and officials participating in the 2015 Games. Following the Games, the Village was immediately converted into the Canary District, a sustainable mixed-use neighborhood with a range of private and social housing, a student residence for George Brown College, and the Cooper Koo Family Cherry Street YMCA.

The conversion of the training facility — with its large fitness center, multi-use studios, aquatics center, and ancillary athletic and wellness space — to a YMCA creates a social hub for the new district, providing access to community and wellness services for the entire precinct. The new Cooper Koo Family Cherry Street YMCA is currently serving more than 1,000 people per day.

The design vision celebrates the best qualities of Canada: open, inclusive and welcoming. From the dramatic screened western facade, to the fully glazed gymnasium facing south, the vitality and permeability of the YMCA symbolizes the principles of health and wellness. Through human-scaled, pedestrian friendly gestures, the fully glazed base allows visibility to the life within, showcasing the civic spaces to the street and creating an open and inviting public identity.

Cooper Koo

Judge's Comments

"The building's street facade is eloquently composed of simple materials and strong colors, giving it a powerful street presence." — Anita Moran

"A simple, elegant and well-executed solution that seems to perfectly fit into the neighborhood. The composition of the main facade that celebrates wellness and respects the scale of neighboring buildings and streetscape." — Doug Barraza

“A thoughtful and transformative approach to long-term building design and overall community planning.” — Emily Parris