York Recreation Centre

Toronto, ON
Construction Cost: $23,500,000 (CAD)
Area / Square Feet: 70,000
Occupancy Date: February 2017

Strategically located at a major arterial intersection, the York Recreation Centre is a new community focal point for three distinct but challenged neighborhoods. The building provides much-needed facilities and programs within its 70,000 square feet, including an aquatics center, a gymnasium, a fitness center, a preschool room and multi-use rooms with associated ancillary and change-room spaces.

Internally, the site benefits from an adjacent park and a beautiful ravine. Conceived as a large pavilion, the setting creates a natural backdrop for many of the spaces. The building’s architecture capitalizes on this relationship with a light and transparent structure that invites panoramic views of the park, and a large communal porch that enables activities to spill outside during the summer months.

The project advocates a green approach to both the site and building, employing several energy- and water-conservation features in its design. A large green roof serves as a prominent feature and doubles as a rainwater collector and sunlight harvester.

Using bold colors and generous areas of glazing, the York Recreation Centre blends with its natural ravine setting while asserting a strong presence to the streetscape. In its first month of operation, the building became an important symbolic landmark embraced by the community, with more than 10,000 residents signing up for various programs and activities.

York Recreation Centre

Judge's Comments

“This compact design draws its strength from its dramatic roof design and large expanses of glass.” — Anita Moran

“I appreciate the clarity and crispness of the design along with the attention to detail in coordinating exposed building systems.” — Stephen Springs

“The overall material choice and bold, strategic placement of color inside and out really set this project apart from others. The design achieves a nice balance between interior and exterior spaces providing a 360-degree experience for the public.” — Doug Barraza