North East Scarborough Community and Child Care Centre

Toronto, Ontario
Actively Engaging a Community

Located on an extremely challenging site—an existing park with no direct street frontage—the North East Scarborough Community and Child Care centre uses an unconventional program stacking to reduce the building footprint and maximize the surrounding area for park use. The unique stacking is highlighted through the expression of three distinct strata, each with its own material language inspired by the surrounding ravine landscape.

The centre is located in one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods, and through community engagement sessions, the cultural makeup helped shape our planning of the pool, gym, and park components.

Renewable Energy Strategy

The first of its kind for Ontario, the recreation and aquatic centre is targeting net zero energy and emissions through mechanical efficiencies, such as air source heat pumps, an enhanced building envelope and innovative renewable energy systems.

During the early design stages, a Net Zero feasibility study analyzed a variety of strategies that could help reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. This resulted in an approach to achieve Net Zero Carbon through electrification of systems and disconnection of unclean fuel sources. Net Zero Energy is achieved through energy reductions, and onsite renewables.

A key component of the strategy is PV installation on the roof and as canopy in parking area to provide additional renewable energy production, helping process energy intensive buildings to Net Zero Carbon and Energy.

Main lobby space with feature stair.

Community Engagement 

Perkins&Will hosted a series of engagement sessions with the local residents during the early programming and design stages. This afforded us the opportunity to ask for their input on programming and sustainability. North East Scarborough is one of the city’s most diverse communities, with an immigrant population of more than 50 per cent.

Double height gym located on Level 2.
Double height pool located at Lower Level 1.

In the Aquatics program we incorporated gender neutral change rooms and a pool location that could easily be separated from public view for Muslim women and women only swims. The gym grew in size to accommodate an indoor practice cricket pitch reflecting the high interest in the sport from the predominantly South Asian community in the area.

Since the new facility occupies an existing park, there was concern that the park amenities would be lost. These engagement sessions enabled us to demonstrate that the park will be revitalized and include features that will complement the overall design of the facility. Feedback from the community included on site events, local town halls, needs surveys, environmental scans, and multiple focus group consultation events.

Project Team

Phil Fenech
Duff Balmer
Aimee Drmic