York Recreation Centre
The City of Toronto
Project Size: 70,000 square feet
Meeting the Toronto Green Standard
Strategically located at a major arterial intersection, the York Recreation Centre asserts a strong urban presence that helps to reinforce its important civic function: to act as a new community focal point for three distinct, but challenged, neighbourhoods. The building provides much needed facilities and programs within 70,000 square feet including an aquatics center, gymnasium, fitness center, pre-school room and multi-use rooms with associated ancillary and change room spaces.
Internally, the site benefits from an adjacent mature park and a beautiful natural ravine. Conceived as a large pavilion-like structure, this setting creates a natural backdrop to 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 of the design, which also doubles as a rainwater collector and sunlight harvester.
Using bold colours and generous areas of glazing the building at once blends with its natural ravine setting, while at the same time 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 over 10,000 residents signing up for various programs and activities offered by the Centre.