An application for Site Plan Approval has put the wheels in motion for the replacement of Davisville Jr. Public School and Spectrum Alternative School, just east of Yonge Street and a short walk from Davisville subway station. The educational facility is one of 30 Ontario schools set to benefit from a 2015 $498 million provincial capital funding commitment, and will be subject to a full rebuild. While the Toronto District School Board has been quite vocal about the cramped and deteriorating conditions of the existing building and the need for a modern replacement, members of the architecture community are already lamenting the planned loss of the school's Modernist design, described by The Globe and Mail's Alex Bozikovic as "a treasure".

Davisville Jr. Public School, Toronto, Snyder Architects, TDSBThe Davisville Junior Public School building, image via Google Maps

New documents submitted to the City of Toronto as part of the Site Plan Application are providing us with our first glimpse of the new Snyder Architects-designed school. In place of the existing playground, a three-storey building with 8,201 m² of floor area would be built, capable of accommodating 731 students, as well as a 5-room childcare center for 62 children. The current school is also three-storey, and slightly smaller at 7,821 m².

Davisville Jr. Public School, Toronto, Snyder Architects, TDSBNorth view of the replacement school, image via submission to City of Toronto

Once the new structure is built, the existing Space Age Modern building would be demolished to make way for the outdoor elements, including an artificial turf field, children’ play areas, and an outdoor classroom. The new configuration places the building closer to the busier Davisville Avenue, with the outdoor uses placed along the quiet, primarily residential Millwood Road. A small rooftop playground at the southwest corner of the current building would be rebuilt within the new school, featuring a hardscaped walkway, hardscape, mulch, and sand play areas, and a green roof element. 

Davisville Jr. Public School, Toronto, Snyder Architects, TDSBNew school and outlined footprint of existing school, image via submission to City of Toronto

A 2,265 m² below-grade garage containing 60 car parking spaces and 39 bicycle parking spaces would serve the new school, while an additional 8 surface parking spaces and 8 bike locking spaces will be located at grade. The presence of underground parking frees up a large space at the southwest corner of the site, which will eventually be the site of a new City aquatic and community recreation facility, to be built during the second phase of redevelopment. The remaining at-grade space surrounding the building will feature outdoor landscaping work by PMA Landscape Architects.

Davisville Jr. Public School, Toronto, Snyder Architects, TDSBPerspective view of the replacement school, image via submission to City of Toronto

As the new school works its way through the City's planning approvals process, a proposal for two residential towers to the immediate west at 1951 Yonge by Times Group is also being considered. Concerns regarding whether the tower heights are appropriate given the shadowing that would result on the new school yard will no doubt play a roll in shaping what is eventually approved at that site.

Davisville Jr. Public School, Toronto, Snyder Architects, TDSBMassing model, looking southwest, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Additional information and images can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.