Despite an outcry from preservation advocates, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has moved forward with the redevelopment of Davisville Jr. Public School and Spectrum Alternative School. The project will replace the existing 1962-built school just east of Yonge between Davisville Avenue and Millwood Road—a local landmark known for its space-age aesthetic—with a new school designed by Snyder Architects Inc.

Davisville Jr. Public School, TorontoDavisville Jr. Public School before demolition, image via Google Maps

Demolition of the structure is now past the halfway mark, and the entire building to be gone in the next weeks. Crews from Budget Demolition have only the central volume and chimney to tear down before the materials are removed from the site.

Davisville Jr. Public School, TorontoDemolition at Davisville Jr. Public School, image by Forum contributor RonThom

The brick facade of the remaining section has been peeled away to reveal the interior of former classrooms, hallways, and mechanical spaces.

Davisville Jr. Public School, TorontoDemolition at Davisville Jr. Public School, image by UT Forum contributor RonThom

The TDSB's plan to demolish instead of retrofit the structure was not met with the warmest reception in the architecture community. In 2017, OAA President John K. Stephenson sent a letter to Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter cautioning against the demolition, while multiple articles by the Globe and Mail's architecture critic Alex Bozikovic present a strong case for a since lost opportunity to preserve the building. The TDSB argued that there were simply too many obstacles to overcome in bringing the aging structure up-to-date.

Davisville Jr. Public School, TorontoNew Davisville Jr. Public School, image via submission to 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 in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

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