As part of Canada's 150th birthday celebrations, the federal government is investing $300 million in a national program supporting upgrades for existing community and cultural infrastructure around the nation. Among the many recipients of funding as part of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, OCAD University has been gifted $1 million from the Government of Canada, which will make up one third of the funding needed for the institution's upcoming refurbishment of the heritage George Reid House, the original 1921 campus building of OCAD U predecessor, the Ontario College of Art (OCA).
“OCAD University’s immense social, cultural, economic and city-building impact has a long history,” said OCAD U President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sara Diamond in a prepared statement issued today. “Through this generous funding, the refurbishment of the George Reid House ensures a bright future for this historic building by modernizing the interior facilities and re-establishing it as a significant university and community asset."
The $3 million George Reid House restoration will breathe new life into the two-storey structure fronting onto Grange Park, part of OCAD U's larger Creative City Campus revitalization project. In addition to restoring the building's heritage details including the west side portico—which will be renamed the "Canada 150 Portico" in honour of the government gift—the project will introduce new event and meeting spaces to the building.
The house is named for painter George Reid, an OCA alumnus and then-principal who designed the building alongside then-vice-principal and Group of Seven member Arthur Lismer. In addition to honouring the building's architecture and significance in Toronto's arts community, the project will also include a public land acknowledgement that recognizes the ancestral history of the land the building occupies, part of OCAD U's commitment to Indigenous learning.
Spadina–Fort York MP Adam Vaughan—who played a role in the recent revitalization of Grange Park—issued a statement on the funding announcement, saying “it gives me enormous pleasure to announce funding for the restoration of George Reid House as part of our government’s celebration of Canada 150 and support for OCAD University. I am proud to see my community and Toronto benefit from this program.”
We will be sure to return as new details of the project emerge. In the meantime, you can learn about this and OCAD U's associated 100 McCaul project by visiting the database file, 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.
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