One of Toronto's most prestigious independent secondary schools is getting a major refresh, as construction progresses for a new University of Toronto Schools (UTS) facility at Huron and Bloor streets. The school's faculty and students relocated to a disused school in the Queen and Ossington area last fall, and will remain there for a few years while the Bloor Street site is rebuilt with a new wing at the rear of the existing heritage building, which itself is being completely renovated.

UTS' Bloor Street site as it appeared in April, image by Forum contributor AlbertC

Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects with ERA Architects overseeing the heritage aspects of the project, the new building will expand the existing eastern section of the school, providing new space for UTS while freeing up the western portions of the building for the U of T to redevelop at a future date.

New addition at UTS, image via submission to City of Toronto

The first signs of construction activity were spotted early in the year, with excavators and other heavy equipment arriving on site. Shoring followed, with drilling rigs wrapping up their task by the end of June, paving the way for the start of excavation in July. Two months since the dig began, crews have dug down the full two-storey depth required for the building's foundations and two basement levels.

Excavation at UTS, image by Forum contributor salsa

With much of the pit excavated, the vertical walls of the pile and lagging shoring system have been revealed, and a horizontal drilling rig is currently installing the second row of tiebacks that will anchor the shoring walls to the surrounding soil. Now at its final depth, the remaining excavation work will focus on the temporary soil ramp that has been providing access to the base of the pit.

Excavation at UTS, image by Forum contributor salsa

Among other facilities, the school's new gymnasia will be located as part of the below-ground build.

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 below.

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Related Companies:  Diamond Schmitt Architects, Eastern Construction, ERA Architects, Terraplan/Studio TLA