western north york community centre

This Toronto building just got a major design award and it hasn't even been built yet

A unique new building coming to Toronto just earned its designers an award — and construction on it hasn't even started yet.

The Western North York Community Centre was recognized on Thursday with a 2021 Award of Excellence by Canadian Architect, the long-running magazine on the industry.

Slated for 60 Starview Lane, near Weston Road and Highway 401, the 77,000-square-foot facility will be completely state-of-the-art in its design and amenities. 

It will include a pool, fitness centre with multiple studios, full walking track, gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms for events, a childcare facility, outdoor green space and sports courts, and a central "living room" with snack counter, gaming room and gallery.

western north york community centre

A view of the central "living room" space of the centre. Rendering by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Bortolotto for the City of Toronto.

Along with its sleek exterior design and interior details, it will also quite notably be a net-zero energy structure, which CA notes in its review is "especially challenging in a building with an aquatic centre that requires continuous energy use to heat the pools."

It is so challenging, in fact, that when completed, the building will be the only one to house a net-zero aquatic facility in all of Canada.

western north york community centre

The pool will be the only net-zero aquatic centre in Canada — a huge feat. Rendering by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Bortolotto for the City of Toronto.

The jury also commends what it calls a "convincing" community engagement strategy set forth for the WNYCC, which includes the advent of the website createyourplace.ca, where residents can give their input about what they'd like to see in the centre and receive updates on its progress.

The overall design was also deemed compelling by the jury, who note that the centre will link two infrastructurally divided suburban neighbourhoods of Humbermede neighbourhood and north of Pelmo-Humberlea through an urban park.

It will also make great use of outdoor space that was originally set to be part of a parking lot, with an "outdoor room" of sorts that can be connected with each indoor space, or used independently.

Glass and wood throughout provide an open, airy feel with tons of sunlight and an appealing natural colour palette.

western north york community centre

All spaces in the centre feel open and bright, with glass and high ceilings throughout. Rendering by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Bortolotto for the City of Toronto.

With its on-site renewable energy plan to offset 100 per cent of the energy used to fuel the building, as well as the attractive, modern and practical overall design based on public feedback, the architecture team has certainly earned the honour.

Construction of the WNYCC will begin in summer 2023 and wrap up in summer 2026.

Photos by

Rendering by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Bortolotto for the City of Toronto

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