Last Updated - April 11, 2024

The Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC) and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) recognize that the efficient use of space will be critical in building schools to match our city’s future growth.

This means re-thinking what building configurations are possible on TDSB owned land, while advocating for the inclusion of TDSB space in new high-density neighbourhoods.

Integrating schools into condominium podiums is a common and effective practice in large cities all over the world.

The best current example in Toronto exists at 17 Broadway Avenue where North Toronto Collegiate Institute re-opened in 2010 with two new condominium towers above it.  This secondary school now enjoys facilities that would not have been possible without partnership with home builders.

A smaller example also exists at 85 Lower Jarvis St. where Downtown Alternative School occupies the second floor of a six-storey mixed-use building.  It sits above commercial space with four stores of residential units above.

In January 2022, the Ontario Ministry of education announced the capital funding approval of $44 million for a new and innovative 445-pupil K-8 elementary school fully integrated with a high-density mixed-use development in the Lower Yonge Precinct at 55 Lakeshore Blvd. E. TLC continues to facilitate discussions between the developer, City staff and TDSB to ensure the success of this unique design.

Several additional projects have been identified for possible schools in mixed use/integrated development across the city.  Examples include the City-owned 770 Don Mills Road and the TDSB owned West Don Lands Block 9, Ethennonnhawahstihnen’ Lane, and 705 Progress Avenue.

Podium schools can pose additional challenges requiring different thinking and creativity applied to challenges such as identifying outdoor play space and ensuring that students, families, and staff have accessible and secure entrances to their school.

They also present opportunities for partnerships with government and not-for-profit organizations, creating shared use agreements for students to use civic space, while allowing members of the public to use school space on evenings and weekends.

TLC is committed to continuing its work on these new and innovative school designs to meet the future needs of our communities.