Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is contributing $44 million to build the new Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School within a new mixed-use condominium project, providing more student accommodation for the lower Yonge and waterfront neighbourhoods.
It’s being called innovative and is a first for Ontario, however it’s a model that’s used in other cities around the world, including New York City.
“With many families living in condos and high-density urban communities, we believe their children deserve access to modern and safe schools in the hearts of their communities,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “I am proud to deliver this progressive urban school within a high-density condominium project. This innovative partnership will provide access for young families to a state-of-the-art school in the heart of Toronto.”
Once complete, the new school could be replicated as an innovative solution to meeting the education needs of working families in urban and high-density environments.
“The new Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School will be a great new addition to our city and will provide much-needed space for students. We know that in a growing city like Toronto, we need unique and creative approaches to creating important public spaces like schools,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.
“This new project between the provincial government and Menkes Development will bring the school right into the community at a new mixed-use condominium. If we want to build up this city and our neighbourhoods, we need to ensure that residents have access to all the services they need, including schools – this is one example of how we will achieve this.”
The investment is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to provide $14 billion to support school construction over 10 years. There are currently more than 300 childcare and education building-related projects in development across Ontario with more than 100 actively under construction.
“Innovative infrastructure like the new Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School not only ensures the best learning environment for our children, it also helps us build more vibrant and resourceful communities. This is part of our government’s plan to invest more than $148 billion over the next 10 years to build schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, public transit, highways and other facilities families depend on,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure.
More than $600 million has been allocated to support ventilation improvements in schools across Ontario to support a safer return to school. The Toronto District School Board has benefited from an investment of $65.8 million for ventilation improvements and has almost 16,000 HEPA filter units in place.
it’s a model that’s been used in other major cities around the world. In New York City, and particularly Manhattan, schools occupying multiple floors inside condo buildings are fairly common.