Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) may catch some flak for its locker-lined hallways and past life as a high school, but a new facility slated for a historic site on campus is promising to up the institution's aesthetic ante.

In October, a Site Plan Approval application was submitted to the City of Toronto on behalf of Toronto Metropolitan University with respect to 137 Bond Street, at the corner of Bond and Gould. The application included renderings by Hariri Pontarini Architects depicting an eight-storey Student Wellbeing Centre -- clad in glass to optimize access to natural light and topped with passive green roofs -- to be integrated with an existing heritage property on the site.

The property, located at 137 Bond Street, is currently occupied by a former student residence and one of the oldest buildings on campus, O'Keefe House. The worn down, yellow brick, Victorian-style walkup may not have been the most glamorous place on campus, but it was certainly beloved, housing 30-some students per year for over 50 years before the university shuttered it in 2018.

Toronto Metropolitan University, TMU, student wellness centreHariri Pontarini Architects

According to the university’s website, O’Keefe House was identified as the best candidate on campus for adaptive reuse, in part due to its central location. It also states that the school will be consulting with the City’s Heritage Planning services and an independent heritage consultant throughout development processes and that eco-friendly building practices, such as mass timber construction, will be utilized in an effort to reduce the building’s overall carbon footprint and advance TMU’s commitment to sustainability and ecological health.

Toronto Metropolitan University, TMU, student wellness centreHariri Pontarini Architects

Upon completion, the new facility will contain a total gross floor area of 2,272 sq. m and will consolidate all health services currently offered across the TMU campus.

The proposed facility will be akin to the architecturally stunning Student Learning Centre that towers over Yonge Street, and is in line with TMU's ongoing transformation into a modern, landmark-esque establishment that will better serve the needs of students, faculty, and staff.

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