Statement from President Sara Diamond on the Creative City Campus

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dear Members of the OCAD U Community:

 At 4:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon, OCAD University received the devastating news that the government of Ontario has withdrawn provincial funding for the Creative City Campus (CCC). We are unwilling to accept this as a final decision. 

Ontario’s competitiveness depends on OCAD University’s talent. Our institution delivers practical, technical, creative learning to fulfil the needs of Ontario’s labour market. OCAD University students get jobs and create jobs.

The Creative City Campus has been in planning for more than a decade and will add approximately 50,000 square feet of new space and 95,000 square feet of renovated and repurposed space, a step towards addressing OCAD University’s critical need for an expanded campus.

Since we launched the project in 2016 with a provincial commitment of $27M, we have been successful in raising private, federal government and institutional funds to match this funding. As a result, the Creative City Campus project is already underway.

We have been in ongoing communication with government to reinforce the value of OCAD University to the Province and we are shocked at this decision.

There is no better, concrete example of our vision for the future of OCAD University than the Creative City Campus, and our supporters continue to share this vision. Together, we will explore all possibilities as we determine our way forward.

In the near term, we will consult with the university’s Board of Governors and key stakeholders to establish a set of next steps that supports the continued transformation of OCAD U. We will remain unwavering in our commitment to strengthening our role as the largest and most comprehensive Canadian university of art, design and media.

We will keep you informed as new developments emerge, and as circumstances determine the need for community input and recommendations.



Sara Diamond
President & Vice-Chancellor

Creative City Campus INFO Session

CCC Information Session
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 10:30am

Fabrication & DRPT Studio Renovations!

Information Sessions:

February 20th at 10:30 am to 12:00 pm -- MCA 258 - George Reid House


February 26th at 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- MCA 258 - George Reid House


PLUS there will be a few Pop-up Discussions:

February 27th 2:30 to 4:00 pm -- Learning Zone

March 5th and 6th, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Main Lobby at 100 McCaul


Venue & Address: 
Room 258, 100 McCaul
Digital Screen: 

CCC Update: Summer/Fall 2019 renovations in Fabrication and Drawing & Painting Studios

Three students working at a lathe
Friday, February 1, 2019

The next phase of the Creative City Campus (CCC) project construction will soon begin: the renovations of more than 30,000 square feet of Fabrication and Drawing & Painting studios at 100 McCaul St. This is a significant step in the project to transform OCAD U’s studio-based learning environment.

The CCC consulting team, led by Teeple and Morphosis Architects in collaboration with Two Row Architects, has worked over the last year in tandem with OCAD U’s Campus Planning and Projects team, our technicians, faculty, staff and students to plan for this project.

To enable efficient, cost- and time-effective work, some parts of the studios will be temporarily closed during the renovations.

Required, core course offerings that are dependent on these studios will be prioritized for relocation elsewhere on campus during the summer and fall academic terms. The Campus Planning & Projects team, with the help of our technicians and staff, have also organized external partnerships and alternative arrangements to accommodate our community’s needs. More information on these alternatives will be available by spring.  

All members of the team are aware of the impact that these closures and renovations will inevitably have on the community over their duration en route to creating a better learning experience. The team’s objectives are both to minimize disruption and to complete the renovations as quickly as possible.

Here’s what you need to know about the renovations:


Fabrication Studios
100 McCaul St., Level 1 (approx. 20,000 square feet)

  • Expanded Wood, Metal, Plastics and Rapid Prototyping fabrication shops
  • A new, centralized sales and services depot for materials and tool loans
  • Upgraded equipment, lighting, controls and heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC)
  • Enhanced space navigation, accessibility, transparency, flexibility and sustainability

Select Drawing & Painting Studios
100 McCaul St., Level 4 south (approx. 8,000 square feet)

  • Improved student and faculty experience of the drawing and painting studios with new lighting, controls, finishes, furniture, storage and AV
  • A new student hub that enables gathering, display, critique and day-to-day work
  • Upgraded build shop with new lighting, controls, storage and equipment

In addition, the roof of the original building at 100 McCaul St. will have end-of-life mechanical units replaced with new energy-efficient units integrated with the Building Automation System.


  • April 23: Formal assessment period ends (last day for access to Fabrication Studios and Drawing & Painting studios)
  • April 24 to May 12: Final cleaning/moving of Drawing & Painting and Fabrication Studio equipment
  • May 13: Construction begins
  • August 15: Level 4 Drawing & Painting studio renovation complete; studios re-open
  • December 31: Level 1 Fabrication Studio renovation complete; studios re-open

Temporary Core Function Relocations
Core functions of the Fabrications studios and related activities will be re-located throughout the construction period beginning early summer.

  • Wood studio: MCA 515 and 517
  • Metal studio: MCA 152
  • Plastics studio: MCA 316
  • Rapid Prototyping: MCA 314
  • Assembly space: Remaining MCA 161
  • Functions from MCA 166 will be distributed to other classrooms, including MCG 104 (49 McCaul St.)
  • Functions from MCA 140 and 141 will be distributed elsewhere (exact locations will be posted soon)
  • Tool Loans is being located within 100 McCaul St. The proposed location is the Anniversary Gallery space in MCA 265 (to be confirmed soon)
  • Studio Management offices will be relocated to MCF, 51 McCaul Street, Level 2

Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation Impacts
Certain areas of the main building at 100 McCaul St. will be affected while the heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) units are upgraded. Temporary measures will be in place for affected stakeholders. Complete details will be provided in the near future.

Faculty and Staff Offices
A number of options are being considered; the team will consult with those impacted to finalize these plans.

Technician Contracts
Our technicians are key community members with important roles supporting students’ use of equipment, procurement and distribution of materials and training in processes in OCAD U’s studios. They will continue to work as normal throughout the temporary closures of the Fabrication studios and will be deployed to the alternative studio areas where they will continue to provide their support (e.g. the studios with wood and plastics on Level 5, and in the Foundry for metal processes, etc.).

GradEx 104
Rooms MCA 161, 166, 140 and 141 will continue to be available as exhibition space for GradEx; they will be closed and their functions relocated following the show on May 11. As per the dates listed above, the core Fabrication studios will be closed as of April 23 to enable faculty and staff to pack and prepare equipment for moving, and clean out the studios to start construction. Tool Loans will be moved to a temporary location in time to support GradEx setup.

Learn More
Students, faculty and staff are invited to join the Campus Planning & Projects and Studios Team for information sessions and/or pop-ups:

  • Information Sessions (MCA 258, George Reid House)
    • Wednesday, February 20, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • Tuesday, February 26, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Pop-up discussion opportunities:
    • Wednesday, February 27, 2:30 to 4 p.m. -- Learning Zone, 122 St. Patrick
    • Tuesday, March 5, 12 to 2 p.m. -- Lobby, 100 McCaul St.
    • Wednesday, March 6, 12 to 2 p.m. -- Lobby, 100 McCaul St.

Questions and comments can be directed to See you at one of our info sessions or pop-ups!   

Temporary Entrance Closures, Experiential Learning Centre: February 2, 3

Temporary closures during the lift of sections of the scrim onto the Experiential Learning Centre on February 2 and/or 3. 

Temporary Entrance Closure, Experiential Learning Centre

The main entrance to the Experiential Learning Centre will be closed periodically the week of October 23 to 27 to faciliate the safety requirements of construction on the exterior of the building. 

Creative City Campus Student Consultation

Creative City Campus
Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 11:00am

Students! Have your say on the Creative City Campus Project new build!

Tuesday, October 2, 12 to 1:30 p.m.
Room 668
100 McCaul Street
Bring your lunch and join the conversation!

The CCC Project Team is planning the expansion to OCAD U's main building, and needs your ideas! The architects will be here to get student input into the needs and wants, to help prioritize the new space. 

The Creative City Campus project will revitalize and expand the institution’s core creative spaces on McCaul Street. The project involves approximately 50,000 square feet of new construction and 95,000 square feet of renovation and repurposing of existing space in and around the existing facilities of the university.

Questions? Unable to attend? Sign up for future updates and opportunities by contacting

Venue & Address: 
Rm 668, 100 McCaul Street

Creative City Campus drop-in

The Creative City Campus (CCC) team has been hard at work responding to feedback from the community and City Planning staff. After further studies and review of the available site options, the strategy has evolved toward building on the north end of the campus at 100 McCaul St.

Creative City Campus update

Image of massing of Creative City Campus
Friday, January 26, 2018 - 12:00pm

The Creative City Campus (CCC) team has been hard at work responding to feedback from the community and City Planning staff. After further studies and review of the available site options, the strategy has evolved toward building on the north end of the campus at 100 McCaul St.  

This option allows for an important addition to the main building at 100 McCaul St. that remains fully connected to existing studios and spaces, while respecting the iconic presence of the Sharp Centre and public realm elements further south. Over the next few days, the CCC team will be consulting with various stakeholders on this new strategy. 

Members of the OCAD University community can meet CCC project leaders at a drop-in event this Monday, January 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of 100 McCaul St.

To learn more about the project, visit or email

Creative City Campus Drop-In

Image of the Sharp Centre at night
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 11:30am to 2:00pm

The Creative City Campus project team will be onsite in the lobby of 100 McCaul St. to present the latest project updates. Please drop in any time between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to learn more about the project, how it affects you, and ways to get involved.

No registration required

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. Lobby

OCAD University receives funding for refurbishment of George Reid House

Black & White archival photo of George Reid House
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

OCAD University has been awarded $1 million from the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (through Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario), toward its $3 million project to refurbish its historic property: the George Reid House.

George Reid House is the original 1921 campus building of the Ontario College of Art (OCA), as it was known then, the first building in Canada built specifically for the purpose of the education of professional artists and designers. The building was designed by painter George Reid, an alumnus who was principal of OCA at the time, alongside vice-principal, Arthur Lismer (member of the Group of Seven).

“OCAD University’s immense social, cultural, economic and city-building impact has a long history,” says Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University “Through this generous funding, the refurbishment of the George Reid House ensures a bright future for this historic building by modernizing the interior facilities and re-establishing it as a significant university and community asset.”

The refurbishment includes the creation of new event and meeting spaces, an enhanced space through the hallway that will allow for interpretive displays, and restoration of the west side portico. As part of Canada’s national celebration, OCAD University is gifting the renamed Canada 150 Portico as an acknowledgement of Canada’s history, and a symbol of the importance of the institution in Canadian history and culture.

The building’s refurbishment is part of OCAD University’s larger, Creative City Campus revitalization project. The project boldly re-imagines the use of space to expand studio-based and experiential learning, upgrade learning-and-teaching technology, intensify research capacity and nurture innovation-minded thinkers and makers.

The renewed building will include a public land acknowledgement to recognize the ancestral territory on which the building stands, honouring the university’s commitment to Indigenous learning.

“Having played a role in initiating the revitalization of Grange Park, it gives me enormous pleasure to announce funding for the restoration of George Reid House as part of our government’s celebration of Canada 150 and support for OCAD University. I am proud to see my community and Toronto benefit from this program,” said Adam Vaughan, M.P. Spadina – Fort York.

“The realization of our goals and vision could not be achieved without the assistance of all of our private and public supporters,” said Leslie Gales, Campaign Chair, Ignite Imagination: The Campaign for OCAD University. “This moment is another milestone.”

OCAD U’s continuous evolution is based on the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society, and that imaginations have the unique power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives. These latest developments will ensure students and faculty continue to have the ability to leverage the power of art, design and digital innovation to change the world for the better.


Rendering of renovated space
Rendering of renovated space
Sara Diamond and Adam Vaughan stand next to rendering of renewed space