Creative City Campus Update

Renovations of the George Reid House began last week. The first phase involves work on Level 2 to provide two multi-purpose rooms, as well as a universal washroom, storage and display. The next phase (winter 2018) will involve renovations of the Foundry and Mouldmaking studios, in addition to the circulation space.

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

Creative City Campus Update: George Reid House Renovations Begin

The George Reid House renovation is part of Creative City Campus project, a major expansion and renovation that will revitalize the main campus along McCaul Street.

Faculty of Design Office move underway

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Faculty of Design Office closed at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 3 and will reopen Wednesday, July 5th at 11 a.m. in a new location: 230 Richmond St. West on the 9th floor.

Unless it is URGENT, please consider the office out of commission for the full week.

Any questions related to the move can be directed to Faculty of Design Office Manager, Margot Jeffery.

The offices of the Deans of Faculty of Art and FOLASS/IS are tentatively scheduled to move to the 9th floor of 230 Richmond St. W. in December 2017. The location of the Deans’ offices will be reviewed as the Creative City Campus project progresses.





Proposed site strategy of campus project presented

President Sara Diamond with Creative City Campus Core Team
Thursday, June 29, 2017

OCAD University staff, faculty and students as well as the larger neighbourhood community had the opportunity to meet with the architects of the Creative City Campus (CCC) project during two community meetings on June 28.

Ung-Joo Scott Lee of Morphosis Architects reviewed the Creative City Campus project scope and process, and showed concept drawings representing the proposed site development strategy. The renderings are meant to show the site strategy, not the final design of the actual building. The site strategy and design will continue to evolve in consultation with the OCAD University community and neighbourhood; the results of this process will be submitted to City of Toronto planning in the fall.

Architects Stephen Teeple of Teeple Architects, as well as Mikael Sydor and Graeme Stewart from ERA, the project’s heritage consultants, also spoke at the meetings.

The Creative City Campus project is a major expansion and revitalization of the McCaul St. campus. The fundamental goal of CCC is to provide a 21st century studio-based, technology-enabled and hands-on learning environment by integrating learning, studio, social and community space.

The renewed campus will also improve connection with the streetscape and the larger community by offering access to the library and public events.

The project includes approximately 50,000 square feet of new construction and 95,000 square feet of renovation. More details and project updates can be found on our website. The consultation presentation can be viewed online.

If you have questions, comments or would like more information, email

Creative City Campus Update

Read about faculty offices and Design Photo Studio moves, thesis spaces changes and upcoming renovations in the George Reid Wing and Rosalie Sharp Pavilion.

Creative City Campus community meeting

Image of the Sharp Centre at night
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

This is a great opportunity to solicit feedback from our community members, ahead of the public consultations taking place later this year. 

Light refreshments will be served. 

We look forward to seeing you there!


RSVP to James Lin, Project Coordinator:

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Auditorium Room 190

Space to create: a glimpse inside innovative work studios in Toronto and beyond

Finding the right space to create in is integral to the creative practice , and right now there’s no question this is more challenging than ever—but it’s not impossible. As rents in Canadian cities continue to rise and neighbourhoods gentrify, independent creators pushed out of old warehouses and lofts are finding new places to work in. Sometimes this means joining a studio collective, taking over and transforming an unused room somewhere, or finding a spacious and affordable spot outside of Toronto. We talked to three OCAD U alumni who found or built studios they love.  

Jihee Min

Program: Sculpture/Installation, 2005

Professional practice: Multimedia visual artist with a focus on narrative explorations of identity, cultural displacement and personal experiences within the Korean diaspora. She belongs to Gallery 44 Members Gallery, where she’ll be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition, “A Few Flaps to Belong” (May 5 to June 3). She shows her work across Canada and internationally, including in the US, Italy, Finland and Korea.

Studio location: The White House Studio Project, Kensington Market, Toronto

The find: Min landed a Toronto Arts Council grant in 2016, enabling her to move her practice out of her home and into a studio. She joined The White House Studio Project in November 2016 after an extensive search. Her spot within the collective studio is eight by eight feet, and includes a shared open space where she can work on larger projects or host events.

The fit: The studio is within walking distance to where Min lives and offers plenty of natural light from large second-floor windows overlooking bustling Augusta Avenue. “In my new studio space I’m free to use materials that are messy,” she says. “I was really happy to find this spot. I get here in the morning, go home when the sun sets and I’m inspired by the energy of Kensington Market every day.”

More info:

Photo of Jihee Min's workspace in her Toronto Studio


Artist: Joseph Clement

Program: Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design, 2011

Professional practice: Worked as a landscape architect prior to completing his MFA and brings a background in writing, film and interdisciplinary installations to his new art and design firm, DesignLAND. His feature documentary, Integral Man will also premiere in 2017.  

Studio location: A room in a shared house near Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto

The find: Clement needed a space where he could set up in to do drafting work on his computer, write at a desk, plan installations and collaborate with project partners. He realized a storage room in the four-bedroom house he shares with three friends had potential, so he cleared it out, ripped out four layers of laminate and linoleum flooring, painted the walls bright white and filled it with plants to create a studio.

The fit: “My studio features natural light and a view. If I need take a mental break I can stare out the window at the park,” he says. He also gave careful consideration to the studio set-up: “A thoughtfully organized space is so important. I know where everything is and my work is very fluid. I’m never searching for materials I need.”

More info: Instagram: _design_land_ and


Artist: Melanie Janisse-Barlow

Program: Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design, 2014

Professional practice: Known for The Poets Series, her round-robin portrait series of North American writers. She also does other portrait painting, designs jewellery and writes poetry. Her first poetry collection, Orioles in the Oranges was published in 2009, and she recently completed two new manuscripts for publication.

Studio location: Artist’s studio in the historic Capitol Theatre, Windsor

The find: When she lived in Toronto (before rents skyrocketed), Janisse-Barlow enjoyed working in warehouse spaces, including one at Sorauren and Dundas and one on Brock Avenue. When she returned to Windsor to live and work two years ago she discovered there were vacant artists’ studios in an old theatre downtown. She enquired about the space and ended up landing a 350 square-foot studio. It’s a corner space with two banks of windows. The city, which owns the building, fixed it up for her: the windows are brand new, as is the wiring and ventilation. She rents the space from the building’s tenant: the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

The fit: “Living in a smaller city and working in an affordable space relaunched my creative practice,” she says. “There’s a lot of light, it’s full of old Persian carpets and beautiful furniture, including a vintage easel from Paris. I’m incredibly productive here. It’s very comfortable, like a home.”

More info:


Photo of Melanie Janisse-Barlow in her Windsor studio


Suzanne Alyssa Andrew is the author of the novel, Circle of Stones, the associate editor for Taddle Creek magazine and a bass player. She works out of a studio space in Artscape.

Read more about OCAD University's Creative City Campus.

By Suzanne Alyssa Andrew
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Creative City Campus - Open House: Progress Update

Creative City Campus Open House: Update
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm

April 6, 12 noon to 3 pm, 100 McCaul Lobby

The Creative City Campus architects will be in the lobby of 100 McCaul Street with presentation panels that show an update of their progress for the project. This is a great opportunity for students, staff and faculty to see the work that the architects have done so far, provide feedback, and chat with the team. Community input is key for the success of the project.  Hope to see you there!

Venue & Address: 
Lobby, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto

Creative City Campus Student Survey

image of 115 McCaul Bortolotto rendering
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 10:30am to 1:30pm

Students! We want to hear from you! 

The Creative City Campus architects will have a short survey on ipads that covers key elements of the project.  Community input is essential to develop the project in a way that best responds to the community’s needs and wants. For more information on the upcoming project please see the website here. 

The goal of the engagement strategy is to organize the flow of information from the CCC stakeholder’s project to the design team. Stakeholder includes students, faculty administration, the broader community and the City. As srtudents, how you use the space, and what you want to see from this revitalization is crucial. We hope you can join representatives from the architect tieam in the lobby of 100 McCaul on Thursday March 16 from 10:30 – 1:30 to share your ideas. 

The Creative City Campus (CCC) project will revitalize and expand the institution’s core creative spaces on McCaul Street. The project involves approximately 55,000 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.

Project Benefits

  1. By the completion of the CCC project (August 2020), the area of space utilized by the university will expand by more than 30 per cent.
  2. Considering scope and scale only, the total area of newly developed space and re-purposed or renovated space will be nearly 40 per cent of the 2014/2015 space area.
  3. More than 90 per cent of all renovated re-purposed and newly developed space will be in direct support of the academic mission and in priority themes identified in the draft academic plan (including health and wellness, studio and experiential learning).
  4. Nearly half of all renovated, re-purposed and newly developed space will involve studio-lab space, a use and purpose that has been singled out in the draft academic plan as a key priority.


Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St Lobby