OCAD U and Legend Power lead the way with innovative energy retrofit

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 5:00am

Legend Power Systems Inc. is pleased to announce that its energy saving product, the Harmonizer, has helped OCAD University (OCAD U) lower the greenhouse emissions of their Toronto campus while saving over $20,000 per year, with a payback period of 2.6 years. The Harmonizer, a device which saves energy by regulating incoming voltage levels, has reduced the university's greenhouse gas emissions by 31 metric tons, saving 171,000 kWh per year.

Founded in 1876, OCAD U is one of the first universities in Canada to save using the Harmonizer. The Harmonizer is an ideal fit for the "university of the imagination," being an institution that teaches its students that collaboration and integration of emerging technologies is of the utmost importance.

"OCAD U has set a strategic priority of developing and implementing an institution-wide sustainability plan," says Christine Wallace, Manager, Building Projects, Facilities, Planning & Management, OCAD University. "The Harmonizer will help us advance this vision and be a leader in emissions reduction for the post-secondary building sector."  

After seeing such positive results with OCAD U, Legend is excited to assist other collegiate institutions with their energy efficiency strategies. The environmental and monetary savings afforded by the Harmonizer provide the opportunity for universities and colleges to allocate funds towards future educational initiatives.

"Legend's Harmonizer is proving to be a great fit in the M.U.S.H. sector; we are fortunate to have forward thinking clients such as OCAD U utilizing Legend solutions" says Randy Buchamer, Legend President & CEO. 

With the success achieved with OCAD U, there is a large growth opportunity for Legend to continue to expand and develop partnerships with other educational facilities across North America.

About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's "university of imagination." The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.

About Legend Power Systems Inc.
Legend Power Systems Inc. (www.legendpower.com) is a leading electrical energy conservation company that manufactures and markets a patented device to help commercial and industrial customers achieve significant energy savings through voltage optimization. Legend Power's Electrical Harmonizer helps companies reduce their electricity bills, maintenance costs, and increases the life of electrical equipment, while contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.  

SOURCE Legend Power Systems Inc.


Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Revitalization Project

Open House guests with a model of the revitalized Rosalie Sharp Pavillion
Open House guests at a presentation by Bortolotto Architects.
A detail of the Rosalie Sharp Pavillion model.


The revitalization project scheduled for the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion will turn the building at 115 McCaul Street into a multi-use OCAD U student-focused centre. Benefactors Rosalie and Isadore Sharp are contributing $3 million to the project that, when complete, will re-open in the fall of 2016 as the OCAD University Centre for Experiential Learning. 

According to Peter Sramek, Acting Dean, Faculty of Art, “The plans for the re-purposed Rosalie Sharp Pavilion will see a flexible, multi-use complex which supports student studio production, pop-up events, group collaborations, displays and engagements with visiting artists and designers. This building will be a hub connecting students with local organizations and communities.”

The proposed design opens up, repurposes and recycles much of the existing structure. A dramatic new façade will increase the visual impact of the building and contribute to the aesthetic conversation with the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Sharp Centre at 100 McCaul Street.

The proposed façade, a white metal scrim, would wrap the building and make it appear two levels taller. An intricate laser cut-out design in the façade represents a map of local arts venues. The scrim itself would serve to diffuse heat and act as a shading device while also providing natural light for the artists. At the corners, the scrim appears to peel away to reveal the interior and suggest that OCAD U students’ work will engage the community.

The proposed revitalization addresses environmental, energy and sustainability concerns. As well as recycling and reusing some of the interior materials and the scrim’s ability to minimize heat, light and heat sensors would adjust energy requirements according to whether or not a space is in use.

Working groups are ongoing throughout 2015 to discuss plans for the interior of the building.

Bortolotto Architects, the Toronto-based firm selected for the project, are conducting two open-houses to present their design to OCAD U and the public. The first was held on February 3 at Onsite Gallery. The second one is scheduled for Thursday, February 5, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., also at Onsite Gallery, 230 Richmond Street West, street level. A 45 minute presentation begins at 5 p.m. 

Update on severe weather warning

Monday, February 2, 2015 - 11:30am

OCAD University is open and all classes and activities are being held as scheduled. An update will be announced at noon 12:00 p.m. for evening classes.

Open Houses, Working Groups to provide input to Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Revitalization Project

Rosalie Sharp Pavilion
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 5:00am

The Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Revitalization Project at 115 McCaul Street will begin a formal community engagement process next week by holding open houses and ongoing working groups.

Open Houses scheduled for February 3 and February 5 and held at Onsite Gallery (230 Richmond Street West) invite all members of the OCAD U community to provide input towards interior and exterior design considerations as well as the sustainability plan for the project. A follow up event will be announced, likely for March, when the architect will present on the feedback from these sessions and how it has contributed to the design evolution of the project.

Additionally, two working groups are being created. An Interior Programming User Group will be led by Faculty of Design Dean Gayle Nicoll and Faculty of Art Acting Dean Peter Sramek and include student representation, as well as members from all faculties. The group will provide input and advice on ensuring that the space is actively programmed within the preliminary vision of creating multi-disciplinary, flexible, and rotational space for experiential learning, studio work and public engagement.  The group will also contribute to articulation of the interior finishes in a way that reflects the programming and design intent.

A Media Wall Development Group will also be created to consider the possible nature and programming of media walls as part of the project. It is likely that both working groups will actively continue beyond the project completion date of autumn 2016.

The revitalization of the Pavilion is one of many steps being taken to meet current and future space needs at OCAD University. While the project will not solve all of OCAD U’s space pressures, it will create exciting new spaces for student, staff and faculty and will address specific student needs for experiential learning and studio space.

Open House: Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Revitalization Project at 115 McCaul

Rosalie Sharp Pavilion
Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm

Join members of OCAD University’s leadership team and the project architects for an open house discussing the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Revitalization Project at 115 McCaul Street. Your input will be used towards interior and exterior design considerations as well as the sustainability plan for the project.

A 45 minute presentation will take place at 5 p.m.

Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery 230 Richmond Street West, first floor Toronto ON  

Open House: Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Revitalization Project at 115 McCaul

Rosalie Sharp Pavilion
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 3:00pm to 6:00pm

Join members of OCAD University’s leadership team and the project architects for an open house discussing the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion Revitalization Project at 115 McCaul Street. Your input will be used towards interior and exterior design considerations as well as the sustainability plan for the project.

A 45 minute presentation will take place at 12 noon.

For those who cannot attend at this time, the Open House will also be held on Thursday, February 5 from 2 to 6 p.m., with the presentation taking place at 5 p.m., also in Onsite Gallery at 230 Richmond Street West, first floor.

Venue & Address: 
Onsite Gallery 230 Richmond Street West, first floor Toronto, ON &nbsp;

OCAD U introduces 24-hour access test period: November 26 to December 12

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 5:00am

We are pleased to announce that effective tonight, November 26 and until Friday, December 12, we are introducing 24-hour access to 100 McCaul (including the Sharp Centre for Design.) Please note the following:

  • Access is for current OCAD University students only (remember to bring your OCAD U ID) 
  • Access is to areas that are normally open during extended hours and do not require supervision by staff or a technician. This means there is no change to the hours of Shops and Studios (please consult the web for the up-to-date hours.) 
  • You may experience some interruptions in IT services as we do perform maintenance overnight. Some desktops computers are set to automatically power down and/or clear drives so we recommend not using those to avoid losing work. 
  • We will have Security circulating the building. Please report any safety concerns to the front desk.

This is a trial period. We will respond to questions and concerns as they arise and monitor usage in order to determine access hours for the end of next semester. Your feedback is welcome – please direct it to dfisher@ocadu.ca.

We'd like to thank the OCAD Student Union, who have worked with us on this issue for some time, and to the team who put together the Long Night Against Procrastination, who helped demonstrate the need for 24/7 study space and to the many staff and particularly the Security team, for making this test period possible.

Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Deanne Fisher, Associate Vice-President, Students 

Bicycle Registration Day

Illustration of a bicycle, black and white
Friday, October 24, 2014 - 2:00pm to 8:00pm


Register your bicycle with Campus Security & the Toronto Police Service for free.

Rent a Bicycle Safe Storage space at 49 McCaul Street or 230 Richmond Street.

Come fill out a small survey to voice your opinion about bicycles on campus.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul Street Main Lobby

AZURE Magazine Promotion On-Campus

Azure Cover
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 1:00pm to 8:00pm

O-DAYS supporter AZURE will be on-campus to promote their student subscription deal

Heads up OCAD U Design students!

Professionals in all areas
of design—graphic design, architecture, landscape architecture, interior or industrial design, technology—rely on AZURE to cover all facets of the design profession.

AZURE is excited to offer all university students the lowest rate available on subscriptions for a full year! Save!

Drop by their table in the lobby for a free issue and find out what a deal they have for you!

Read what the professionals are reading. Expose yourself to the world of design.

Venue & Address: 
Main Lobby 100 McCaul Street Toronto, Ontario


An early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.
Peter Kofman, Vladimir Spicanovic, Dr. Sara Diamond, David Mirvish and Craig Webb, Photo: Martin Iskander
Another early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.

Picture a vibrant new gallery space and learning centre in the heart of Toronto’s cultural core that will bring OCAD University to the world. That’s a hope for the future for the OCAD U campus, and on February 14 Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor announced the name of the 25,000-square-foot facility: the Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University.

It’s appropriate this announcement was made on Valentine’s Day, because of the passions it’s awakening in everyone involved and connected to it. The use of the name was approved in a letter of permission sent on behalf of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry: “Their Royal Highnesses are extremely grateful to you for raising this matter,” read the letter, “since Toronto always held a very special place in their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales’s heart.”

The new arts-dedicated facility will honour a legacy that associates the creative and socially transformative components of art with the Princess of Wales’s dedication to young people, intergenerational exchange and social concerns such as violence, poverty and HIV education. These themes resonate in contemporary art practice and OCAD U’s engagement with contemporary ethics and art in the social sphere. 

“There are very special moments as a leader when your heart both leaps with excitement and warms with profound gratitude,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president at today’s announcement. “The day that David Mirvish called me and shared his hope that OCAD U would become his partner in the creation of a transformative King Street development with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry was such a life moment.”

The facility, part of the Mirvish+Gehry Toronto initiative, is slated to be built at the north east corner of King and Duncan streets in downtown Toronto. The plan proposes a myriad of opportunities for Toronto and international public to engage with the legacy that OCAD U represents.

Like the Sharp Centre for Design designed for OCAD U by Alsop Architects and Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc., the Mirvish + Gehry development will be visually unique. Craig Webb, one of Frank Gehry’s partners described the vision as three towers, each with its own identity, emerging from a cloud-like podium structure onto the Toronto skyline.

“Our goal is to define ourselves and our ambitions,” said David Mirvish, who compared the community spirit of the project to that of NYC’s 92nd Street Y, Manhattan’s renowned cultural community hub. “We’re building a neighbourhood that will serve the whole city, and we’re hoping the core of the gallery can be free to the public.” 

"This space will be about more than places to see and experience art,” said Vladimir Spicanovic, OCAD U’s Dean of Arts. “It will also be a place to study, curate and create artboth for OCAD U students and for the public.”

Imagine a space where you can:

  • See OCAD U’s permanent collection of more than 6,000 prints, paintings, sculptures, textiles and photographs by more than 250 notable Canadian artists
  • View exhibitions by curatorial students
  • Attend performances and the president’s lecture series in a 254-seat theatre-in-the-round
  • Access OCAD U’s expansive collections by master printmakers and archive of artists’ books
  • Study and research criticism, curatorial practice, art history, printmaking and publications
  • Produce publications in a hands-on studio for layout, editing, bookbinding and print-on-demand bookmaking

Find out more: