Students gather at O-DAYS. Photo by Brent Everett James.
Lillian Allen. Photo courtesy Lillian Allen.

You wouldn’t expect OCAD U’s welcome and orientation week to be like it is at every other university, would you? O-DAYS brings all new students together from every program and discipline to connect with each other, be inspired and become a part of the OCAD U community from the outset of their student experience. No other Canadian campus has the godmother of rap on hand, or is hosting an interactive performance art event inspired by reality-TV.

“It’s a celebration that’s unique to OCAD U,” says Brent Everett James, Campus Life Coordinator, Student Success Programs. “Students enjoy it, and our goal is to make it as accessible as possible and accommodate everyone’s needs, including food.”

O-DAYS gathers 1000 to 1200 new students every September for workshops, special campus tours, an introduction to campus services, a community fair, parties and barbecues. It’s the official transition into student life here, whether you’re arriving at university for the first time, or you’re a mature student who’s studied elsewhere.

The main event takes place in Butterfield Park. This year’s Big Welcome Day (September 3) includes a traditional welcome ceremony organized by the Indigenous Visual Culture Program, greetings by Dr. Sara Diamond, the university’s President, a welcome by the OCAD Student Union (OCADSU) and a keynote talk by Lillian Allen.

Lillian Allen, a Creative Writing professor at OCAD U is a multi-talented and internationally acclaimed writer, dub poet and performer and considered the literary godmother of rap, hip hop and spoken word. She’s also worked in film, radio and video, and will be presenting a seminar at Harvard University this fall. 

The Student Union Day (September 4) is a full day of activities, entertainment and free food in Butterfield Park.

The O-Team spends months planning and organizing O-DAYS, working together with volunteers from across the university community, student union members and student peer mentors.

Are you a new student? Here’s how to get involved:

-Introduce yourself with a selfie on a Face2Face postcard

-Come out to all of the events! Check out the schedule to find out what’s happening 

-Don’t forget to RSVP 

-Party at XPACE on Friday, September 6 and enjoy Future Talk, a live reality-TV inspired talk show 

-Party with the Student Union on Friday, September 13 

-Use the OOOHLALA app to find your way around campus


Student using a plasma cutter. Photo by Evi Hui.

If you were walking past the Sharp Centre for Design one sunny day last October you might have seen a student film crew moving very slowly, shooting a man riding a bicycle backwards. To get their shot they were using one of OCAD U’s specialized, new motion controlled cameras which until recently were the exclusive domain of multimillion-dollar film sets. This is just one example of the changes in the ever-evolving shops and studios at OCAD U.

OCAD U’s studios feature a breadth of equipment. The university preserved traditional studio equipment, such as metal plates and dark rooms for photography, while at the same time adding new digital technologies so students can combine older techniques with new capabilities.

“We’re aware of what students want and we also stay on top with what’s changing and required in program curriculum,” said Nick Hooper, the director of OCAD U’s studio facilities. “Combining digital and traditional processes is our strength.”

OCAD U is home to the only foundry (for casting sculptures in bronze or aluminum) in the downtown core of Toronto. The university also has a unique tool lending program.

Over the past year OCAD U’s shops and studios upgraded to include:

-Extended hours for wood, metal and plastics studios

-A new open shop in Room 161 where students can work independently on their own projects —open all hours the building is

-An expanded sculpture-making facility to accommodate demand

-Renovated foundry and mould-making studios

-New design photography studios dedicated to use by advertising and graphic design students for learning specialized techniques for controlled studio photography

-New laser cutters, 3D printers and CNC routers in the Rapid Prototyping Centre

-A new large printing press for the etching studio

-New work tables for screen printing

-Digital fabric printer with colourfast fabric ink so students can design patterns digitally then print them directly to fabric

-3D wax mould printer for jewelry making

-New risograph printer for the Publications program: uses real ink and prints in poster quality

“We’re always upgrading equipment and improving work spaces.” Hooper said.


Bicycle Registration Days

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - 5:00pm to Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 5:00pm

OCAD U Campus Security is happy to announce that we are hosting a two day bicycle registration day in Butterfield Park. Over the durations of the two days we will also be offering students, staff and faculty a chance to register/rent an indoor bicycle storage spot. Available spots will be distributed on a first come first serve basis, as they are limited. The two new storage areas are located at 49 McCaul and 230 Richmond St W.

For more details on this and many other bicycle related safety programs, please stop by our information area located in Butterfield Park.


O-DAYS! Welcome Week

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 1:00pm to Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 9:00pm

OCAD University Orientation


Each year in September, OCAD University welcomes over 1,000 new and first-year undergraduate students to our community with O-DAYS! (orientation), scheduled to take place at the main campus building (100 McCaul Street) and in our green space, Butterfield Park.

Campus Life and the OCAD U Student Union OCADSU) are busy planning a variety of exciting #ODAYS14 activities for #OCADU2018 undergraduate students, August 26 through September 5.

Visit us online for a detailed schedule of activities! And watch your email in late August for team assignment and schedules: #teamcyan! #teammagenta! #teamyellow!

Accessibility is important to us. If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate fully in this event, please make a notation in the appropriate field in the online RSVP form and submit it prior to August 22, 2014 so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Lunch and snacks will be provided at O-DAYS!
It is your responsibility to email us and notify us of any allergies or dietary restrictions so that we may do our best to accommodate you. Please do so at your earliest convenience, no later than August 22, 2014.

Please be advised that OCAD U hosted events may be documented through photographs and video. These images may be used by the university for promotional, advertising, and educational purposes. By participating in our events, both on campus and off-site, you consent to allowing OCAD U to document and use your image and likeness. However, if you do not want us to use a photo or video of you, please don’t hesitate to let us know when you arrive at the event. You’re also welcome to get in touch with OCAD U’s Campus Life office.

Venue & Address: 
Main Building and Butterfield Park, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario

Update on repairs to Sharp Centre leg

Picture of Sharp Centre at night
Friday, September 12, 2014 - 4:00am

Work will begin to prepare the black leg of the Sharp Centre for repainting on Monday, September 15. Crews will bring in booms, scaffolding and other equipment which will remain in place in and around Butterfield Park for several days. All equipment will be removed for the Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC) Pow Wow on Tuesday, September 16. Barring any unforeseen issues, the work will continue through to October 2. OCAD University thanks the community for their patience as we’ve worked through this process, and as crews complete this work.

Ultra Rare: A Creative Placemaking Lab

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 11:00pm to Friday, September 12, 2014 - 3:00am

Thursday September 11, 2014 to Saturday September 27, 2014

Block Party: September 11, 7-11pm

student exhibition

feat. DJ sets by GlitClit + Petra Glynt,
and Ice-Pop Art by Lisa Paul
September 11, 2014 (7-11pm)

Planned in partnership with OCAD University’s new Creative Placemaking Committee, ULTRA RARE is a collection of projects and events that beautify and animate our corner of campus. This project models how civic stakeholders, including governments and private businesses, can empower artists to enhance public space and nurture community values in urban areas.

Mural by Julia Dickens, Tara Dorey, Alexandra Mackenzie, Lido Pimienta, Peter Rahul and Diana VanderMeulen; Planter by Laura Hedley, grOCAD; Small Space by Corey Moranis; OCAD U Student Gallery by Shannon Gerard.

Curated by Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas

Ultra Rare is supported by Osmington Inc., Prime Time Paints and Vinci Park, and sponsored by Pittsburgh Paints (PPG) and Stephenson's Rental Service Inc.

Student Gallery

52 McCaul St.

Toronto, Ontario



Venue & Address: 
Student Gallery 52 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario

Facilities update from the Vice-President, Administration and Finance

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 4:15pm

The following memo was issued on Friday, April 11 from Alan Simms, Interim Vice-President, Administration and Finance at OCAD University:

Issues around facilities and maintenance at OCAD University have been in the news recently. I would like to take this opportunity to update on these issues and some exciting space-related projects that we aim to advance by the time we begin the new academic term in September 2014.

OCAD University owns commercial units within a condominium at what we call the Annex Building of our university: four floors at 113 McCaul. While the university maintains washrooms on those floors within its own space, there are also common-area washrooms on the floors that have fallen into disrepair that we do not own. The university has been in protracted discussions with the condominium board about doing the needed work in these common-area washrooms on floors 2 to 5 which were closed this winter because of their conditions. The university’s Facilities staff has worked hard with the condominium corporation to secure a plan for restoration of these washrooms. Renovations have begun and we have been advised that the work will be completed later this spring.

The intumescent paint application on the southwest black leg of the Sharp Centre, built in 2004, failed after 10 years over this harsh winter. Experts we have consulted are still unsure of the reason, but remediation work has been held up as we explore warranty and insurance coverage for the issue and ensure the other legs are not experiencing similar paint adhesion problems. Naturally, we are keen that the necessary scraping and re-painting be accomplished in the warmer months over the summer. We are reviewing the possibility of reducing the size of the area of Butterfield Park, beneath the “tabletop” of the Sharp Centre, that currently is cordoned off as a safety precaution against injury from falling paint segments.

We are also actively developing plans for re-purposing several university-owned properties. An architect consultant will be retained within the next month to help design a repurposed115 McCaul St. – at the corner of Dundas and McCaul streets – as a student-focused space, the Experiential Learning Centre, with the intention also to re-skin the facility to raise our profile at this prominent intersection. The consultant will spearhead an integrated planning approach to the project and aim for an aggressively targeted completion of September 2015.

Repurposing 115 McCaul means that we need to find a new home for the staff who currently work in that building and the university is considering plans for relocation of many of the 115 functions to buildings the university owns at 230/240 Richmond St. W. A major tenant is vacating this facility in December 2014, and we are also assessing how other chronic space needs might be resolved by absorbing some of the vacated space in this facility.

We are in the early stages of considering new best and appropriate uses for 51 McCaul, the streetcar building, mid-block, that currently houses many of our student services. This use for the building has never been ideal, given that the noise level from the streetcar turnaround negatively affects everything from counseling appointments to students with disabilities who use space here to write examinations, purportedly in a setting where it’s easier to concentrate. One option being reviewed is the possibility of relocating our current computer store in 317c 100 McCaul to part of the main floor street level of 51 McCaul and growing it into a new bookstore for the university that could also be a venue possibly for selling student art and design work.

Beyond improving our space and use of space, these particular projects share a common theme: the strengthening of OCAD University’s presence along the McCaul/Duncan spine. A new committee on creative place-making will be formalized soon that will begin solicit ideas for creative, quality-of-life interventions along this spine. To start this conversation, the Student Gallery will be calling for submissions to undertake an exciting mural painting program over the summer using the Brinks Building at 60 McCaul as the canvas. This building is currently on loan to OCAD University by developers Tridel and Osmington and is used to provide studio space for our senior students. The building and the one south of it at 52 McCaul, also on loan to OCAD University, are slated to be demolished in 2015 to make room for an upcoming condominium development.

This is only a short list of what is keeping us busy. We hope to make further announcements on progress about these and other maintenance and space-related initiatives over the summer and certainly as classes resume in September.

OCAD U names new facility at Mirvish+Gehry Toronto The Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts

Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 5:00am

(Toronto—February 14, 2013) OCAD University announced today that it will name its new 25,000-square-foot facility at the proposed Mirvish+Gehry Toronto project The Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University. The new facility is one of two cultural centrepieces of a multi-year, multi-phase project announced in October that will transform Toronto’s downtown arts and entertainment district.  The Mirvish+Gehry Toronto project, which will also feature a new Mirvish Collection museum, is the largest and most significant urban commission to date for Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry.

“The Princess of Wales has long been associated in Toronto with excellence in the arts,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD U. “This new arts-dedicated facility provides a means to honour a legacy that associates the creative and socially transformative virtues of art with the Princess of Wales’s legendary dedication to young people, intergenerational exchange and social concerns such as violence, poverty and HIV education.”

OCAD University received approval to transfer the Princess of Wales name, originally granted in 1993 to the Mirvish family to name the then-new Princess of Wales Theatre, which will be replaced as part of the project plans. The letter sent on behalf of Their Highnesses, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, reads: “Their Royal Highnesses are extremely grateful to you for raising this matter, since Toronto always held a very special place in their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales’s heart.”

The Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University’s proximity to the Mirvish Collection museum provides an unprecedented opportunity for partnership and collaboration.

“It is wonderful news that the Princess of Wales presence will continue its historic relationship to our cultural projects that began in May of 1993 with the Princess of Wales theatre,” said David Mirvish. “OCAD University, its staff and students share a broad range of interests that coincide with mine. I can imagine a collaboration that starts with curatorial studies and extends to shared public lectures. Our relationship will be an evolution where we will work together to find opportunities.”

The university also released more details about the vision for the Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts, which will become an arts showcase and learning facility, featuring studios, seminar rooms, gallery facilities and a public theatre and lecture hall to promote and enable the making, study and exhibition of art.

“This project will transform Toronto’s downtown cultural district and advance the area’s future as a thriving creative centre,” said Dr. Diamond. “OCAD University shares David Mirvish’s vision in, through his extraordinary collection and the educational programing we will bring, creating a valuable resource for the public and our students that will enrich the downtown experience.”


Mirvish+Gehry Toronto:
On October 1, 2012, David Mirvish, founder of Mirvish Productions, and world-renowned architect Frank Gehry unveiled the conceptual design for the mixed-use project that will bring new cultural, residential and retail spaces to a site immediately next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre and create a new visual identity for the city’s premier arts district.

Mirvish+Gehry Toronto is the vision of David Mirvish, who through his family’s support of the arts has helped make the city a major international centre for performing arts and has transformed the downtown King Street Entertainment District. Bordered by many of Toronto’s leading cultural institutions including the Royal Alexandra Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall to the east, the Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox to the west, and the John Street Cultural Corridor to the west culminating at the Art Gallery of Ontario to the north, the project will have at its centre The Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University and the Mirvish Collection museum.

The Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University
A dedicated entrance off the east side of Duncan Street will take the public and students to the third and fourth floors of the development. At the heart of the 25,000-square foot, two-storey space will be a 250-seat in-the-round theatre/lecture hall to be used for performance art, lectures, dialogues and equipped for videoconferencing.

In addition, the Centre will house the following programs and initiatives:

Exhibition and Visual Research Centre

  • Public Gallery to showcase the university’s permanent collection (currently in storage and inaccessible)
  • Faculty Gallery dedicated to showcase current faculty work in art and design
  • Visual Research; a collaborative experimental studio for the community
  • Artist in Residence studio
  • Documentation room / photo studio

Art History, Curatorial and Critical Studies Centre

  • Criticism and Curatorial Practice workshop space
  • Gallery space for exhibiting student-curated exhibitions
  • Curator in Residence studio

Publication and Printmaking Research and Production Centre

  • Layout and editing workspace
  • Bookbinding studio
  • Publication project meeting space
  • Publications Research lounge with displays 
  • Writer in Residence studio

Printmaking Studios & Archive

  • Screenprinting and relief studios with a digital editing suite
  • Rapid Prototyping and 3D printing studio

Continuing Studies

  • Digital media lab and two seminar rooms geared to Continuing Studies

Print Archive and Print Sales

  • Print OnDemand bookmaking service centre (serving the OCAD U community, visiting researchers, artists and general public) 
  • Print archive exhibition space, sales program and storage

All residence programs will have community engagement and outreach projects at the core of their mandates, with activities to take place in a collaborative experimental studio.

The university’s undergraduate programs in Printmaking, Criticism and Curatorial Practice and a new Publications specialization will be rooted at the Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts, along with graduate studies in Criticism and Curatorial Practice as well as undergraduate art history students and graduate students in the Master of Arts in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories.

The Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts continues the south campus of OCAD University, which has classroom, gallery and office space at 205, 230 and 240 Richmond Street West. The university is also developing a new professional gallery at street level of 199 Richmond Street West as part of the Studio Condominiums project current under construction at that site.


OCAD University (OCAD U):
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. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

# # #

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 x327 (mobile x1327)

O-DAYS! BIG Welcome Day

 O-DAYS! BIG Welcome Day
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 1:00pm

A variety of fun and engaging activities are planned to greet, welcome and orient our new students!

Welcome to OCAD U!

A variety of O-DAYS! activities will welcome you to the campus: the Annual Aboveground Art Materials Fair (AMF); Annual Community Fair; O-DAYS! BBQ*; entertainment on the Butterfield Park stage; campus/community tours; prizes and free stuff; locker assignment and the issuing of OCAD U Student identification cards, and more!

OCAD Student Union, upper-year volunteer student Peer Mentors from the Student Mentor Program and the O-TEAM (enthusiastic orientation volunteers) will be on hand to greet and help orient you to a new life at OCAD U!

Visit www.ocadu.ca/orientation for details!

Accessibility is important to us. If you require accommodations due to a disability in order to participate fully in this event, please email us (corrected link) prior to August 23, 2013 so we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Lunch and snacks will be provided at O-DAYS!
It is your responsibility to email us (corrected link) and notify us of any allergies or dietary restrictions so that we may do our best to accommodate you.

Please be advised that OCAD U hosted events may be documented through photographs and video. These images may be used by the University for promotional, advertising, and educational purposes. By participating in our events, both on campus and off-site, you consent to allowing OCAD University to document and use your image and likeness. However, if you do not want us to use a photo or video of you, please don’t hesitate to let us know when you arrive at the event. You’re also welcome to get in touch with OCAD University’s Campus Life office.





Venue & Address: 
Main Building & Butterfield Park 100 McCaul Street Toronto, Ontario


Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 1:30pm


Special campus tour for participants of the 69th National Association for College Admission Counseling conference

OCAD University is Canada’s oldest and largest specialized art and design university. Located in the heart of Toronto’s cultural community, NACAC conference attendees are invited to visit our campus and experience the institution's studio environment. This is a special event combining a tour, studio demo, presentation, and Q and A session. Participation in this event requires registration and is limited to 50 attendees. Please email chinton@ocadu.ca to confirm your participation.

(The option to take a self-guided tour will also be available throughout the conference).


416-977-6000 ext. 2055





Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St. Toronto, Ontario