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

OCAD University selects architects for campus expansion

Three male architects
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

OCAD University is pleased to announce the selection of three architectural firms to lead the design and implementation of the Creative City Campus (CCC) project: Morphosis and Teeple Architects, with Two Row Architect.

The CCC project will revitalize and expand the core of the institution’s campus along McCaul Street in Toronto, involving approximately 55,000 sq. ft. of new construction and 95,000 sq. ft. of renovation and repurposing of existing space.

The two internationally-renowned lead firms, Morphosis and Teeple Architects, have previously collaborated over the years, sharing ideas and research. They will work with Two Row Architect, a 100 per cent native-owned and operated firm on the Six Nations in Southern Ontario, to create the Indigenous Visual Culture and Student Centre and to ensure that Indigeneity is embedded successfully throughout the project.

“Our campus expansion in the heart of Toronto’s creative district is aligned with our goal of creating a 21st century, healthy, accessible and creative environment where studio-based, experiential and collaborative learning can thrive,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Over its 140 year history, the institution has grown and thrived, and this project is the next step in its evolution.”

In spring 2016, OCAD U received a $27-million investment from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the Creative City Campus project. “The Ontario government is proud to support this renewal project, which will provide OCAD U students with vastly expanded and improved learning facilities,” said Han Dong, Member of Provincial Parliament, Trinity-Spadina.

Leading edge media, technology and state-of-the-art digital fabrication will be integrated throughout the facility to enable pedagogy, as well as social interaction and new ways of thinking, making and doing.

“OCAD University is embarking on a bold campus renewal that will accelerate the university’s continued success in developing the next generation of professionals in the creative sector,” said Leslie Gales, Chair Campaign Cabinet  ̶  OCAD U, Ignite Imagination.

“We are thrilled to be part of the future of Canada’s oldest and largest art, design and digital media university. We look forward to bringing new disciplines, minds and thoughts together to re-imagine the future and collectively answer the questions of tomorrow,” said Thom Mayne, Design Director of Morphosis Architects.

“Rethinking the very nature of learning space at OCAD U is the core challenge of this opportunity,” said Stephen Teeple. “How can it be organized, what spatial qualities might it possess to enhance interdisciplinary discourse and spark the imagination of creative young minds? These are the questions to be explored in the exciting design process that is about to unfold.”

OCAD University’s constant evolution is based in the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society – that imaginations have the unique power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives.

The Globe and Mail covered the announcement. 


Below, Left to right: Ung-Joo Scott Lee, architect Mark Robert, OCAD U board member Helen Kearns, MPP Han Dong, architect Brian Porter, OCAD U board Vice Chair Sharifa Khan, architect Stephen Teeple, architect Thom Mayne, OCADU President Sara Diamond, Ignite Imagination Campaign chair Leslie Gales, MP Adam Vaughan and OCAD U VP, Advancement Carole Beaulieu.

Left to right: Ung-Joo Scott Lee, architect Mark Robert, OCAD U board member Helen Kearns, MPP Han Dong, architect Brian Porter,
Morphosis project - Bill and Melinda Gates Hall
Teeple project - Stephen Hawking Centre
Two Row project - Allegany

Six architectural firms on shortlist for Creative City Campus

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 3:00pm

The short list of architects for Creative City Campus (CCC) have been chosen. With over 20 submissions from top global firms, selecting a short list was no easy task. In fact, the quality of work was so outstanding that the initial short list of five was increased to six.

Here are the top six bidding firms, in alphabetical order:

  • Baird Sampson Neuert Architects + NADAA
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects
  • Hariri Pontarini Architects
  • KPMB Architects
  • Teeple Architects + Morphosis
  • Zeidler Partnership Architects + 3XN

As Canada’s university of the imagination, OCAD University is engaged in transformative education, scholarship and innovation. Creative City Campus (CCC) is a project that will revitalize and expand the core of the institution’s campus along McCaul Street in Toronto, Ontario. It will involve 150,000 square feet of new construction and renovation combined.

The project’s main goal is to create a 21st century healthy, accessible, and creative learning environment to ensure students have full access to technology-enabled studio-based, experiential and collaborative learning. Cutting edge media, technology and state of the art digital fabrication will be integrated throughout the facility to enhance teaching opportunities, social interaction and new ways of thinking, making and doing. The project will also address the university’s deferred maintenance backlog and will significantly improve the efficiency and performance of the facility. 

The Project prioritizes OCAD U’s core values of sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, indigeneity, invention, entrepreneurship and heritage. These values have underpinned the program development, design process and implementation of all project components, and are integrated throughout all stages of design thinking, stakeholder engagement, planning and project management. 

Firms were chosen by a selection committee of OCADU staff and faculty who judged the submission based on their ability to reflect the university’s core values and principles. The main criteria for selection included:

  • Integrated design process and complex stakeholder group engagement
  • Experience with a post-secondary institution - program, design, project strategy
  • Commitment to social and environmental sustainability
  • Appreciation and respect for heritage conservation
  • Appreciation and respect for indigeneity
  • Demonstrated innovative and dynamic design
  • Cutting edge and integrated technology
  • Expert project management

Two rounds of presentations of the finalists will take place at the end of October, with the recommended architect presenting to the PRCA (Physical Resources and Capital Assets Committee) on November 10, 2016. Board approval of the contract with the architect will be finalized on December 5, 2016.

For more information about Creative city campus you can visit the website at or contact Robin Buxton Potts at