OCAD U celebrates re-opening of Rosalie Sharp Pavilion

Ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo: Martin Iskander
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

OCAD University officially celebrated the re-opening of the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion, at 115 McCaul St.  ̶  home of the Experiential Learning Centre. The building’s refurbishment is a milestone in the Creative City Campus project, boldly re-imagining the use of space to expand studio, digital and work-integrated-learning learning.

At the event, Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University, thanked long-time benefactors of the university, Rosalie and Isadore Sharp for their continued support. An alumna of OCAD University, artist and designer Rosalie Sharp was the university’s first Chancellor.

The Sharps bought the building in 1998 and generously donated it to OCAD U, followed by a $5 million commitment to the Ideas Need Space campaign in 2001. This led to the creation of the famed Sharp Centre for Design, designed by the late architect Will Alsop. In addition, the Sharps donated $4 million towards OCAD U’s current campaign, Ignite Imagination.

During the event, Leslie Gales, Chair of the Ignite Imagination campaign, announced the launch of Phase Two of Ignite Imagination: a target of $30 million to achieve a goal of $100 million dollars to complete the Creative City Campus project.

Special guests at the event included MPP Chris Glover, representing Spadina – Fort York, and MPP David Piccini, who represents Northumberland - Peterborough South and is Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The renewal of the building was supported by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, with a grant of $27 million towards the Creative City Campus project and the Government of Canada with $2 million in funding through the Strategic Investment Fund.  

Tania Bortolotto of Bortolotto Architects designed the renewal of the building, which includes a stainless steel scrim. The scrim represents a data visualization of downtown Toronto streets overlaid with locations of art and cultural institutions frequented by the university’s students and areas of important public art. With the south portion of the scrim in place, further sections of scrim will be mounted on the west and north sides of the pavilion, in December.