St. Simon Catholic School
District School Board
Michael Muraz Photography
This new 57,000 sf, 542 pupil places elementary school is located in Toronto, just north of the 401 and Weston Road. The existing school that was built in the 1950’s and previously occupied by the Toronto District School Board was demolished.
The new school includes a welcoming front entrance with a vibrant and inviting street presence. The main entrance is flanked by the glazed gymnasium, which adds transparency and openness to the school façade. The two-storey volume of the gymnasium expands over the common area creating a light-filled atrium space.
All of the shared-use community spaces such as the gymnasium, multi-program room and the library are located off the atrium hub. Instructional spaces are predominately located in the two-storey west wing. The kindergartens are located on the main level adjacent to the outdoor recreation area.
The new school occupies the east end of a relatively small suburban park. Several orientation options were explored that offered different approaches to locating the school, parking and bus drop-off loop. The preferred option brings the school as close as possible to the street while maintaining the minimum requirements for the bus drop off and parking. The site planning provides a dedicated outdoor play area with both hard and soft landscaping elements. The outdoor space is easily accessible from the classrooms that overlook the green spaces. Passive security is provided for the playground given that both classrooms and the library look on to it.