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Changing the Education Landscape: A New Paradigm for the High School Experience

Kingsway College School / New Senior School

Photo of speeches at opening for KCS senior school
  • Sector


  • Location

    Toronto, Ontario

  • Client

    Kingsway College School

  • Size

    40,000 sf / 3,700 sm

  • Completion


As the first high school of its kind in Toronto, Kingsway College School (KCS) is designed to offer its student body a new model for the high school experience. Using the City of Toronto as its laboratory and campus, Kingsway College School focuses on fostering community and good citizenship through a student-centred approach and experiential learning.

In contrast to a traditional high-school model where most, if not all, teaching and learning activities take place within the walls of the school, the KCS senior school forges partnerships with other institutions to expand student opportunities by using specialty facilities for the arts, athletics, and media-based spaces at higher education campuses. This progressive approach to learning off site adds a depth of experience not typically available to high school students and is intended to inspire students to reach their ultimate potential.

A dedicated stairway to the east of the building leads to the third-floor lobby, the main entrance. Here, a low wood ceiling provides a sense of warmth and welcomes students to the reception area. The entry is animated by views into the marketplace, food kiosk, art studio, classrooms, meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and the outdoors. The space will be active and full of life; a convertible space ready to fulfill a variety of functions. Quad classrooms on the second floor feature a series of foldable walls that can transition to one large space for a range of events. Corridors are transformed into areas of activity with breakout spaces and study bars. 

Central to the design is scalability, enabling the school to grow accordion-like with increased enrollment over a series of academic years. A phased master and space development plan was created that included rentable spaces that would generate income until the space could accommodate anticipated higher enrollments.