Vaughan York University Campus Study

Vaughan, Ontario

City of Vaughan



SvN was hired by the City of Vaughan to assist with their proposal to York University. The proposal identified a potential York University undergraduate building candidate site that demonstrated full compliance with the Province of Ontario’s Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework. The firm demonstrated the benefits of a centrally located Vaughan campus within the GTHA and the Region of York. Within the City itself, SvN analyzed four potential sites to illustrate the benefits of each site; and to recommend a single site that would provide the best opportunity in consideration of the policy frameworks established by both York University and The Province of Ontario. Once a preferred candidate site was selected, a detailed conceptual design for a representative undergraduate campus was developed for a build-out to ten years and 223,000 square metres (2.4 million sq ft). Detailed renderings and rendered site plans were prepared in support of this concept.

The development of this concept was based on SvN’s approach to campus planning, and integrated academic / non-academic campus communities. It addressed the consideration of: alignment of buildings with views; the creation of inspiring, human scaled campus spaces; a landscape program that is native to the existing landscape and speaks to the investment of the Institution in the natural environment; and a high-quality network of active transportation and pedestrian paths and trails that fully connect the campus to the surrounding community, natural landscape, and public transit and active transportation system.

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Our firm has set a new standard for sustainability in Canadian institutional architecture, integrating passive energy systems, low-emission materials, and resilient building strategies into the design of lecture halls, classrooms, labs, offices, recreation facilities and student residences. Working within changing urban contexts, our adaptable designs allow for flexibility in program and building use over time. Seminal projects include York University’s Computer Science Building and the student residences for Ryerson’s downtown Toronto campus.
We undertake site analysis studies, from site scale up to secondary plan scales.  We work with developers and public agencies such as Build Toronto and Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation to complete due diligence and Highest and Best Use Studies for their lands. 
We prepare comprehensive plans for new communities ranging from high-density urban infill projects in areas subject to intensification, through to responsible greenfield development. Starting with an assessment of the local environment, we develop plans and designs that build on the history of the site, while identifying opportunities for sustainable growth.