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Toronto ON


University of Toronto






13,885 sf


In Partnership with Gow Hastings Architect

The OISE Roof Garden was conceived as a space to link and connect the University of Toronto community to each other, to the greater public, and to the city. Throughout the feasibility phase options were explored to develop an existing inaccessible roof terrace located on the 5th floor into an accessible garden and amenity terrace space. Opportunities to weave Indigenous elements and plantings into all aspects of the design were developed in support of the Indigenous Education Network's teaching, learning and research program.

The project includes 3 separate roof areas. The first is a public access terrace with 600 sq. m of amenity space for events, presentations, socializing, studying and lounging. Paving and deck materials are aligned to true north. A sculptural 'whale bone' seating feature becomes a centrally located focal point. A large canopy for use under most weather conditions sits adjacent to a presentation/projection wall and event stage.

The second area has restricted access for the Indigenous Education Network program. This 250 sq. m. roof garden with spectacular views to the city skyline is an inspiring and place for an outdoor classroom environment and gathering space to share Indigenous culture, traditions, and values. A sheltered ceremonial gathering space sits at one end next to a centrally located open fire pit social area. The classroom zone is defined by a sculptural 'antler' seating feature. Sacred medicinal plantings such as sweetgrass, tobacco, sage and cedar are dispersed around the terrace perimeter.

The third part encompasses two green roof areas totaling 440 sq. m. with private access for maintenance and storage  purposes. Cedar and sage make up the predominant plantings in these areas

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