Branksome Hall

Branksome Hall

January 20, 2015 08:00 ET

Award-Winning Athletics & Wellness Centre Set to Become a New Rosedale Landmark

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 20, 2015) -

Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this press release.

January 2015 marks the opening of Branksome Hall's award-winning Athletics and Wellness Centre at the corner of Mount Pleasant Road and Elm Avenue.

"This state-of-the-art building is an invitation to wellness-to a world of possibilities," says Principal Karen L. Jurjevich. "For generations to come, it will provide girls with facilities that will encourage them to weave physical activity, recreation and healthy food choices into their daily lives."

Designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA), the contemporary building features a natural palette with limestone, tile and brick, and accents of glass, wood and metal finishings within. The design received a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in late 2013.

"Masonry, glass and wood are the primary materials used to connect to the existing century-old heritage brick buildings on the school's east and west campuses," says David Miller of MJMA. "Placement of the exterior glazing allows visibility of the life within."

The nearly 68,000-square-foot (6,300-sq.-m.) building includes the following:

  • two saltwater swimming pools (a training/lap pool and a shallow-floor teaching pool) and a viewing gallery that overlooks them
  • a gymnasium
  • a dryland rowing centre
  • dance and yoga studios
  • a fitness centre
  • a rooftop terrace
  • meeting rooms
  • a 300-person dining hall that specializes in simple, delicious and healthy meals; it includes a fireplace lounge

"A series of internal walkways encourages students to view a wide range of athletic activities and be inspired to become involved in the athletic community," says Project Design Architect Olga Pushkar. "The strong visible connection to the nearby ravine will be like a breath of fresh air into the building," she adds.

As environmental sustainability is important to the school, the Athletics and Wellness Centre was created with the following features:

  • green roof above the dining hall, dance studio and part of the gym, which helps reduce the urban heat island effect
  • high-performance glazing with solar-control louvres and solar-control frit patterns, which also help to prevent birds from hitting the glass
  • high-efficiency lights that will be set to shut off automatically each night
  • storm water from the roof will be collected and used for irrigation

Construction of the project, overseen by Gillam Group, has been ongoing since October 2012.

The Athletics and Wellness Centre will be ready for student use on Monday, January 26, 2015. On opening day, wellness expert Dr. Mike Evans will speak at the school.

Prior to the opening, Branksome Hall is holding several celebrations. For example, students and employees will take part in a "Wellness Day" on Friday, January 23, with former CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon and the following visiting athletes:

  • Curt Harnett, Olympic Medalist in Cycling
  • Michelle Li, Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist in Badminton
  • Paige Schultz, Pan Am Games Medalist in Swimming
  • Marnie McBean, Olympic Medalist in Rowing

Wellness Day will also include student workouts, yoga and dance demonstrations.

Doors Open 2015

The public will have the opportunity to tour the Athletics and Wellness Centre in May 2015. Branksome Hall has been invited to feature the new building during Toronto's 2015 Doors Open event, on the weekend of May 23 and 24.

Then, this summer, the Athletics and Wellness Centre will be the home base for Branksome Hall Day Camps, which include dance, performing arts, soccer, swimming and other programs for girls and boys ages 4 to 17.


Founded in 1903, Branksome Hall is a leading independent school for girls. From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, all students study the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. The school provides a focus on wellness, outstanding academics and global engagement opportunities.

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To view the images available, please visit the following links:

- two saltwater swimming pools:

- gymnasium:

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