Completion Date: September 2013
Owner: Toronto Catholic District School Board

The Toronto Catholic District School Board acquired 1 Botham Road to accommodate a 425 pupil place, K-8 Elementary School on the site of a former Anglican convent. The derelict building which was demolished in 2007 was located at the border of Central Toronto and the region of North York. The site is 11.9 acres, however only 5.8 acres of the site are developable, where the remaining portion of the site is designated as part of the open space system. 1 Botham road is a hidden "gem" in the middle of the Yonge & Sheppard community. The site offers a large variety of vegetation and wildlife, and sits on the peak of the City's largest ravine (Don Valley).

This site provides great opportunities for a design that is as much about an urban building and engagement with the community as it is about creating a learning environment which extends beyond the walls of the school to the natural landscape beyond. The developable portion of the site makes it a particular valuable site for a sensitive intervention of a building that takes into consideration the existing large number of mature trees as well as the scale & type of adjacent residential neighbourhoods and the urban fabric. The school's design integrates many elements to be sensitive to its environment such as the incorporation of a cistern on site to collect and reuse the water run-off from the roof, allowances for future solar panels on the roof, the use of fritted glass to be sensitive to local migratory birds, outdoor learning through the use of teaching circles and preservation of the captivating existing fauna found on site.

The design of the building takes the approach of a pavilion nestled amongst the mature trees. The footprint of the building is broken up to address the various programs (Community, School, Kindergarten) and limit the impact of the footprint on the site. The design of the school is also quite exciting in its approach to integrating a Community Hub which will be available to the neighbourhood for use beyond the scheduled school hours.