architects-Alliance co-led the design team in charge of the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Athletes’ Village, of which the GBC Student Residence + Conference Centre is a significant component. This unique mixed-use development was transformed following the Games into the Canary District, a permanent residential community of 1,040 units of student, affordable and market housing, a new YMCA, and restaurants, shops and cafés.
The new 257-unit George Brown College Student Residence, designed by a-A, serves as a gatepost marking the western entrance into the District. Two nine-storey bar buildings are anchored by a two-storey base programmed with a conference facility and new YMCA community centre. A fully glazed bridge links the two bars of the Residence, providing wonderful views across the Village and a convenient way for students to visit friends on other floors. User-specific entrances ensure that casual visitors cannot access student housing floors. A dramatic feature staircase rises diagonally across the eastern face of the podium, from the street to the second level conference centre.
The Residence, and the rest of the Canary District, is LEED Gold certified.