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Davisville Junior Public School/ Spectrum Alternative Senior School

Davisville Junior Public School
Photo: Richard Longley


Toronto, ON

Why it matters

An extraordinary example of mid-century modern architecture, this 1962 school has a futuristic gull-wing roofline, jazzy vertical and horizontal window placement, and fine interior materials like limestone, terrazzo, stainless steel, and black walnut. Designed by noted architects Frederick Etherington and Peter Pennington, the innovative floorplan – broken up into four modules with adjoining glass staircases – is intended to surprise and delight students and humanize the building’s scale.

Why it’s endangered

In need of repairs to meet current educational guidelines, the Toronto District School Board intends to tear down Davisville in 2020 after a new school is built next door. In 2016, the Board issued an RFP for architects to design the new school. Many groups like the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario are urging the school board to save and reuse this architectural treasure, an important part of the Toronto board’s own heritage.


“Older schools across Canada are regularly threatened with demolition due to changing fashions in education and lack of appetite for rehabilitation. School board decisions about the future of these well-built community assets have an important impact on community and the environment.” 
- Chris 
WiebeManager, Heritage Policy, National Trust for Canada