Location:  Willowdale, ON

Size:      16,000 sq. ft.

Status:   Complete

Project Team: Lance Kaprielian, Andy Verhiel, Lee Photavath, Patricia Milne


The vibrant Toronto Armenian community built a Community Centre and Hall in 1979, which has been heavily used over the last 30 years. The expanding use of the Centre, additional needs, and a desire to re-organize the circulation, access and inefficient spaces led the group to embark on a major renovation and addition.

The proposal was to create a central courtyard for pedestrian use and as a focal place for the Centre and adjacent Church. Along side edge a colonnade provides clarity to the courtyard edge and serves as protection from inclement weather as well as a formal entrance canopy. The main foyer was proposed as a large double height space giving directly onto the main banquet hall. A circulation hall clarifies the relationships among the centre, church and banquet hall. This is an octagonal double height space that recalls historical Armenian architecture in its form and detailing.

A significant number of smaller alterations were proposed throughout the building, and include the reorganization of the vertical circulation, provision of a barrier free elevator, new finishes, and an energy efficient retrofit lighting for large parts of the centre.