Davisville Junior Public School/ Spectrum Alternative Senior School

The Davisville Junior Public School/ Spectrum Alternative Senior School in Toronto, Ontario, is on the 2017 Top 10 Endangered Places List. 

Created by the National Trust for Canada

Posted June 8, 2017


Toronto, Ontario

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.

Every year, the National Trust publishes its Top 10 Endangered Places List as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.

First published in 2005, the Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill. The National Trust believes that historic places are cornerstones of identity, community and sense of place, yet every year, more are lost due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. By shining a spotlight on places at risk, the Top 10 Endangered Places List raises awareness about their plight and bolsters the efforts of local advocates working to save them.

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