YMCA of Greater Toronto receives 2018 Prix du XXe siècle Award for Architecture

June 04, 2018

YMCA building recognized for enduring excellence and significance to Canada’s architectural legacy

The Central YMCA Pool

On June 1st, the Toronto Central YMCA will be receiving the 2018 Prix du XXe siècle award from The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the National Trust for Canada at the RAIC Festival of Architecture in St. John, New Brunswick. The award is in recognition of enduring excellence and significance to Canada’s architectural legacy. 

The Toronto Central YMCA opened in 1984 at 20 Grosvenor Street and was built by Diamond Schmitt Architects. With 10,000 members in health and fitness, they see traffic at about 3,000 people a day including over 250 people in their new comer services and language assessment center per week, 68 students in the YMCA Academy and about 800 kids in swim lessons. The facility is still in great shape today and includes a full recreational complex with two swimming pools, double gymnasium, racquet courts, a dance studio, indoor and rooftop running trackers, a 300-seat multi-use auditorium and a child care centre. 

“We are so excited to have the Metropolitan Toronto Central YMCA be recognized in this way!”, says Alex Versluis, Senior Vice President, Property Management & Development, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “This amazing facility has served the community incredibly well over the years and continues to provide residents with a safe, inclusive and vibrant space in our downtown area. The flexibility of its design has allowed us to adapt to the changing needs and interests of the diverse population we are so grateful to serve.” 

The three-member jury selected the building “not only for its remarkable design qualities but also for its generous stance as a welcoming urban neighbor and humanist intervention in the heart of downtown Toronto.” They noted that the building’s good condition today is “a testament to the robust execution of the architecture, especially surprising given the number of users throughout the building.” 

Diamond Schmitt Architects are currently working on the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) YMCA which will provide a wide range of services and programs to support the physical, social and mental health of people living and working in the growing community. They are also working on the McDonald Family Richmond Street YMCA (to open in 2020) that will bring a much-needed health facility to the area, serving a revitalized Alexandra Park neighbourhood and its surrounding communities. 

For more information contact:
Communications, YMCA of Greater Toronto, media@ymcagta.org