Condo schoolRendering: Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School at Sugar Wharf via jaredmenkes, Menkes Developments

Downtown Toronto will soon welcome Ontario’s first-ever high-density, vertical school.

Today, Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, and Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, unveiled plans for Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School, the province’s first school to be created inside of a condo building. In collaboration with the Toronto District School Board and Menkes Developments, the future school will be located within the mixed-use Sugar Wharf Condominiums project at Lake Shore Boulevard East and Yonge Street near Toronto’s waterfront.

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“I am so proud to announce that Menkes will be bringing Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School to our Sugar Wharf Development,” said Jared Menkes, executive vice president of high-rise residential at Menkes Developments, in an Instagram post.

“This will serve the future waterfront community – an amazing milestone for the [City of Toronto], and of course for the many young families who have transitioned to high rise living. Urban families can count on having a school close to work and home,” he added.

The province is investing $44 million to build the school, which will create 455 student spaces for families living in urban communities, and will support the government’s mandate of “building modern, accessible, and technologically connected schools for Ontario youth.”

Condo schoolRendering: Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School at Sugar Wharf via jaredmenkes, Menkes Developments

The school is anticipated to open in 2024, according to details reported by the Toronto Star. Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School would be located on the condo tower’s third floor above a childcare centre on the second level, and will have access to more than two acres of green space in the development.

When complete, the school could potentially be replicated as “an innovative solution to meeting the education needs of working families in urban and high-density environments,” according to a press release issued by the Ontario government.

“We know that in a growing city like Toronto, we need unique and creative approaches to creating important public spaces like schools,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory in the release. “This new project between the provincial government and Menkes Development will bring the school right into the community as a new mixed-use condominium.”

The condo school is one of 78 projects in Ontario that are part of a $600 million investment to create school and child care spaces. About $14 billion has been promised by Ontario over the next decade for school construction.

“With many families living in condos and high-density urban communities, we believe their children deserve access to modern and safe schools in the hearts of their communities,” said Minister Lecce in the press release. “I am proud to deliver this progressive urban school within a high-density condominium project. This innovative partnership will provide access for young families to a state-of-the-art school in the heart of Toronto.”

Sugar Wharf Condominiums, which comprises multiple towers reaching up to 80 storeys in height, is currently under construction. The project boasts other family- and child-friendly amenities such as a kids party room, LEGO room and play area.

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