Bottom level with frosted glass (blue) skylight to first level and steel beams and rafters throughout

Old Don Jail (Bridgepoint Health Administration Centre)

The Old Don Jail (c. 1864) is a 3.5 storey buff brick and Berea sandstone Renaissance Revival building founded on a rusticated Queenston limestone base.

The main entrance of the central block is placed on an elaborate surround with a bracketed entablature supported on a pair of Doric columns with vermiculated bands. This central block is flanked by bricked wings. The rehabilitation project includes the conservation of significant interior and exterior heritage features while adaptively re-using the building for Bridgepoint Health offices and administrative work. The Old Don Jail is a provincially and municipally designated heritage building with easement agreements recognizing the existing heritage character-defining features.

This project was a modernization of a “smart” building for a contemporary hospital administration within a historic building and historic landscape. Management of multiple stakeholders was a major element of this project. Stakeholders included hospital administration, the Toronto Heritage Preservation Board, the Ontario Heritage Trust, and specific community interest groups. Other common elements include integrating contemporary design strategies within a very rigid jail structure with the purpose of wholesale transformation into wide open multi-purpose public spaces that act as community hubs for the health community of bridgepoint. As part of the rehabilitation project, +VG produced heritage conservation and interpretation plans approved by the Ontario Heritage Trust and the City of Toronto’s Heritage Preservation Services, detailed drawings and specifications for the exterior restoration and interior adaptive re-use, and extensive documentation of heritage character-defining features in-situ, including elements to be removed/salvaged/preserved/restored.

LOCATION

Toronto, Ontario

CLIENT

Bridgepoint Health

DESIGNATED

Ontario Heritage Act, Part IV

COMPLETED

2013

SIZE

77,000 ft²

SERVICES

Retrofit/Adaptive Re-Use

PHOTOGRAPHY

Tom Arban

AWARDS

2016 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture,
Governor General’s Awards

2016 William Greer Award of Excellence,
Heritage Toronto Awards

2014 Cornerstone Award,
Heritage Canada

2014 Best Commercial or Institutional Building of 2014,
The People’s Choice Awards for Architecture

2014 Paul Oberman Award for Adaptive Reuse & Heritage Restoration,
The People’s Choice Awards for Architecture

2014 Award of Excellence,
Canadian Architect Magazine

2014 “Best of the Best Award”,
Toronto Construction Association


Two students in central glazed meeting room with blue carpet, white chairs, wood plank floor and ceiling feature and tv screen

St. Lawrence College Library

+VG was retained to complete a design and contract administration for design services for renovations and upgrades to the St. Lawrence College Brockville Campus Library.

Improvements included interior design, ceiling and lighting replacement and energy efficiency upgrades. The space was expanded and the layout reconfigured to a more efficient use of the library. The high ceiling space allowed for the creation of new clerestory windows which provide natural light.

The new design of the library divides spaces into quiet and collaborative group spaces, improves barrier free accessibility and front desk reception space. The modernized library creates an improved experience for the students of the college.

LOCATION

Brockville, Ontario

CLIENT

St. Lawrence College

COMPLETED

2018

SIZE

4,426 ft²

SERVICES

Renovation

PHOTOGRAPHY

Janice Chung


Information desk with large question mark signage, white columns, bookshelves and tiered ceiling with clerestory windows

Peterborough Public Library

The project is an addition and complete refresh to the Peterborough Main Public Library, located on Aylmer Street, west of the City centre.

The facility was opened in 1978 and was designed by Moriyama Architects. It is a two-storey brick building with curving clerestory flood- ing the interior collections space with light. The exterior stairs lead up to a compressed lobby entrance that connects to the open main collection area. The lower level has a community space, auditorium, a suite of administration offices, and a large storage and processing area.

The focus of the expansion is to have a strong street presence; be open, inviting, and transparent; and provide an accessible entrance, while increasing the amount of flexible community spaces. The existing facility will be transformed to be open, airy, and day-lit.

The layout will be reconfigured to increase public space in the lower level which will host the Children’s Library. A large opening will be provided in the floor above, allowing natural light and a feature stair to connect the collections. The view to the exterior court from the Children’s Library will be enhanced by landscaping the hillside.

More public computers, a lap top café, casual seating areas, study areas, and seminar rooms will be available.

LOCATION

Peterborough, Ontario

CLIENT

City of Peterborough

COMPLETED

2018

SIZE

45,000 ft²

SERVICES

Renovation & Addition

PHOTOGRAPHY

David Whittaker


View of double height glazed addition from green lawn with canopy covered patio seating

Wellington County Public Library Hillsburgh Branch

This public library is located on a historical property containing a Century Home as well as a large pond and ancient trees.

This development provides state of the art library services while demonstrating lessons in natural and community history.

The new facility brings all the amenities associated with a modern library to this rural locale while maintaining the historical significance of the property.

The design incorporates the existing historical homestead by enveloping it within the new construction, positioned in such a way as to feature the existing home within the street views.

The use of mobile shelving serves to provide a space which can be arranged for larger functions either library-related or library adjacent.

LOCATION

Hillsburgh, Ontario

CLIENT

County of Wellington

COMPLETED

2018

SIZE

10,000 ft²

SERVICES

Retrofit

PHOTOGRAPHY

Stan Switalski


View of illuminated stone front façade from across the street at dusk featuring archway entrance and windows

Wellington County Public Library Fergus Branch

+VG Architects were awarded this commission in 2012, following an intensive design competition.

The County expressed interest in achieving multiple parameters, which were addressed by the winning design:

  • Integration of the Library addition with the adjacent Grand River gorge and waterfront and with the busy, historic downtown streetscape as well “Windows and Vision”
  • A gathering place for people to congregate and develop a sense of community. Long term plans for the Township of Centre Wellington will make this area a Riverfront Walkway, with gardens and places to stop, read, enjoy the views, or socialize. This new Library project will be the catalyst to begin this process.
  • An opportunity to incorporate a multi-purpose space bringing the outside in and the inside out. Open space and garden area that can accommodate public readings, concerts, public gatherings, etc. with a view and access to the river/gorge.
  • Re-designed parking to be incorporated as part of the building design.
  • Incorporate and respect the natural surroundings. Tucked directly behind the Library, Templin Gardens is one of best places in Fergus and a major community attraction. The site offers visitors a quiet and relaxing setting where they can truly appreciate nature’s beauty. In addition to many flowers, the gardens contain a fishpond, rock garden, and steps leading to a balcony overlooking the Grand River.

LOCATION

Fergus, Ontario

CLIENT

County of Wellington

COMPLETED

2014

SIZE

15,000 ft²

SERVICES

Renovation & Addition


Lounge seating along top of double height staircase with large windows, glass guard rail and white pendant lighting and wood book shelves in rows

Milton Central Public Library

Part of the Milton Centre for the Arts, the main Library complements the vision of the Milton Public Library Board for their service delivery model.

The Library includes space for: Broad, in-depth collections; Resources and programs; Children’s program room; Computer training and study rooms; Seating (including silent study space); and Workstations.

The project has consolidated the program into a single destination on the second floor. There are two main studios, one for adults and one for children. Main programming features of the Library include: Administration area including offices and staff lounge; Check out, central lobby, and central concession areas; Program, silent study and group study rooms; Children’s collection and reading areas; Fiction and non-fiction collections areas; and Washroom facilities and ancillary service uses.

The Library is part of a larger renovation project for the Milton Centre for the Arts which includes two theatre spaces: the Mattamy Theatre, a 500 seat theatre (21,000 ft2); and the adjacent Minmaxx Hall, a 200 seat multi-use theatre space which can be used as a performance space, private event space, or rehearsal space for the main theatre.

LOCATION

Milton

CLIENT

Town of Milton

COMPLETED

2011

SIZE

27,240 ft²

LEED

LEED® Silver Certified

SERVICES

New Construction (Design/Build)

AWARDS

2012 PRO Award of Excellence in Design
Parks & Recreation Ontario


Boy studying at individual work station with white pendant lighting

Norfolk County Public Library

The building is owned by Grand Erie District School Board which has applied an innovative multi-use concept to create a valuable community resource from existing surplus space.

The sleek design of the new branch works “with the grain” of a former High School which has been adapted to new use, serving the Library, a new elementary school, and various public sector agencies. The whimsical design of the new front entrance way is comprised of translucent glass with coloured film on the inside. The split-level layout is designed for efficiency. The open concept allows the new Library to be operated with minimal staff. Spaces include bright reading and study areas and an inviting children’s room. Seminar rooms are available for public rental, which helps generate revenue for the County.

The expansion includes new activity and educational program areas, public washrooms, relocated Research Room and Archival Storage, multi-purpose space, storage space in the basement, and a new one storey gallery addition. +VG provided full architectural services.

LOCATION

Port Dover, Ontario

CLIENT

Norfolk County Public Library

COMPLETED

2014

SIZE

8,700 ft²

SERVICES

Expansion

PHOTOGRAPHY

Stan Switalski


Bookshelf next to slanted glazed wall with sun casting shadows on red painted wall

Woodlands Multi-Use Public Library

The new Woodlands Public Library is an exceptional resource, fostering learning while encouraging exploration and collaboration within the community.

The Library, while being owned and operated by the City of Mississauga, will be jointly used by the residents of the Erindale District of Mississauga and the adjacent Woodlands Secondary School. Cooperation between the City and the School Board resulted in completely upgraded vehicular access, as well as student and community-use park areas surrounding the building.

The +VG design draws its reference from the open pages of a book, intended to open itself to the outside and engage discourse within the community. Inside, the entire building can be seen upon entering. Patrons are greeted with new multi-media centres, quiet study rooms and resources centres, while a fireplace at the heart of the building provides a relaxed and contemplative environment for casual reading.

LOCATION

Mississauga, Ontario

CLIENT

City of Mississauga

COMPLETED

2014

SIZE

8,000 ft²

SERVICES

New Construction