In the matter of the Ontario Heritage Act
R.S.O. 1990 Chapter 0.18
City of Toronto, Province of Ontario
Notice of intention to designate
440 Shuter Street (Park Public School)
Take notice that Toronto City Council intends to designate the lands and buildings known municipally as 440 Shuter Street (Park Public School) under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Reasons for Designation
The property at 440 Shuter Street is worthy of designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value, and meets the criteria for municipal designation prescribed by the Province of Ontario under the three categories of design, associative and contextual values. Located on the north side of Shuter Street, west of River Street, Park Public School (completed in 1917 and now known as Nelson Mandela Park Public School) is a three-storey school complex. The site was listed on the inaugural City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties in June 1973.
Statement of Cultural Heritage Value
Park Public School is a representative example of a school building from the World War I era that is distinguished by its design that was executed according to the principles of Beaux-Arts Classicism with a high degree of craftsmanship. The sheer scale, the symmetry of the T-shaped plan with balanced entrances and fenestration, and the application of classical features are hallmarks of Beaux-Arts Classicism. Special attention is given to the central entrance block on Shuter Street where a frontispiece is highlighted by three-storey stone columns.
Park Public School is an institution of significance in Regent Park, the neighbourhood that originated as part of the Park Reserve adjoining the Don River north of present-day Queen Street East. The original Park School (1853, and located directly north of the present edifice) opened as the first publically-funded school in Toronto where it served St. David's Ward. The present building was completed during World War I when it opened as the largest public school in Canada. It survived following the mid-20th century redevelopment of the neighbourhood for Regent Park. Now considered the oldest school (but not the oldest educational building) on its original site in Toronto, it was renamed for Nelson Mandela in a 2001 ceremony attended by the internationally renowned political activist and freedom fighter. Scheduled to reopen in 2012 following rehabilitation, Park Public School is part of the Toronto District School Board's Model Schools for the Inner City Program that envisions the complex as the 'heart of the community'.
Contextually, with its impressive scale and prominent site on Shuter Street between Sumach and Sackville Streets, Park Public School is a local landmark in the Regent Park neighbourhood.
The heritage attributes of the property at 440 Shuter Street are:
- The school building (1917)
- The scale, form and massing of the structure
- Above a raised base with window openings, the three-storey T-shaped plan
- The materials, with red brick cladding and brick and stone detailing
- The flat roof that is marked by brick parapets with decorative brickwork, and stone band courses, coping and rondelles
- On the south elevation, the organization of the principal fašade into four sections with a central entrance block adjoined by east and west wings and, at the west end, a secondary entry and wing
- The main (south) entrance, which is raised at the base of a projecting frontispiece where the flat-headed doorways are separated and flanked by four three-storey stone columns
- The flat-headed window openings, including the smaller transom windows above the south entrance
Further information respecting the proposed designation is available for viewing from the City Clerk's Department.
Notice of an objection to the proposed designations may be served on the City Clerk, Attention: Rosalind Dyers, Administrator, Toronto and East York Community Council, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, 2nd floor, West, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2, within thirty days of July 3, 2012, which is August 2, 2012. The notice must set out the reason(s) for the objection, and all relevant facts.
Dated at Toronto this 3rd day of July, 2012.
Ulli S. Watkiss