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Pickering College

Pickering College Master Plan

Newmarket, Ontario


Pickering College is a rapidly growing independent school with strong Quaker values in Newmarket, Ontario. The school required a comprehensive facility and land use Master Plan to map a long-term growth strategy. The plan provides for the reuse of existing heritage buildings, new structures and future site uses. Programming and development options include a new purpose-built Arts Centre and Auditorium, a new stand-alone Junior School, a new student and staff Residence, and addition to the existing athletics facilities. 


The resulting Master Plan builds on core Quaker values while advancing Pickering College's capacity to be a “campus of influence” that sets a new standard for enabling individuals to thrive.


An extensive facilitated process included strategy and design workshops that engaged students, parents, staff and alumni. This process was the foundation for buiding an outstanding place for healthy learning and working. This quality of interaction nurtures a lifetime relationship with the school, as well as a strong a sense of community.



As a result of adjustments to their growth and curriculum space needs projections, Pickering College sought to revise their current Master Facility and Land Use Plan.  The original Quaker principles of simplicity and clarity were applied to a reuse strategy for the College’s existing heritage buildings. Adjustments to the plan included the development of new combined Junior and Senior School (with emphasis on Arts programs), a multi-purpose auditorium, and addition to the existing athletic facilities. 


The two existing student residences were redesigned to include a mix of single and double rooms with private washrooms and shared common spaces. Additionally, the existing heritage Head’s House building was preserved and reprogrammed for Staff and Leader in Residence functions.


The plan capitalizes on the school’s rich heritage within a contemporary learning environment. Traditional classrooms are paired with flexible break-out areas. It maintains planning principles established in the orignal plan (maximizing views, access, pedestrian movement) while providing even greater future expansion possibilities.