Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, YMCA and Library
Client : YMCA of GTA
Area : 111,600 sf
Program : Aquatic Centre (8-Lane 25m Lap Pool, Leisure Pool, Changerooms), Double FIBA-Sized Gymnasium, Fitness Studios, Weight Training Studio, Yoga Studios, Indoor Track, Branch Library, Multi-Purpose Community Rooms, Music Studio, Community Kitchen, Administrative and Support Spaces
In northwest GTA, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre is a 220,000-square-foot mixed-use commercial development. For three key tenants—a new recreation centre, a library, and a community centre, operated by the YMCA of Greater Toronto, the Vaughan Public Library, and the City of Vaughan, respectively—MJMA served as the design architect, leading these vital public components from the schematic design and development phases to ensure optimal integration and function within the site.
These three tenants’ spaces keep them distinct—with the ability to independently schedule programming—while still integrating into a cohesive community hub. Varied transparency for openness or privacy across different functions connects circulation and activity spaces, creates a sense of animation and safety, and presents glimpses of the interior to the public.
In addition to a “pop-up” street-front space, the Library and Centre of Community comprise 32,000 square feet on the second and third floors; the Centre, on the third floor, includes four multipurpose performance studios, gallery space, a music recording studio, a kitchen, and a terrace. The Centre is designed with operable screens that allow a pair of the major studios, the east circulation zone, and the gallery space to be opened up to one another to create a large event venue.
Spanning multiple floors, the 77,000-square-foot YMCA includes an aquatics hall with a fully accessible four-lane, 25-metre lap pool and a therapeutic pool with a moveable floor, a fitness area and divisible gym, a conditioning area, a youth zone, and fitness studios that open onto a public green roof terrace, as well as five change rooms, including universal change facilities, a spa, and steam room amenities. On the ground floor, a YMCA Childcare Centre hosts up to 100 kids with five child-minding rooms and an outdoor courtyard, situated adjacent to but independent from the public lobby.
The lobby, which can also be used to host public events, connects to all primary tenant and retail spaces, a bus terminal to the east, and—via an interior passage with a living green wall and views of the YMCA—new residential developments being erected to the west.
These spaces are designed to meet LEED Gold thanks to measures like high-efficiency, high-performance mechanical and electrical systems that draw down energy use and create exceptional interior air quality, as well as details like the heavy timber structural elements and wood decking in the gym and aquatics hall.