Peel Youth Village

Peel, Ontario

An unused parking garage creates the foundation for a community centre and a transitional shelter for homeless and at-risk youth.

 

Peel Youth Village, in Peel Region, a suburb of Toronto, comprises a Youth Development Centre, topped by a four-storey transitional housing project for suburban homeless and at-risk youth aged 16-24.

We adaptively reused an underutilized concrete parking garage as the building foundation, transforming it into a full-scale gymnasium lit by skylights and clerestory windows. This light-filled wellness space is visible to people as they enter the building and is part of a series of shared spaces, along with rooms for working, meeting, and counselling, that are available to both residents and neighbours.

Each of Peel Youth Village’s 48 residents has their own private bedroom, clustered into “houses” of four, with shared kitchens and bathrooms. Each floor features four “houses”, organized around a central common lounge. Shared by all residents, these lounges are connected vertically by staggered stairs that act as connecting “streets” within the village, encouraging a building-wide culture. This plan also provides layers of privacy to help the youth choose their level of social interaction. Throughout the facility, glulam and plywood douglas fir interior finishes give the space warmth and durability.

Awards

2008 Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) Housing Award – Best Practices in Affordable Housing
2008 Design Exchange DX Award
2005 Mississauga Urban Design Award
2005 Canadian Wood Council, ‘WoodWORKS! Award’ for Exemplary Use of Wood Products in a Building