The Toronto District School Board Elementary School Design Guideline is a handbook governing the design of new elementary schools, and renovations and additions to existing elementary schools, from junior kindergarten to grade 8. The primary audience for the Guideline is the Consultant Design Team, which includes the Architect as Prime Consultant and Sub-consultants.
The Guideline allows the Toronto District School Board to manage the design of new elementary schools, and renovations and additions, while providing the Consultant Design Team with a set of approaches, standards, and critical requirements to follow. It supports the TDSB’s objectives to build durable, environmentally sustainable schools that inspire teaching and learning, and create rich learning environments that are flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of all students.
Download the entire guideline or browse through the list of individual parts shown below.
Introduction includes the acknowledgements, table of contents, list of terms and definitions, list of Ontario Ministry of Education space name equivalents, also the intent, use, format, and scope of the guideline.
Part A - Administration & Design Process▼
Part A is in three parts covering general TDSB policies and procedures, roles and responsibilities for project management, and general design guidelines that govern the project at each phase, from initial consultation to project close-out.
Part A1: Administration
Part A2: Design Process— Design Objectives and Project
Part A3: Design Process— Phase-by-Phase Project Requirements
Download Part A - Administration & Design Process
Part B - Site Design▼
Part B is in two parts. Given that the TDSB has a range of sites that present very different conditions, the Consultant Design Team will work with TDSB staff to determine what level of conformance to the Guideline is possible for the project.
Part B1: Site Design Guidelines contains site design and outdoor play and learning space requirements.
Part B2: Site Specifications, Site Work Standards of Acceptance, and Site Drawings includes TDSB standard guidelines covering legal and topographical survey requirements, tree protection, and approved tree species for planting; standards of acceptance for site work, including site furnishings and sports equipment; and drawings that detail tree planting procedures and outdoor furnishings.
Download Part B - Site Design
Part C - Building Design▼
Part C is in five parts. It contains general and specific design requirements and considerations about each space within a school (academic curriculum and operational spaces). It provides the Consultant Design Team with an outline of architectural building and equipment features in every space of the building as well as mechanical and electrical device and equipment fit-up requirements. This part communicates the TDSB’s expectations for the elements within a room, how those elements relate to one another, and how the room relates to other areas of the building.
Part C1: is a preamble that details the contents of Part C as a whole and sets the Ministry of Education's expectations for building design.
Part C2: Building Design and Planning Principles outlines high-level design requirements for building topology, constructability, and functional relationships, as well as how these requirements factor in to meeting Minister of Education's benchmarks.
Part C3: Room and Area Requirements contains design requirements for instructional, administrative, service, and circulation spaces, including a text description for each space.
Part C4: Architectural Standards of Acceptance contains requirements for preferred building materials and equipment in an informal guide-specification format. It also elaborates on design and performance requirements for systems or product assemblies.
Part C5: contains sample millwork drawings and details.
Download Part C - Building Design
Part D - Electrical Systems▼
Part D is in two parts. Part D is to be read and coordinated in conjunction with all other parts of this Guideline.
Part D1: covers general instructions to designers.
Part D2: covers the electrical guidelines for a typical capital construction project.
Download Part D - Electrical Systems
Part E - Mechanical Systems▼
Part E is in two parts. Part E is to be read and coordinated in conjunction with all other parts of this Guideline.
Part E1: covers general instructions to designers.
Part E2: covers the mechanical guidelines for a typical capital construction project.
Download Part E - Mechanical Systems
If you have any questions about the Design Guideline, please contact Chris Moore at Chris.Moore@tdsb.on.ca.