Update April 2022 - We're pleased to announce that the variance has been approved by the City of Toronto for the proposed Research Centre.
CAMH is proposing the construction of a new research centre as part of the completion of our most recent phase of redevelopment. The proposed research centre consists of 7 storeys and will consolidate current CAMH research from across the city into one centralized location.
As Canada’s leader in mental illness research, CAMH aims to inspire hope through groundbreaking discoveries. We want to revolutionize the understanding of the brain and the causes, biomarkers and treatments for mental illness. We are transforming the way we do research so that all CAMH patients and staff have a role in advancing discovery. And we will continue to use evidence to drive system improvements and social change to optimize care for all. Put simply: we want to do for mental illness what others have done for epilepsy, heart disease and cancer. We want to help people see mental health for what it really is—health.
This building is essential to our redevelopment, as it will help advance research currently being conducted to influence the future of mental health care. As a global leader in mental health research, we know that with the construction of this new facility we can continue to be at the forefront of research discoveries and developments that will improve the lives of those living with mental illness. KPMB Architects is being recognized for their vision for the future Research Centre that will centralize the majority of CAMH’s world-class research enterprise at the Queen Street site.
In order to enhance the building and fulfil its purpose in the most efficient and innovative way, there are several minor variances to city zoning by-laws and building codes. We are requesting the following variances:
- Building height and envelope
- Loading and parking
The centre will only use 85% of the total lot in order to provide more public, outdoor space. A few minor areas of the building will slightly exceed the allowable building height as determined by the city, therefore a minor variance is required.
CAMH is unique in that most buildings on our main campus are connected by underground tunnels. This allows for centralized loading facilities, which reduces traffic and space used on the street level. The research centre will eventually be connected to this network, which is why a loading variance is required to allow for less built loading facilities.
Finally, a parking variance is being requested. CAMH will provide 732 parking spaces, which is 40 spaces short of what is required by the zoning bylaw. Given the central location and connectivity of the site, and a lower demand for parking overall, the parking needs of the campus will be met with the proposed number of spaces.
Community consultation is imperative to the success of this redevelopment. The planning is in early stages and an initial community meeting about the research centre proposal was hosted on June 15th 2021. The timeline for construction is not yet known, but could begin in 2024. As this project develops we will inform and engage the community on our website, with the community newsletter ‘CAMH Connexions’ and through community meetings.