365 Canadian Sights | Day 347: Universities Week – OCAD University

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| Image from Flickr/Geofrey Flores via CC BY NC ND 2.0 |

Creativity in architecture doesn’t have to be complex or difficult to pull off.

It might not come as a surprise a school dedicated to art and design would have an eye-catching exterior, but it wasn’t until the mid-2000s when the most iconic piece of architecture at the Ontario College of Art and Design (now OCAD University) appeared.

Sometimes nicknamed the ‘Toolbox,’ the piece of the Sharp Centre for Design that catches everybody’s eye is recognizable as soon as it’s in view. The checkerboard box is four stories above the square below, held up by a series of coloured pillars. Being that OCAD is the oldest design school in Canada, it’s a positive, in my mind, that there’s interest in keeping it up-to-date instead of looking ‘classic.’

Getting to OCAD (so long as you’re just visiting and not looking to be a student) is pretty simple. Located in the middle of Toronto means plenty of transit options, and it’s a fairly walkable city in the core, which is where OCAD is. In fact, it neighbours the AGO and is a short walk from Yonge-Dundas, the ROM and anything else that makes this list in downtown Toronto, pretty much.

Being that it’s a public university in the middle of the city, visiting the outside is free. Galleries and other things inside may not be.

On TripAdvisor it ranks fairly low in Toronto, at 208 out ~500, but that’s partly due to complaints about the art inside. On the sight itself I’d say it’s one of the most recognizable and interesting in Toronto. And I’m not the only one.

The university’s website is here.

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7 thoughts on “365 Canadian Sights | Day 347: Universities Week – OCAD University

    1. We used to live in Kensington Market, so it was a regular sight for me, but I’d never heard of it coming from B.C. I wish there was a blog/twitter for things like that specifically and only.

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      1. I am dong my best to write unbiased and uncluttered accounts of what is available in NB, NS, PEI, for now. I do hope to eventually cover NFLD and QC but I don’t do this full time. If I could find a way to get paid I would do it full time. Most tourist info brochures are all about selling you stuff getting tourist to spend their money, doing this and that. I want to present the best of what is free.

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      2. Yeah, I get that. TBH when I first was thinking about Treqd I had a whole bunch of ideas about where it could, fairly similar to what you’re thinking, but had to dive in somehow, hence the 365. The hope is it gets me writing in my free time on a regular basis to build up a profile and eventually get paid in some way (for travel writing, I am getting paid as a city reporter). However, almost all the travel writers I follow/see/like out there start with a fair amount of money in a different industry and transition using savings to seed.

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      3. Yes, I see that too. I am fifty yeas old and spending my nest egg would leave me poor in retirement. It is such a fine line to decide. I think of it daily selling it all and hitting the road. My adventurous side says do it, it always works out, my wise side says no way, I want to retire some day.

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