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January 28, 2015
Opening Our Award-Winning Athletics and Wellness Centre
The excitement is palpable as Branksome Hall marks the opening of our award-winning Athletics and Wellness Centre (AWC) with exciting celebrations throughout January.

It was a thrill, this past Friday, to hold Wellness Day, when all Branksome girls, from JK to Grade 12, were able to enjoy their new building for the first time.

Celebration with Celebrities
Numerous sports celebrities---including Pan Am Games swimming medalist Paige Schultz, Olympic medalist in rowing Marnie McBean, Olympic cycling medalist and PanAm ambassador Curt Harnitt, and former CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon---were on hand to make Wellness Day a spectacular event for the girls. The day started with a pep rally outside the Athletics and Wellness Centre, where Garfield Watson warmed up the crowd with a body blast workout and our mascot, Ribbit, danced with the PanAm mascot, Pachi.

"As we celebrate the day's historic moment for our school," said Principal Karen Jurjevich, "We also share great joy, optimism and pride. This is a day that will be etched in the minds of our girls for years to come!"

Designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA), the Athletics and Wellness Centre stands as a landmark on Mount Pleasant Avenue. While it is a contemporary building, it fits well with the heritage architecture and makes great use of the green spaces on our campus.

"Masonry, glass and wood are the primary materials used to connect to the existing century-old heritage brick buildings on the school's east and west campuses," said David Miller of MJMA. "Placement of the exterior glazing allows visibility of the life within."

Ms Jurjevich is visibly excited about the great opportunities created by our new building and about making "wellness" a central part of the Branksome experience.

"This state-of-the-art building is an invitation to wellness—to a world of possibilities," said Ms Jurjevich. "For generations to come, it will provide girls with facilities that will encourage them to weave physical activity, recreation and healthy food choices into their daily lives."

The nearly 68,000-square-foot (6,300-sq.-m.) building includes the following:
  • two saltwater swimming pools (a training/lap pool and a shallow-floor teaching pool) and a viewing gallery that overlooks them
  • a gymnasium
  • a dryland rowing centre
  • dance and yoga studios
  • a fitness centre
  • a rooftop terrace
  • meeting rooms
  • a 300-person dining hall that specializes in simple, delicious and healthy meals; the space includes a welcoming fireplace lounge

"The way the building is designed allows students to see all the athletic activities taking place and to be inspired to take part themselves," said Olga Pushkar, who worked tirelessly as our Project Design Architect.

"The beautiful new building will enable students to pursue their own wellness and develop lifelong healthy habits," said Ms Jurjevich. "We are thankful to our generous community members for sharing our vision and for making our dreams a reality."

10 Elm Avenue, Toronto, ON M4W 1N4, Canada

Tel: 416-920-9741 |