George Brown College School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts

The in-fill addition and renovation of the George Brown Chef School on Toronto’s Adelaide Street East dramatically opens and transforms a 1980’s building into a showcase for innovation in culinary education.

No longer confined to rear and basement kitchens, George Brown’s student chefs are visible in a culinary performance through a two-storey glass façade that exposes four kitchen “labs” to the street. The students’ starchy white chef uniforms and hats are highly visible against a backdrop of gleaming stainless steel workstations, ranges, ovens, washing stations and racks of pots and pans. The stainless steel is accented by brightly-coloured fume hoods and walls, sparkling lighting, lush herb gardens and plasma monitors that add a kinetic and spectacular effect to the architecture as they project close-up views of food preparation. These exposed labs reflect the changing profile of the culinary industry by not only glamourizing the preparation of food, but also by offering students with a hands-on experience, rather than learning within more conventional demonstration kitchens.

The transparent view into the program works as the ultimate branding tool for the college. From the interior, the glazing provides views down Frederick Street towards the school’s newly created learning restaurant, visually connecting the two buildings. These fresh facilities increase the dynamism of George Brown’s presence within the neighbourhood and frame the street so that there are clear possibilities for creating an external campus identity.

Learn about other Gow Hastings Architects Culinary Arts and Culinary Institutes projects.

George Brown College, Toronto, ON
Size:  38,000 sq. ft.
Completion:  April 2009

(with Kearns Mancini Architects)

The floor-to-ceiling glass on the Adelaide Street extension and the existing expansive windows on the historic King Street renovation provide a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the Chef School.

Related Culinary Arts School Projects

  • Durham College Centre for Food
  • George Brown College School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts
  • George Brown College Chefs' House Restaurant
  • Humber Canadian Centre for Culinary Arts & Science
  • George Brown College Mixology Lab
  • The Humber Room Restaurant
  • Centennial College Culinary Arts Centre
  • Humber College Demonstration Kitchen and Auditorium
  • Niagara College Canadian Food and Wine Institute