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LAST UPDATE: February 20 2020
The school was named Lansdowne Public School after the Marquess of Lansdowne, who was the fifth Governor-General of Canada, from 1883 to 1888. In 1967, the school's name was changed to Lord Lansdowne Public School to distinguish it from schools on or near Lansdowne Avenue.
The original building was built in 1887 and opened in 1888 on Spadina Crescent. There were 945 students housed in 12 classrooms. Additions were built in 1889and 1909. A fire in 1913 destroyed part of the building, but it was rebuilt in 1914.
The site for the current structure was acquired in 1960, with construction commencing that year and completed in 1961. It was built at a cost of approximately $1,511,450. The two earlier buildings were in use during the construction of the current building. After it was completed, the earlier structures were demolished to create playground space.
The unique design of the school, Toronto's first circular school, was a creative solution to the tight site conditions. The main 9-sided building houses classrooms with a rectangular wing for underground parking below and a gymnasium above. Plumbing, electrical, and ventilation systems are located in the core of the circular layout.
Peter Pennington, the design architect of the school, said in a 1962 Canadian Art magazine article: "We hoped that by creating a school of unconventional shape and using bright colours and appointments with a certain flair, that we might stimulate the children – and the school staff as well."
The exterior piers are support lifts for the concrete roof. The school also features a colourful chimney stack. During excavation for the 1961 building, a large gabbro boulder (8 feet by 4 feet) that had been deposited by a glacier over 12, 000 years ago was found 12 feet down. This boulder was incorporated into the landscaping.
The building was listed on Toronto's Heritage Property Register in 1983.
In 2017, Lord Lansdowne school become a full French immersion school as is known Ecole Publique Lord Lansdowne Public School.
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