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NEW WILDLIFE HEALTH CENTRE

A STATE-OF-THE-ART HEALTH CARE FACILITY
CONSTRUCTION



For the design of the new facility, the Toronto Zoo engaged Toronto architects Diamond Schmitt Architects in partnership with DesignLeveL Inc., an architectural firm specializing in animal healthcare facilities. These partners worked in close consultation with Zoo staff to ensure that the facility addresses our precise range of needs. The design includes leading-edge sustainable construction techniques, materials and technology. The new space will be easy to maintain in a hygienic state and provide ample room for treating animals, housing patients for post-operative care, and running modern diagnostic and research equipment – the first of its kind in Canada!

Size of the New Wildlife Health Centre:

In total, the new Wildlife Health Centre is approximately 50,000 square feet (4,600 square metres) in size, which includes over 32,000 square feet (3,000+ square metres) of new interior space, plus 17,000 square feet (1,600 square metres) of the original animal hospital that houses conservation breeding programs and quarantine facilities.

Timeline:

The Toronto Zoo awarded Gillam Group Inc. with this project and commenced construction in January of 2015. The new Wildlife Health Centre was completed in June of 2017.

Architectural & Engineering Firms:

For the design of the new facility, the Toronto Zoo engaged architectural firm Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto in partnership with DesignLeveL Inc., an architectural firm specializing in animal healthcare facilities. These partners worked in close consultation with Zoo staff to ensure that the facility responds precisely to our range of needs.

The design provides state-of-the-art animal medical facilities which includes leading-edge sustainable construction techniques, materials and technology, green roof, cooling roofing (heat island reduction), insulated foundation walls, low flow fixtures, LED lighting, heat recovery systems, bird friendly glazing, removal of suspended solids in storm water and native, permeable pavers and water efficient planting.

Architect:
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects Incorporated
Structural Engineer:
  • Entuitive
Mechanical Engineer:
  • H.H. Angus & Associates Limited Consulting Engineers
Electrical Engineer:
  • H.H. Angus & Associates Limited Consulting Engineers
Animal Health Care Specialist:
  • DesignLevel Architecture
Civil Engineer:
  • MMM Group
Landscape Architect:
  • PMA Landscape Architects Ltd

Interpretive Design:

Toronto based firm, Holman Exhibits, led the design of the interpretive features that will educate visitors about the importance of wildlife health and saving and protecting species as part of the new Wildlife Health Centre.




Meet the Toronto Zoo’s Project Management Team
who worked on the development of the Wildlife Health Centre



Leona Mitchell


Director, Facilities and Services

Leona Mitchell is the Director of Facilities and Services at the Toronto Zoo, and prior to this role, she held the title of Project Manager at the Zoo from May 2005 through August 2016. Leona began her career with Centennial College of Applied Arts & Technology, Manager Renovations & Special Projects and Architectural Services Co-ordinator, the same educational institute from where she received both her Architectural Technologist and Project Management Certificates. Furthermore, she attended the International Correspondence School for Gardening & Landscape Design. Leona is currently working towards completing the Facilities Management Administrator (FMA) program through BOMI and is a member of the Aquarium & Zoo Facilities Association (AZFA).

Ben Knoop


Project Manager

Ben Knoop is the Project Manager at the Toronto Zoo and he has been working at the Zoo since 2012, when he began as the Supervisor, Projects & Exhibitry. Ben received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Western Ontario and is licensed as a professional engineer with Professional Engineers Ontario. Prior to his career at the Toronto Zoo, he held the role of Project Engineer at a manufacturing facility. Ben is responsible for managing capital and operating projects at the Toronto Zoo and his favourite thing about working at the Zoo is seeing the animals, visitors and staff enjoying the habitats that have been renovated or newly built.