Project Profiles > Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School



Located in North-West Waterloo, this three-storey secondary school sets a precedent by being positioned in the corner of an 18 acre site, establishing an ‘urban wall’ at the intersection of two arterial roads. The massing of the school has been carefully modulated to respond to the suburban streetscape. The Learning Resource Centre has been placed at the corner of the plan to make a strong connection to the neighbouring community.


The design of the school supports the cross-curricular methodology of team teaching through the introduction of ‘learning cluster’ teaching areas grouped around a shared learning centre. Classrooms are clustered into nine groups of five classrooms and a common work area. Nine of these clusters are then stacked into three groups of three. This provides classroom type environments on all three levels of the school.

In addition to the typical classrooms, the ground floor level accommodates the administration and guidance area, Special Needs area, a triple gymnasium, exercise/aerobics rooms, cafeteria and teaching kitchen, as well as programs such as health and nutrition, the performing arts (including theatre arts, dance, vocal and instrumental music), and technology labs including auto service, auto body, manufacturing, construction and horticulture.


The second floor accommodates the communication arts, Learning Resource Centre and a 330-seat lecture/performance hall, while the third level houses the general science, biology and physics programs.


Partner in Charge: Laird A. Robertson.
Project completed under Certificate of Practice issued to Robertson Simmons architects inc. prior to firm name change to MartinSimmons Architects Inc.

Waterloo Region District School Board

Building Area:

206,100 sq. ft.


Waterloo ON


Sir John A. Macdonald


Photography Credit:

Shai Gil Fotograph