Centennial getting new hospitality centre

Ground was broken on the Centennial Residence and Culinary Arts Centre on Oct. 15.

Ground was broken on the Centennial Residence and Culinary Arts Centre on Oct. 15.

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TORONTO—Centennial College’s hospitality students will be
getting a new home with the construction of an eight-storey building at the
east Scarborough campus on Progress Avenue.

Slated to open in September 2016, the $85-million Centennial
Residence and Culinary Arts Centre broke ground on Oct. 15. The
353,300-square-foot project designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects will have
space for 742 students to live on campus on floors two through seven.

Rendering. Submitted.

Rendering. Submitted.

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The ground floor will be the new headquarters for the School
of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts with three culinary and two bake
labs, a beverage lab, eight classrooms, faculty offices and a school-operated
restaurant and café.

Joe Baker was appointed dean on the School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Culinary Arts in April.

Joe Baker was appointed dean on the School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Culinary Arts in April.

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School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts dean Joe
Baker said the new facility will allow for more students in the hospitality
programs, which are currently at capacity with 1,000. “There will be a lot more
space and it will be more state-of-the-art,” Baker told CLN. He said the “smart classrooms” will feature moveable desks and
interactive technology.

The 70-seat restaurant will be operated by students and faculty
and will feature an open concept to allow for culinary demonstrations. A
20-seat café to be located just outside the restaurant will focus on serving
the student population.

Baker said the restaurant concept will be “approachable”
with the hope that Scarborough residents as well as students will dine there.

The upper level will feature a school-run conference and
events centre, which will accommodate 425 guests.

“It’s the first events experiential learning lab in a
Canadian post-secondary context,” said Baker. “The students will be running the
events, they’ll be running the catering department and it will be hands-on
learning for them that doesn’t exist anywhere else right now.”

Diamond Schmitt Architects co-founder and principal Donald
Schmitt said the conference centre will have “extraordinary views to the south
and to the west; to the city as a whole.”

The current culinary arts area, which houses two kitchens
and a baking lab, was renovated about two years ago. The current restaurant
seats about 60 and is housed in the former restaurant of a converted Howard
Johnson hotel, which became the college’s first residence with beds for 340 in
2001.