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A dynamic light-filled food hall and central gathering space result from this reinvention of a traditional cafe and food court by Taylor Smyth Architects

Designed by Taylor Smyth Architects

From the architects:

Located at the heart of Seneca College’s Newnham Campus, this complex renovation and addition project converted a traditional destination college cafeteria and small food court into a dynamic light filled food hall and central gathering space.

The design doubles the size of the existing cafeteria through new construction and a reconfiguration of existing spaces.


The existing campus is defined by a series of buildings connected by a common corridor that originally terminated at a traditional student cafeteria.

The corridor was redirected through the old cafeteria to create a lively pedestrian street lined with food stations, a variety of flexible seating options, including banquette seating, and flexible public gathering spaces that can also serve as small event spaces for art shows, buskers, art exhibits, etc.

The 3252m² project includes a 557m² multi-purpose dining hall addition that defines and offers expansive views of a newly created landscaped Quad, and which features a generous south facing covered outdoor terrace.

The new dining hall, equipped with two large projection screens, motorised blinds, full AV media capability, and a large format LED screen, provides Seneca with a multi-purpose space on a scale not offered elsewhere on the campus.

The new food hall offers students a wide selection of healthy food options from five large food stations, and a freestanding market selling fruits, vegetables, fresh and frozen food options, and a myriad of other products.

The stations include new state-of-the-art kitchen equipment designed to respond to changing food tastes over time, without the need to make further major equipment changes.

New electronic point of sale stations offer today’s mobile students a variety of ways to order and pay for their food.

The project was undertaken in three phases, mostly while the existing cafeteria remained occupied.

Credit list

Renovation project
Seneca College, Toronto

Designed by: Taylor Smyth Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Tom Arban Photography

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