University of Toronto Magazine University of Toronto Magazine

ICS Seeks $12 Million for Expansion

The 83-year-old institute needs new space

The Institute of Child Study has outgrown its home on Walmer Road, and is hoping to raise $12 million to construct a new wing for the facility. The addition would include extra classrooms and seminar space, as well as a new dual-purpose auditorium and gymnasium for professional workshops and conferences, parent education and family literacy programs. Leighton G. McCarthy House, the institute’s home since the 1930s, would also be renovated.

Recently, ICS raised $200,000 to establish an environmental educational initiative. The lab school’s inquiry-based approach will be used to encourage ecological awareness in students. As with all ICS projects, the institute’s larger aim is to create a practical resource that can be used at other schools.

The 83-year-old institute, which offers a master’s of arts degree in child study and education and conducts research through the Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Centre, is seeking leadership gifts, including naming rights.

Nobel Prize-winning chemist and U of T professor John Polanyi is a past parent of ICS, and a strong supporter of the institute’s goals. “The ICS lab school draws on its scholarly links with a great university, but it does more; it transforms the study of children into a study of the entire world by children,” he says. “This enchanting enterprise, with which I have been associated one way or another for generations, now needs new space. It abundantly merits it.”

For more information on the institute’s capital campaign, please call director Robin Farb at (416) 934-4515, or email

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