No hard hats. No shovels. No live speeches. York University celebrates the new School of Continuing Studies twisted building

The twisted new building is going to be big, but the need is even bigger than the building. With increasing demand for its cutting-edge, innovative professional certificate programs and the world-renowned York University English Language Institute (YUELI), the new School for Continuing Studies building at York University will become a central hub for the School’s student population, support services, instructors and industry experts.

With COVID-19 physical distancing measures in place, the School is taking a bold, non-traditional approach to the construction groundbreaking by inviting people to visit a virtual groundbreaking webpage, #BiggerThanTheBuilding. The site can be visited at

“Our students are bold, they’re confident, they’re ambitious. The building is an embodiment of who we are as a school,” said Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly Assistant Vice-President, Continuing Studies. “The building will be a twisted, iconic gateway site and showcase York’s long commitment to providing high-quality education to non-traditional students.”

Website visitors can experience the benefits of this structure by scrolling through the story of the new building, looking at the renderings, and watching video interviews with students, architects from Perkins and Will, and York’s leadership.

Since 2015, the School’s professional programming has grown exponentially. Starting with only four certificate programs, the School’s portfolio now includes 24 programs in emerging, in-demand technical and business fields. In five years, the School has seen over 1,000 per cent growth in professional program enrolments. This extraordinary growth resulted from the School filling an unmet national and international need for accelerated professional certificate programs that address vital skills gaps and labour market demands.

In addition to professional programs, the School is also home to the York University English Language Institute (YUELI), a world-class and internationally respected leader, winning back-to-back iStudy awards for World Language School of the Year and a nomination for the world-renowned PIEoneer 2019 Language Educator of the Year award.

The building will allow for expanded access to the English-language university pathways that support international students and new Canadians, and innovative programming to support professionals looking to pursue exciting careers in emerging and in-demand fields. The building is a crucial step for the School to continue to grow its unique program offerings and York’s international reputation.

“Our language programs are the top programs in North America. Our professional programs are among the most innovative in Canada and among the top programs in North America,” said Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly Assistant Vice-President, Continuing Studies. “Our physical environment needs to be an extension of the quality of the education we’re providing to our students. This building will allow us to bring innovation using the cutting-edge twisted design to create a world-class education experience in North America.”

In March 2020, developers broke ground and began construction on the York University School of Continuing Studies’ signature new 97,000-square-foot building. The building is designed by the architectural firm Perkins and Will and will be a beautiful contribution to the Keele campus with a signature twist design, signifying the changing nature of university education. The building is scheduled to open for students in fall 2021.

To learn more about the York University School of Continuing Studies’ new building with a twist, visit the virtual groundbreaking site at

The School has also launched four new certificate programs starting September 2020. They include a Post-Graduate Certificate in Back-End and Blockchain Development and three new Certificates in Blockchain Development, Information Privacy and People Analytics. To learn more and register for these programs or to learn more about the School’s other innovative professional and language programming, visit

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