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Varley Art Gallery


Designed by Jerome Markson Architect Inc., and David Johnston Architect Limited.
Photo by Gisling

Located in the village of Unionville, this historic gallery offers various exhibitions, art work for sale by local artists at the McKay Art Centre, and educational and public programs with a focus on the art practices of Canada.

One of the project's fundamental goals was to meet strict environmental requirements that are required, for example, by many traveling exhibitions. The ASHRAE standards for Museums, Art Galleries, and Archives is considered the defacto standard accepted by such organizations as the Canadian Conservation Institute. These standards were applied on the project in a cascading approach from minimal control (Class D) to precision control (Class AA) to suit the layout and operating parameters of the project.

S + A Services Included:


The original building, designed by Smith + Andersen in 1994, is approximately 15,000 square feet and includes a mix of gallery and exhibition halls, art storage, administrative offices, and ancillary spaces. The gallery, built in 1995, was expanded with a 5,000 square foot addition in 2011. The mechanical systems were designed to provide precise temperature and humidity control as is required in Class A galleries. The mechanical spaces make good use of the various roof levels and building elevations to ensure outdoor equipment is fully concealed from all street views.


Unionville, Ontario

Gross Floor Area

  • 5,000 sq ft

Total Construction Cost

$ 1,980,000

Completion Year