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Explore the possibilities of a career in architecture at Laurentian University’s Archi-North Summer Camp

High school students can dive into the world of drafting, design, and innovation while gaining insights into the rewarding career of architecture

Laurentian University’s Architecture Summer Camp has been created for high school students in grades 11 and 12 who are curious about a career in architecture; students who want to learn more about how the world around them gets designed and built.

Archi-North at the McEwen School of Architecture is the only bilingual architecture summer camp of its kind in Ontario. There are 4 sessions, 2 English and 2 French language sessions, which are week-long summer camp experiences. Professor of Architecture, Louis-Pierre Bélec says, “Participants will receive instruction from faculty and architecture graduates in a on-of-a-kind experience to introduce them to architectural design, drafting, and drawing.”

Session 1 is an Introductory Session for high school students to see if they would enjoy a possible future in architecture

Session 2 is designed for returning students or participants wishing to do 2 full weeks at the summer camp.

In Session 2, students explore and enhance their drawing skills, and engage in more hands-on model making and materials exploration.


Shaping the world around them

Many of the students who come from small communities across northern Ontario have never met an architect or been introduced to the field of architecture. At the summer camp, they are challenged to develop new ways of seeing, imagining, and designing the world around them.

In the introductory session students are asked to design a space or building for their communities. Bélec says, “Students are encouraged to think and reflect on their communities and throughout the week, we show them how to design, model, and draft a space and work through the iterative process.” Students will engage in model-making, basic drafting, space planning, and the selection of materials.

At the end of the session students will exhibit their work to their parents, friends, and family members. Last year, students designed community centres and housing complexes. One student designed an airport attached to the train station in Chapleau. Bélec adds, “Having acquired some basic skills, students leave with a “participation package”, a sort of starter kit to become active designers and an active voice in shaping the world around them.”


Exceptional learning experience

Archi-North students are learning within the newest School of Architecture in Canada. This year, the McEwen School of Architecture is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Bélec says, “Featuring mass timber as a main building material, the school has a well-crafted series of design studios and classrooms. The school is focused on sustainability and has a strong foundation to invite smaller communities into their facilities.”

With 20 students and 3 instructors, participants receive a lot of one-on-one attention. Many students, inspired by their experience at Archi-North have enrolled in the School of Architecture program.


The testimonials for the 2023 summer camp include comments like, “This program helped me figure out what I want to do with my future.” and “I want to say thank you for this amazing opportunity, because I had an amazing week and wish it was longer.” Bélec says, “The summer camp opened the eyes of some students to the world of architecture. Archi-Noth is an affordable, high-quality experience.”

Laurentian University’s Architecture Summer Camp is the most affordable summer camp of its kind in Ontario, thanks to the support of various private and public partners. The cost is,

  • $350 for Session 1
  • $200 for Session 2

There are 20 spaces available in Session 1 and 15 spaces for Session 2. You can register for Archi-North online.

This year, Archi-North will be issuing Sector-Partnered Experience certificates to students pursuing a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM). Bélec says, “It’s an additional stamp on your high school diploma confirming that the student has completed the SHSM program in architecture.”


A life-changing opportunity

The Archi-North Summer Camp at Laurentian University can offer high school students, especially those from small northern communities a transformative experience.

Louis-Pierre Bélec says, “We established the summer camp to bridge the gap between an architectural education in high school and university. And to make an architectural education more accessible to students earlier in their educational journey.” Through hands-on projects and professional mentorship, the Architecture Summer Camp can open the door to career possibilities.


Discover the educational opportunities and career possibilities at the Archi-North Summer Camp. Visit them online here.