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University of Toronto's Scarborough campus to get a major makeover

The Globe & Mail writes on the UofT Scarborough's (UTSC) dramatic makeover in preparation for the 2015 Pan AM Games in Toronto. The renovations plans include an  $170-million aquatic center, a hotel and convention centre, a performing arts centre, new residences and academic buildings and a pedestrian throughfare. As reported by the Globe & Mail, far from only serving the athletic "extravaganza" the new additions have the potential to give UTSC a new identity and "to do for southeast Scarborough what Ryerson is doing for Yonge Street and George Brown College is expected to do for Toronto's waterfront: Improve the neighbourhood."

"When Franco Vaccarino became principal of the University of Toronto Scarborough three years ago, he kept hearing a back-handed compliment about his new campus."

"This place," people would say, "is a hidden gem."

"Shrouded by trees and invisible from the nearest major streets, UTSC is more like a covert campus. In his careful academic way, Prof. Vaccarino concedes the school needs to blow its own cover."

"I like the 'gem' part," Prof. Vaccarino said. "I'm not so sure about the 'hidden' part."

"Now UTSC is on its way to becoming a much more visible treasure, thanks to an international sporting extravaganza bigger than the Winter Olympics.The 2015 Pan Am Games and a new $170-million aquatic centre for UTSC are propelling an extreme campus makeover that could include a hotel and convention centre, a performing arts centre, a new pedestrian thoroughfare lined with restaurants and cafés, and new residences and academic buildings.By transforming 50 hectares north of the existing campus, the expansion could do for southeast Scarborough what Ryerson is doing for Yonge Street and George Brown College is expected to do for Toronto's waterfront: Improve the neighbourhood. The spillover effect is especially important at UTSC, where the poor – and poorly served – pockets of Kingston-Galloway and Malvern are a few kilometres away."

"There's a lot of pride in the area, but there's very few opportunities to express the pride," said Andrew Arifuzzaman, UTSC's chief strategy officer. "I think the Pan Am Games facility actually puts the area on the world stage."

read full story here
original source Globe & Mail

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