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Development News

UTSCís secondary plan balances growth and nature

Diamond Schmitt Architects designed UTSC's new  Environmental Sciences and Chemistry Building

Since approving its master plan in 2011, the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) has invested almost a half a billion dollars in infrastructure, including the $205-million Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, the Environmental Science and Chemistry Building and the Instructional Centre.
But that’s only the beginning of the reinvention of the campus, which will eventually be linked to rapid transit by the Crosstown LRT, making it more accessible to students, staff and the wider community.
“The opportunities here are just accelerating, I think, and we want to be able to leverage the best opportunities we can,” says Brent Duguid, director of partnerships and legal counsel at UTSC.
Last month UTSC held a public open house to examine its draft secondary plan, which will provide a finer grain rollout of the masterplan. Several new development projects are currently in the planning stages, including Highland Hall, which is the redevelopment of the old athletic centre that’s been replaced by the Pan Am complex, a new parking structure and a 750-bed undergraduate student residence, which will double the number of student beds at UTSC. A feasibility study for a hotel and conference centre is also in the works. Military Trail, which cuts diagonally across the campus, is being re-aligned, with at-grade retail uses encouraged along it to create an animated and vibrant streetscape and to compensate for the lack of shopping and eating in the area surrounding the sprawling campus. “The larger open spaces will be augmented by a series of walkways, landscaped streets, courtyards, lawns and other open spaces that will provide for an enhanced campus setting” states the presentation delivered at the open house.
Despite all the new building, the secondary plan aims to maintain the campus’ relationship with the Highland Creek Ravine, preserving natural and open space particularly in the south of the campus. “It is anticipated that some development, particularly the transit investments and realignment of Military Trail, may impact some of natural resources,” states the open house presentation. “Any impacts will be mitigated through restoration and renaturalization programs elsewhere on campus to ensure a net benefit overall to the campus natural heritage system.”
Duguid says the draft secondary plan should be ready for the City of Toronto to review within the next month.
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Brent Duguid
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