Recently Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy unveiled the multi use Student Centre/ Library to be built on the corner of Yonge Street and Gould Street, next to Canada’s busiest intersection Dundas Square. The building will be an all glass structure protruding over Yonge Street. With the university expanding quickly, this is a welcome announcement to many students. The local community has mixed reviews.
In the location of the former Toronto icon Sam the Record Man store, this new project will a transparent glass structure, in complete contrast to the 1970’s library right behind it. The building will be 7 storeys tall, a change from the usual 3 storey shops and stores on Yonge Street. Each floor will have a different character of its own, with a 6th floor Beach theme open space.
The building will have an open public square on the 2nd floor and retail spaces below ground on Yonge Street. Designed by Norwegian firm Snohetta in conjunction with Toronto based Zeidler. Many critics are arguing that Ryerson University is foregoing millions in possible prime retail rental revenue by not having major street level store fronts. Among other criticism is the shape and design of the structure.
With a $112 million price tag, the province of Ontario has committed $45 million dollars to the project. While in the past, universities could pay for such expenditures with endowment funds taking huge losses during the recession that is not the case. The remaining funds have to be raised publicly, which the university will be doing. The Centre will have 2,000 student spaces.