U of T builds over parking lot

A $78-million building is being constructed by the University of Toronto Scarborough at Ellesmere Rd. and Military Trail.

The building, measuring 15,000 square metres, is to be built over what used to be a parking lot for U of T staff and students.

Federal and provincial governments are contributing $70 million toward building the Instructional and Laboratory Centre for the university’s eastern campus.

“With this building we will increase our academic facilities 25 per cent,” said Franco Vaccarino, principal of University of Toronto Scarborough, at the groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 24. “It will address our space needs.”

Also at the groundbreaking were Ward 44 councillor, Ron Moeser, Guildwood East Scarborough MP John McKay, Pickering-Scarborough East MPP Wayne Arthurs, and federal minister of state Gary Goodyear.

The building is a part of a federal and provincial government initiative to create and finance educational institutions. The expectation is that this will help the economy by creating more jobs, Gary Goodyear said. The government will also be putting money into creating more scholarships.

Arthurs said that new centre will make the Scarborough campus more appealing, instead of being considered a satellite campus.

“Today marks a new phase in the history of the University of Toronto Scarborough, a history that has seen UTSC become a preferred destination for both students and teachers throughout Canada and the world,” Arthurs said, at the ceremony.

Military Trail was closed off for the groundbreaking with a variety of entertainment on the street.

Free food and a live band brought many U of T students to participate in the event. There was also a huge street drawing of the campus done by two arts students, a hip hop dance routine, solo guitarist, and street performers.

The centre is set to be complete within two years.