This is not an opinion piece on where the University should be located. I have covered that, and recognize that reasonable people will genuinely differ on that topic. Instead, this is a perspective piece about a young (handsome and dashing at that) man who completed a University Program that had 1,000 students in it, and the lessons we can learn from that experience.
This particular young (handsome and muscular) man, attended the University of Western Ontario, in a program that was 3 years in length, with a cohort of approximately 350 students per year, for a total of approximately 1,000 students. The building, located on the main University Campus, housed all 1,000 students without use of classrooms in any other faculty buildings. In addition to the students, obviously, there was administrative offices, a large lecture hall, a subject specific library, a small coffee and bagel station, a Community Legal Services clinic, and a large lecture hall that could seat 350 students at a time (for when an entire year’s worth of students needing a good talking to, I suppose).
The building was sort of a side split, black split hybrid of a building, but all told, it was 3 stories in height. Why does any of this matter? Well, because with modern technology, we can compare the size of the Josephine Spencer Niblett (Faculty of Law) Building (pre-renovation as currently pictured) with the existing Brampton Streetscape. After all, the Ryerson proposal is for a 1,000 student campus extension, and presumably, the size requirement for the building won’t be radically different from what Western needed for it’s 1,000 student cohort.
The results are below, in various pictures. I do not attempt to profess that the City owns of the properties I have used as comparisons. This is an exercise in envisioning the size of lands required for this project, nothing more.
We can see that the Robson Block and Heritage Theatre are not large enough.
The most obvious site would be onsite at Sheridan. You wouldn’t even lose a parking spot or have to cut down a tree. There would be room to grow and build more space as well.
We can see that the Diplock Lane Parking Garage could be sacrificed for a new building that could be large enough.
The Mill Street Dominion Skate Site is more than large enough, and would be a great location in my personal estimation, as it would physically enlarge what we think of as downtown, as I have written about before.
I was very much expecting a McMaster University Proposal in connection with the Medical School to be built at John and Truman. This I think was the biggest shock of the whole process to me personally.
There are 3 locations on Queen that would easily accomodate such a Building. The Logan dealership, the abandoned St. John’s Ambulance lot, and the site of the old Kelsey’s at Queen and 410.
The Powerade Centre grounds are a no brainer, space wise.
Admittedly at the expense of a baseball diamond or open space parkland or a combination thereof, we could build such a building at Memorial Arena or Rosealea Park.
Norton Place Park, over looking the water would be kind of cool actually.
Several spots near the Civic Centre jump to mind, as written about here before.
Reclaiming lands from the Castlemore Golf Club leaves tonnes of left over space for redeveloping the rest of the now permanently closed golf course.