Members of Ryerson’s community, government officials and community supporters marked a new era for the university at a ceremony on Yonge Street today as they broke ground for Ryerson’s new Student Learning Centre (SLC). With a dazzling glass “skin” enveloping its exterior, the eight–storey building will make its mark on one of Canada’s most famous streets.
“The Student Learning Centre will reinvigorate the corner of Yonge and Gould Streets, creating a dynamic intersection for our school, our neighbourhood and the city,” says Sheldon Levy, Ryerson University President. “Our students, faculty and staff will soon have a beautiful building featuring bright, open, technologically rich, barrier-free creative spaces where they can study, collaborate and innovate. With projects such as this, the Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens and the Ryerson Image Arts Centre, Ryerson is demonstrating our ongoing commitment to city building.”
“Yonge Street is Canada’s main cultural street and it is essential that we explore new ways of enhancing the vibrancy, culture and character of this neighbourhood,” says Kristyn Wong-Tam, City Councilor, Ward 27. “From the mixed-use retail to the striking architecture and services for thousands of students, Ryerson’s new Student Learning Centre will be an important addition to the area.”
Designed by renowned international architectural team Zeidler Partnership Architects and Snøhetta, the SLC will feature an inviting elevated plaza, a bridge to the existing Ryerson library and a range of academic, study and collaborative spaces for students, faculty and staff. Student services, the Digital Media Zone — Ryerson’s entrepreneurial incubator — and a café will also be housed in the centre. Prominent retail space will anchor the building along Yonge St., reinforcing the university’s unique vision of blending retail and education space together.
As part of Ryerson’s leadership and long-standing commitment to sustainability, the building will be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver compliant. One of its key environmental features will be a green roof that will cover 50 per cent of the top of the building.
In recognition of the building’s innovative design, Canadian Architect Magazine, Canada’s premier national architectural publication, honoured the SLC design with a national Award of Excellence last December.
“The Student Learning Centre would not be possible without the Government of Ontario’s investment of $45 million,” says Julia Hanigsberg, VP, Administration and Finance, Ryerson University. “The Government of Ontario’s transformative contribution represents more than just putting money into a building; it is creating a world-class facility that will touch thousands of Ontarians – our students, faculty and staff – for generations to come.”
EllisDon will begin construction on the $112-million building this week. The Student Learning Centre is expected to be completed in 2014.
For more information on the Student Learning Centre, please visit: http://www.ryerson.ca/news/media/spotlight/slc/index.html