It has been a few months since Ryerson University's new Centre for Urban Innovation (CUI) was announced. In the time since our last story, construction is now well underway. The retained south façade of the original 1886 building now stands as a shell on Gerrard Street, as crews work to prepare the site following the existing building's partial interior demolition.

Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation, Moriyama & Teshima, ERA ArchitectsRetention Facade at future site of CUI, Image by UTForum Member Steveve

Designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects with heritage consultation by ERA Architects, the project—which is being jointly developed and financed by Ryerson University and the Government of Canada—is in the early stages of construction on the north side of Gerrard west of Church Street, with the expanded facility also set to front onto McGill Street. Following shoring and excavation, the 40,000 ft² facility will eventually reach a height of five storeys, with the glassy addition rising above the historic façade.

Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation, Moriyama & Teshima, ERA ArchitectsThe view from Gerrard Street, image by UT Forum member stjames2queenwest

The project involves a contemporary addition the 1886 building, which was originally Canada's first school of pharmacy. Significantly altered in a 1940s expansion, Ryerson purchased the facility in 1963. Until recently, the building housed the Ryerson Theatre School, which has since moved to the Student Learning Centre on Yonge Street at Gould. 

Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation, Moriyama & Teshima, ERA ArchitectsA fuller view of the site, image by UT Forum member stjames2queenwest

The new CUI will include purpose-built wet and dry lab research facilities, research fabrication space, and incubation/commercialization spaces that combine the historic building's functions as a laboratory, with modern, sky-lit environments. An original 19th century lecture hall will also be among the notable historic spaces preserved in the new building.

Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation, Moriyama & Teshima, ERA ArchitectsRyerson Centre for Urban Innovation, image courtesy of Ryerson University

Funded through a $19.8 million investment from the Federal government, the facility will bring together researchers in the fields of urban energy, infrastructure, transportation and logistics, urban water, food and nutrition, and data analytics. Designed to meet LEED Silver standards, the building is slated for completion in September 2018. We will return with updates as construction of the new facility progresses.

Ryerson Centre for Urban Innovation, Moriyama & Teshima, ERA ArchitectsThe McGill Street frontage, image via Ryerson University

In the meantime, additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.