The North Campus of the University of Toronto Scarborough continues to expand to meet a growing demand for classroom space. The Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed UTSC Instructional Centre, completed in 2011, will now be given a companion in the form of a five-storey institutional building proposed just north of the existing complex.

U of T: UTSC Instructional Centre II, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Zoning Bylaw Amendment and Site Plan Approval applications were submitted to the City in May, outlining plans for a CEBRA Architecture and ZAS Architects-designed facility at 1050 Military Trail. The second phase of the Instructional Centre will contain 14,395 m² of academic space over a 9,030 m² property at the northeast corner of Military Trail and Pan Am Drive. Existing surface parking lots are located to the north and east. The site is currently being used as a 481-space surface parking lot for UTSC students and visitors. 

The subject site at the northeast corner of Military Trail and Pan Am Drive, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The project will contain 19 lecture halls and classrooms, 124 faculty and staff offices, study spaces, lab rooms, and multiple meeting and work areas. The ground floor will accommodate several active uses and social spaces, including a cafe, student welcome areas, and informal collaboration spaces. Classrooms, lab spaces, and study areas will be located on the basement, second and third floors. Faculty office space and some common study areas will comprise the fourth and fifth floors.

Conceptual ground floor plan, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Floor heights will vary to reflect the diversity of the internal programming. The ground floor will have a height of six metres to permit a range of uses and embed a sense of openness to the lobby, while the second and third floors will have a shorter height of 4.8 metres. The office and study space on the fourth and fifth floors mean they are shorter still, featuring heights of 3.7 and 4.2 metres respectively.

Looking north from above, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The building has been designed to maximize the amount of open space, with a landscape program that includes sloping mounds at the corners, embedded seating, and planting beds to create a natural terraced base. A public art/water feature has been proposed at the southeast corner, leading to the main entrance. An extensive green roof and gardens on the fourth floor, mechanical roof and rooftop will help the development achieve Tier 2 of the Toronto Green Standard.

U of T: UTSC Instructional Centre II, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The planning rationale included with the submitted materials to the City provides insight into the design and massing of the rectangular building, which "both responds to the site geometry and capitalizes on views in all directions to enhance the adjacent public realm." The transparency of the ground floor, animated by active uses, will contribute towards the vitality of a partially decommissioned Military Trail. The UTSC Secondary Plan sets out a vision to transform a section of the existing Military Trail right-of-way into a linear open space, serving as a crucial pedestrianized corridor throughout the North Campus.

Looking southeast, image via submission to the City of Toronto

A variety of architectural treatments and materiality will envelop the building. Architectural plans show a mix of clear, translucent and fritted glazing contained within aluminum frames, perforated aluminum shutters, and a precast polished concrete grid. Perforated insulated metal panels would screen the mechanical penthouse.

East elevation detail, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The development's required vehicular parking spaces, 252 in total, will be entirely accommodated within a planned six-storey parking structure located to the north. The structure will contain 1,244 spaces for vehicles, and will be accessible to the new Instructional Centre building via an underground tunnel. An additional nine surface parking spaces and 10 paid on-street spaces will also be provided. 17 short-term bicycle parking spaces will be included on-site, with 46 long-term bicycle spaces to be supplied at the parking facility.

View towards south entrance, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The North Campus is currently defined by a number of university-related buildings, including the UTSC Environmental Science and Chemistry Building, the original UTSC Instructional Centre, the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, and Centennial College's Morningside Campus. 

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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