The Campus in the Future

The corner of College Street and University Avenue will become a landmark entrance to the University.

Imagine the campus in a decade or two, responding to Investing in the Landscape.

Twenty years from now, as you approach the University district from the corner of College Street and University Avenue, a re-worked open space at the northwest corner, which includes the historic greenhouse and perennial plantings, has created a landmark entrance to the University. The Taddle Creek Road forecourt provides a landscaped area where you can find people reading and talking during breaks and over lunch. The handsome, solid university buildings and continuous setback along College Street provide the backdrop to a landscape of street trees and seating along the sunny side of the street.

The revitalized Front Campus area will include new open spaces and streetscaping on College Street and King's College Road.
A walk up King's College Road to the historic centre of the campus reveals a tree-lined boulevard, gated at each end to provide both a forecourt to the adjacent buildings and a defined sequence of entry into the Central Campus open spaces. Automobile movement has been limited to respond to pedestrian needs and surface parking has been removed from this historic ceremonial corridor. Convocation Hall Plaza is a pedestrian-only zone that is filled with students on their way to classes. With its memorial wall to provide a dramatic eastern backdrop, it is the stage for the ceremony of the campus and a central gathering point for special events. King's College Circle, an oval of green surrounded by new plantings of deciduous trees has a new playing field and pedestrian pathways along its perimeter. The steps and terrace of the Medical Sciences Building are a lively gathering place and the trees planted along the north facade of the building extend the landscape of King's College Circle. The perennial gardens and seating in front of Sigmund Samuel Library create a colourful, contemplative space where students read and watch others go by. Pedestrian linkages to St. George Street are well-lit and landscaped and a walkway along the east side of King's College Circle leads to the Hart House Green and through Soldiers' Tower to the Back Campus.

The Hart House Green and the intersection of Queen's Park Crescent and Wellesley Street will create a significant entrance to the campus district.

The Hart House Green, with its plantings, public art and water feature, enhanced pathways through Queen's Park to Victoria University and St. Michael's College, and a new at-grade intersection at Queen's Park Crescent and Wellesley Street have reconnected the significant open spaces of the University and Ontario Legislature district. Trees and a water feature at the intersection have transformed this entry to the campus and made it an important focal point in the city. This important gateway to the University is a landmark in the district and provides strong linkages to the Affiliated and Federated Universities and Colleges east of Queen's Park Crescent. Students now cross Queen's Park Crescent safely at newly re-worked pedestrian crossing zones.

Back Campus will include four new walkways and gardens, significant tree planting and a sculpture court.
Surrounded by historic buildings, the Back Campus is now a significant landscape in the heart of the campus, with two new playing fields, new deciduous trees, contemplative spaces, and four commemorative walkways and associated gardens. The eastern edge of the space and the Soldiers' Tower passage are linked to a busy pedestrian walkway to Hart House Green and the Central Campus. People enter the University Art Centre in University College from a sculpture court behind the Memorial Wall next to Soldiers' Tower.

The Willcocks open space will be a focal point for student activity on the West Campus.

As you walk along Hoskin Avenue from Back Campus toward the West Campus, the Harbord-Hoskin corridor, with street trees, wide sidewalks and seating leads to a green and pleasant Huron Street that includes a better pedestrian system, traffic calming and street tree planting. A walk down Huron Street's wide sidewalks past attractively landscaped buildings leads to the new Willcocks Street open space, a student area and focal point on the West Campus, with trees, public art and a skating area for winter activity.

Further down Huron Street is the Huron and Russell Street intersection, a pedestrian-oriented plaza that includes traffic calming measures to allow easy street crossing. Huron and Russell Streets exhibit a new image for the streets of the West Campus, one that makes the streets distinctive and recognizable as an integral part of the open space on campus, in which a better balance between automobiles, pedestrians and streetscapes is achieved.

Spadina Circle will be a landscape of landmark status.

Tree-lined Russell Street leads to Spadina Circle, a significant gateway to the southwest part of the campus. The form of Spadina Circle and the surrounding buildings create a one-of-a-kind place in the city. The new pedestrian plazas and access points to the historic courtyard create a special place from which to admire the long view of Russell Street and the Convocation Hall dome. The return of Spadina Circle to a landscape of landmark quality is a widely celebrated result of Investing in the Landscape.

Investing in the Landscape will connect significant open spaces, improve pedestrian amenity and quality of life and create a memorable University district.

The combination of the landscape improvements outlined in the vision will transform the campus in several important ways:

  • The significance and interconnectedness of the open spaces in the district will be restored;
  • A focus on quality design will make the campus physically distinctive and memorable;
  • Conditions for the large number of pedestrians on campus will improve;
  • A legacy of significant tree planting will be established for future generations;
  • The University of Toronto will be associated with several landscapes of landmark status;
  • The quality of life for the many students who live and learn on the campus will improve.

Investing in the Landscape represents the beginning of a long process and has the potential to have a tremendous influence on the campus. There is a real opportunity to use this Plan to attract partnerships and implementation capital.

To succeed, the plan's elements must become an integral component of the University administration. To this end, a permanent office, the Open Space Revitalization Office (OSRO), dedicated to the design and revitalization of the campus open spaces should be established to coordinate open space and landscape improvement projects. The OSRO, in association with the Physical Planning and Design Advisory Committee (PPDAC), can review building proposals against the recommendations contained in the Plan, bringing together architecture, urban design and landscape design in the planning of University facilities.

previous | next
Demonstration Site 1
Demonstration Site 2
Demonstration Site 3
Demonstration Site 4
Demonstration Site 5
Demonstration Site 6