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New health sciences complex opens at U of T Mississauga

Home to Mississauga Academy of Medicine, biomedical communications program

U of T Mississauga's Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex is now officially open. (Rendering courtesy of UTM)

With a quick scissor snip through U of T blue ribbon, University of Toronto community members, politicians, hospital representatives and donors officially opened the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex and Mississauga Academy of Medicine Nov. 1.

The four-storey health sciences complex houses the Mississauga Academy of Medicine as well as U of T’s internationally renowned biomedical communications program, Department of Anthropology offices and research laboratories, lecture theatres and medical teaching classrooms. The Mississauga Academy of Medicine, which welcomed 54 students in its first-year class this past August, is a partnership among U of T Mississauga, U of T’s Faculty of Medicine, Trillium Health Centre and Credit Valley Hospital.

“We are very grateful to the provincial government as well as Terrence Donnelly and Carlo Fidani, two great friends of the university and generous benefactors who together have made this health sciences complex a reality,” said U of T President David Naylor. “The new complex provides world-class educational and laboratory facilities for the next generation of health practitioners, biomedical communicators, researchers and students.”

In total, the provincial government provided $30.3 million in capital funding to the project. In private support, Donnelly donated $12 million (for building costs and scholarships), while Fidani gave $10 million (for building costs, scholarships, and a chair in family and community medicine).

“The opening of the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex is a game changer for U of T Mississauga,” said Professor Deep Saini, vice-president of the University of Toronto and principal of U of T Mississauga. “We are well on our way towards our vision of a campus that offers excellence in new areas of scholarship, training and research, a campus of first choice for young people across this country and internationally.”

One of the major tenants in the health sciences complex, the Mississauga Academy of Medicine will have a total of 216 students enrolled in the four-year program by 2014. The Mississauga academy will be U of T’s fourth medical academy – the other three are located in the city of Toronto. The academies are the Faculty of Medicine’s network of sites that provide clinical, research and other elements of the undergraduate curriculum.

“Health care will be forever shaped and strengthened in Mississauga and area by the generous support of Carlo Fidani and Terry Donnelly,” said Professor Catharine Whiteside, dean of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine and vice-provost, relations with health care institutions. “When philanthropists like Carlo Fidani and Terry Donnelly invest in U of T medicine, they become full partners in one of the most successful and productive academic medical research and education networks in the world.”

Construction on the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex, designed by Kongats Architects, began in the summer of 2009. The 5,960-square-metre building contains four storeys – two devoted to the Mississauga Academy of Medicine with the other two devoted to the graduate biomedical communications program, and Department of Anthropology offices and research laboratories. U of T’s biomedical communications program is unique in Canada and one of only five in the world – graduates are in high demand worldwide as health science visual artists and animators. 

“I am thrilled this new health sciences complex will give our future doctors the tools and expertise they need to thrive,” said Deb Matthews, Ontario's minister of health and long-term care. “This new complex will not only provide medical students with world-class education and hands-on training but, ultimately, all Ontarians will benefit with improved access to highly skilled doctors and health care practitioners.”