Project will transform heart of St. George Campus for generations to come
As the front campus prepares to welcome the families and proud graduates of the Class of 2017, U of T alumni with their own fond memories of this hallowed space have pledged $1 million to help transform it for future generations.
The donation, announced during Spring Reunion by the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA), is the first in support of the Landmark Project. The $1-million gift will be matched by the university using unrestricted donations to the Boundless campaign, totalling $2 million.
The UTAA wanted to be the first to show their support, says UTAA President Scott MacKendrick. The massive project fits in with other efforts alumni have supported over the years, he says, from building Convocation Hall in 1907 and assisting in its recent renovation. Alumni also provided funds to build Soldiers’ Tower after the First World War.
“There’s a generational quality to this gift,” MacKendrick says. “The redevelopment of the St. George campus is going to have a significant impact: enlivening student life and increasing the sense of pride alumni have in their university. And the Landmark Project’s effect is not temporary; the changes to be made will still be enjoyed by students and alumni a hundred years from now.”
U of T President Meric Gertler, who was on hand for the announcement, said the university is “delighted and proud to partner with the UTAA on this gift.”
“For more than a century, the UTAA and our alumni community have played an outsized role in shaping this campus. We are grateful to the UTAA for continuing that great legacy by making a lead gift to the Landmark Project.”
The Landmark Project, as envisioned by the winning team of KPMB Architects, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) and Urban Strategies, was revealed in April 2016 after several months of consultations with university stakeholders and the wider public.
The plan will make the heart of the St. George campus more pedestrian friendly and accessible – a true urban park in the centre of downtown Toronto. New trees and gardens will be added, along with seating areas, pathways for walking and cycling and plazas where students, alumni and visitors can gather.
The university aims to raise $20 million towards the Landmark Project with the support of our community. The $2-million gift is the first step.
A variety of gift-giving opportunities are available, including new plazas, pavilions, trees, benches, gardens and granite pavers. These opportunities offer a unique and meaningful way to honour a loved one or celebrate a milestone. A $1,000 donation, for example, will support the placement of an engraved paver.