A fresh face for Ryerson

Downtown university unveils revitalization plan
By SANDY NAIMAN, TORONTO SUN

Ryerson University is coming out of hiding.


 

This 58-year-old campus, known to its students for being behind Sam the Record Man, is lost in the inner-city bustle. All that is about to change. This university will have a fresh Yonge St. face and "a welcoming community
presence," president Sheldon Levy said yesterday, announcing the design team chosen to create its "Master Plan for the Future."

This blueprint will guide an ambitious 15- to 20-year project to revitalize Ryerson's campus, integrating it into a neighbourhood already being developed.

For example, in Metropolis, a huge complex currently going up on Yonge between Dundas and Victoria Sts., movie theatres will serve as large classrooms in the mornings, fourth-year urban planning student Brian Webb
said.

"This plan will not only let Ryerson take its rightful place as a Toronto university; it will solve practical problems — lack of academic, study and recreation space," he said.

The master plan does not yet exist, but Levy envisions his campus as "pedestrian friendly," with walkers and cyclists "trumping motorists."

People who want to see "a beautiful part of this city will come here and I would love to live in condo here," he said.

Up to 2,000 residence beds and other mixed-use housing will improve community life, along with coffee shops and other convivial spots.

"It's just too bad we're leaving and won't be able to see it," fourth-year journalism student Claudia Cantillo said.

Gould St., a main Ryerson artery, is not a through-street, but it will be opened up so the campus is more accessible.

Levy said a large, often empty, central square known as The Quad will be transformed into a busy courtyard with concerts, theatre, art shows and other activities.

"It's time for this change," student Alicia Singh said.