The Importance of Place at Trinity College

Trinity College Building on Tradition: Students on the Front Lawn of Campus

Help Us Envision Our Future Campus

Tuesday, September 4, 2018: Building on Tradition - Alumni Forum with Provost Mayo Moran

Please join Provost Mayo Moran at an upcoming alumni forum to discuss Trinity College's proposed plans for a new student residence and academic building. 

The Trinity community has always enjoyed a sense of “place” among the College’s beautiful and treasured buildings. Providing our students with an environment that fosters an engaged academic community and offers vibrant, welcoming living spaces are two of our top priorities. Alumni and friends are invited to learn more about our new Student Services Centre currently under construction and our plans to add an inspiring new building to our campus.

To give alumni an opportunity to share their thoughts and feedback, we have scheduled three information sessions hosted by staff and volunteers. Please register now!

Provost Mayo Moran

Thursday, June 28, 2018Provost's Message to the Community

Provost Mayo Moran's summer message to the community includes an update about our future campus. Click here to read the full message.

...Across the College, we have also been looking closely at our physical space so we can provide the best learning, living and social environments, while still honouring our historic campus. While Trinity is – and intends to remain – the smallest college, it is clear that our space needs are acute. The residence piece is of particular importance – we are facing unprecedented demand that we cannot currently meet. Over the past 12 months, we have been consulting with members of the community about how to revitalize the Trinity campus. We are still in the early planning phase for a proposed new student residence and academic building. The site with the greatest potential for this new building is the current parking lot immediately north of the Gerald Larkin Building. Further consultations will take place in the coming months as we refine our plans. I would like to thank members of the Board, the Finance Committee and the Campaign Advisory Committee for all their hard work and support. As that process goes forward, we continue to upgrade our current buildings to ensure that we are making the best possible use of them. We have also begun a robust multi-year residence renewal program for our existing buildings and are working to maximize our much needed residential spaces.

Related to this, as you will have seen in the latest issue of Trinity Magazine, we are also working on another important initiative – the new Student Services Centre. It will bring key student services such as the Registrar’s Office and the Dean of Students Office together into one space on the main floor of 6 Hoskin Avenue. A one-stop-shop, the Centre will provide a more accessible experience for students and a warmer welcome for all campus visitors. 

Spring Reunion: Saturday, June 2, 2018 | Building Trinity's Future 

Join Provost Mayo Moran for an information session on plans to revitalize the Trinity College Campus. Details about the College’s new Student Services Centre and a proposed new building and student residence will be discussed followed by a question period. Saturday, June 2 at 3:30 pm in the George Ignatieff Theatre. 

March 16, 2018 | Consultation with Students: Planning for Trinity's New Building

Dear Trinity College Students:

You are invited to attend an information session about Trinity’s planning for a new building on Wednesday, March 21 from 12 pm to 1 pm in the Combination Room (behind Strachan Hall).

At the session, we will provide an overview of the background that has led to why Trinity is considering a new building, followed by an overview of the 2017 community survey results, the planning process and next steps. For the second half of the session, we will invite feedback from participants at three stations around the room, focused on each of the three proposed types of space: common space, academic and teaching space, and residence space. We hope you can join us! 

Additional sessions can be scheduled, so please let us know if you are interested in participating but cannot attend at this time - please email

Kind regards,
Assistant Provost Jonathan Steels

January 10, 2018 | Message to the Community

Dear Members of the Trinity Community: 

As you may know, we have been consulting with members of the Trinity community on our learning, community and living spaces. Thank you to the 600 students, faculty, alumni and staff who completed our online survey last fall. Through these responses, along with other consultations, you have identified priorities and values for both new and existing spaces that support Trinity’s collegiate way of life. These include focusing on the importance of health and well-being, modernization and sustainability. You also told us that students need more spaces for social and group work and faculty-student interaction. You told us we need more teaching and learning space, and of course, more spaces for living on campus. You also want us to protect, preserve and highlight Trinity’s beautiful historic buildings. You have made it clear that Trinity’s needs and aspirations require considerably more space than we currently have. 

Our work with a master planner indicates that the current parking lot immediately north of the Gerald Larkin Building is the site with the greatest potential for a new building. The preliminary thinking is that the new building would be integrated with a renovated first floor of the Gerald Larkin Building, creating a larger, revitalized communal space. It would also encompass two or three floors of teaching and learning space, which are necessary for our academic programs to continue to flourish. Above this base and set back from the streetscape would be a mid-rise housing section, providing desperately needed residential space for our students (about 250 new residence beds). 

We have also consulted with the U of T Community Liaison Committee (which includes University staff and student representatives, city councillor and local residents’ associations) and met with our local city councillor and staff. In anticipation of the various planning processes, we will be preparing an application for rezoning with the City of Toronto. 

While we look to the future, we will continue to focus on supporting the whole student, transforming the student experience at Trinity:

And as we continue to explore options, we will also be working to develop our fundraising capacity to help support any new construction and consulting further with members of our community to refine our plans. This is an exciting time for the College as we imagine the evolution of our glorious historic campus. I hope that you will be part of the conversation and look forward to your thoughts.

Yours truly,

Mayo Moran
Provost and Vice-Chancellor

August 11, 2017  | Stewarding Historic Architecture

In this video, Provost Mayo Moran and Hart House Warden John Monahan ’87 talk about what our beautiful spaces mean to them—and how they are making sure our historic buildings are also meeting the needs of our 21st-century students. Watch the Video 

August 2, 2017 | Message to the Community

Dear Members of the Trinity Community:

A sense of place is so vital – at best it elevates us and connects us in a meaningful way to the world around us. At Trinity College our sense of place is especially profound and that is precisely why “place” is among the three pillars of our Strategic Plan: People, Program and Place.

We treasure the glorious Trinity buildings we have the privilege to steward, striving to ensure that they are cared for and that they improve the lives of those who learn, work and live here. Sometimes this means reclaiming space, as with the beautiful new Archives, which was once an ignored basement. Sometimes it means refashioning spaces so that they work for the Trinity of today, which strives to be an inclusive, welcoming environment.

While we are working hard to refurbish our historic buildings, it is also becoming clear that we simply do not have enough space for all of our people and activities, no matter how well we use what we have. Perhaps this is not surprising – it has been some time since we added significant learning space and today we struggle to find room for classes, programming and professors. In fact, aside from our beautiful John W. Graham Library (opened in 2000), it has been more than 55 years since we added new teaching and learning space (the Gerald Larkin Building was completed in 1961). And while we resolutely remain the smallest college at the University of Toronto, our student body has grown since our early days. Our residence space has increased only marginally (50 beds in St. Hilda’s College in the early 1980s), so too many of our students must live at a great distance, which means they cannot experience college life to the fullest. They tell us that they want to spend more time here – studying, interacting socially, being immersed in collegial life, and indeed living in residence. Unfortunately, we cannot meet their needs. I believe that we can do better for our outstanding students.

Renewing the Trinity Campus

This is why renewal of our campus is of such vital importance. Over the past year, our initial conversations with students, faculty, staff and the larger Trinity community have made it clear that our aspirations cannot be achieved unless we add more space. We have listened and engaged a master planner to help us consider our options. We have also conducted a comprehensive needs assessment, reviewed the state of our facilities and campus footprint, and analyzed current and forecasted needs.

This groundwork has made it evident that a new building will most likely be required to respond to the significant unmet need for study and social space for students, for teaching and learning space for the College’s academic programs, and for residential space for Trinity students. We are early in the process of examining the potential of the Trinity campus as it relates to municipal bylaws and are working with the ongoing University of Toronto St. George Campus Secondary planning process and with relevant leaders at the College, U of T and the City of Toronto. We will also be assessing our fundraising capacity to help support any new construction and refurbishment of existing spaces on campus.

However important need is, Trinity’s physical space has never just been about need – it has also been about our values and our aspirations. So too is it today: only by creating inspiring learning, living and social spaces can we honour our traditions and complement our beautiful historic campus. Trinity has always aspired to be part of creating a better world – our space must also strive to reflect our core values of excellence, inclusion and sustainability. Above all else, Trinity is about community and that is why we want to hear your views.

Join the Conversation

In the months ahead, we will be continuing to have many place-oriented conversations on campus. We want to know what is important to you. I encourage you to share your thoughts about the kinds of spaces that are essential to fostering the engaged college community that is at the heart of Trinity College. You can complete the short survey here (survey is now closed - send your comments and feedback to 

Over the coming months, we will be holding a series of consultations with members of our community as we consider our options and develop a plan for our future campus. We will also be working closely with our partners at the University and the City throughout the process. Updates and announcements will be posted on this webpage, so please do return here often. You can also get in touch with us at

Trinity College has always been about how our shared values, expressed in architecture new and old, can foster the flourishing of every member of this very special collegiate community. This is an incredibly exciting time as we imagine the evolution of our glorious historic campus. I hope that you will be part of the conversation and look forward to your thoughts.

Mayo Moran
Provost and Vice-Chancellor