Provost’s Letter: “To me, Living Trinity captures the full range of what it means to be part of this community… It is about shared values and experiences, the best of which are yet to come.” Click here to read Provost Mayo Moran’s full message about Living Trinity.
October 17, 2019 was a night to remember for the Trinity College community. The Chair’s Reception, an event created to thank and celebrate the many individuals whose gifts make a difference in the lives of Trinity students, was the setting for a historic announcement.
Alumni and friends representing seven decades of philanthropy came together in Strachan Hall at the invitation of Board Chair Andrew McFarlane. They included members of the Gerald Larkin Society (those who have remembered Trinity College in their estate plans), of the Salterrae Society (donors who have cumulatively given over $100,000), and of the Provost’s Leadership Circle (donors who have given $1,000 and above to Trinity over the past year). Many of these individuals have generously given their time, expertise and funds over many years to the College, and remember well Trinity’s Strength to Strength campaign more than a decade ago. Provost Mayo Moran thanked them for their support and shared that, inspired by that campaign, the College’s fundraising has reached new heights, with over $36 million raised since 2012.
That recent success inspired the creation of Living Trinity, the next phase of the College’s fundraising and its most ambitious campaign to date. Living Trinity aims to raise $40 million in new money, which would take the College to an astounding $75 million raised since Strength to Strength. After letting the guests take that in, Provost Moran shared an exciting update including three transformational gifts to Living Trinity, already totalling more than $20 million.
She especially thanked both Nevil Thomas ’61 and Jack Whiteside ’63 for their early leadership support for the new building. The structure, to be built on the north end of Trinity’s beautiful campus, aims to enhance our historic campus and transform the student experience. With the addition of more than 300 residence spaces, significantly more of Trinity’s existing students will be able to call the College home. The new space will also provide all Trinity students with much-needed common areas for collaboration, dining, studying and socializing. Innovative academic spaces will embrace technology and encourage dynamic interaction between faculty and students. New teaching rooms will also ensure that we are able to host our outstanding academic programs at the College.
Building on this exciting news was the announcement of a landmark $10 million gift from Joannah and Brian Lawson ’82, the largest single gift ever received by Trinity College. The gift will fuel the launch of the Integrated Sustainability Initiative, a strategy that extends to all facets of College life, from the built environment to academic programming to dining and volunteer opportunities at the College. The new building is at the heart of the Initiative, providing us with a unique opportunity to create a structure of global significance.
The new building will be a model of sustainability in action, with spaces for indoor and outdoor urban farming where students can complement their sustainability studies in the classroom. An innovative Farm to Table program will enable students to participate in the entire life cycle of food, from growth through to waste, right here on our campus. The “table” component will include a beautiful community kitchen space that will serve as a hub for engagement around food and sustainability. The design team is also exploring alternative energy sources such as solar and geothermal heating and cooling, the use of cross-laminated timber structures, small-footprint kitchens, advanced composting technologies, and new approaches to minimizing food waste.
Within this green building Trinity’s students will have the opportunity to not only be inspired by the environment surrounding them, but also by their sustainability studies, which will be integrated into all of our academic programs. Building on the successful introduction, in 2018, of the Butterfield Environment and Sustainability Stream for first-year students in the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program, the Lawsons’ support will now make it possible for Trinity to weave sustainability into its upper-year and co-curricular programs as well.
As part of the Integrated Sustainability Initiative, the College will also increase course offerings, research opportunities and internships, and connect with partners at U of T and in the community. The Initiative will transform the College into a “living lab,” creating connections across academic offerings and enabling research projects focused on the new building.
At the Chair’s Reception, members of the Trinity community also learned more about the $40-million Living Trinity Campaign, a visionary effort to create an unparalleled educational opportunity by making strategic investments to support students and enhance academic programming in both the undergraduate programs and the Faculty of Divinity. The new building is the centrepiece of the campaign, promising to enhance our historic campus and transform the experience of the entire student body.
Living Trinity is a campaign that will build on decades of support from alumni and friends who continue to “Live Trinity” by belonging to a supportive and tight-knit community that values shared experiences rooted in excellence and achievement. We will share more information on the campaign and our building planning progress in the weeks and months ahead.
“This was a night I’ll never forget, and the beginning of an exciting, historic chapter for Trinity College,” said Provost Mayo Moran. “We couldn’t be more grateful for – and humbled by – the engagement and support of our incredible community.”
The celebration ended with Nicolas Ferreira, the Male Head of College, thanking all those gathered in the room for the wonderful experience that they make possible for students and offering a heartfelt toast to the “New Trinity”.
Here are a few moments captured at the Chair’s Reception. For more, visit the Trinity’s alumni Facebook page.
Trinity received $10 million from Brian ’82 and Joannah Lawson to support an ambitious initiative designed to integrate sustainability across the College.
Trinity College has received $10 million to support an ambitious initiative designed to integrate sustainability across the College, from an innovative new building to research and classroom opportunities to the creation of food. The donation comes from Trinity alumnus Brian Lawson ’82 and Joannah Lawson (Master of Industrial Relations ’89, U of T). The Lawsons’ generous gift is the largest single donation in Trinity College’s 168-year history.
Joannah, a nutrition consultant who focuses on prevention of chronic disease through nutritional change at organization and community levels, and Brian, Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Brookfield Asset Management, are committed to supporting food systems that promote physical and mental health and are environmentally sustainable.
“There is growing science showing a strong connection between nutrition and physical as well as mental health,” said Joannah Lawson. “Nutrient-empty foods also take a heavy toll on the planet. Supporting Trinity students, who go on to be thought-leaders and decision-makers in their chosen fields, with a healthy living environment and an understanding of sustainability practices will have a positive impact on this and future generations.”
When Trinity College, with its long history of being a green leader on campus, realized it had to add new space to its historic campus, it saw a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Over the past decade, faculty, students, staff and alumni have come together to support innovative sustainability projects including a rooftop garden at St. Hilda’s, urban beehives on Henderson Tower, geothermal heating in the new Archives, solar panels, and a rainwater reclamation system. However, the new building made it possible to take this commitment to sustainability to a whole new level.
“The College wanted to create a space that was sustainable, human-scaled and intelligent, that embodied our values and supported the flourishing of the humans within it and the world around it. This inspired us to further examine all that we do through the lens of sustainability, asking ourselves what more we can do to respond to this generation’s greatest challenge,” said Trinity College Provost Mayo Moran. “By integrating principles of sustainability into daily life at Trinity—from the urban farming initiative to classroom and research opportunities to the broader student experience—the College aims to make a positive difference and show what is possible.”
The new space is the centrepiece of the Integrated Sustainability Initiative. The first significant space added to the College in many decades, it aims to be a leader in sustainable, human-scaled design. Trinity’s new initiative will do more than just promote sustainability in the built environment—it will connect it directly to the student experience through innovations such as the unique “Farm to Table” program. A creative urban farming initiative, this program will offer students the chance to participate directly in the creation of their food as well as to conduct research on those practices right at the College. A community kitchen will serve as a hub for teaching and learning about sustainable food practices and will provide an important community gathering space. But Trinity’s sustainability ambitions go beyond the building. As part of the Initiative, fluency in sustainability will be integrated into academic programs and students will be able to take advantage of new learning opportunities focused on sustainability both inside the classroom and through research and internships. A new Director of Sustainability will support these activities and will oversee the development of academic and co-curricular sustainability programming including internships and community outreach.
Trinity College is not alone in its commitment to sustainability. It is also a key priority for the University of Toronto as a whole and Trinity is working with the Faculty of Arts and Science and its School of the Environment to develop various elements of the Initiative. “Introducing ways in which students can have personal impact and feel connected to important issues such as climate change and the environment is critically important,” said Melanie Woodin, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. “We are delighted to partner with Trinity College on this exciting initiative and are grateful for the generous support of the Lawsons.”
Sustainability became part of the College’s curriculum in 2018, with the launch of the Butterfield Environment & Sustainability Stream in the Margaret MacMillan Trinity One Program. The new Trinity One stream examines the most challenging issues surrounding human beings, the planet and our future together. It is the only program at U of T that allows first-year students to look at sustainability issues from both arts and sciences perspectives.
“We have witnessed first-hand how committed the leadership team and the students at Trinity are to sustainability,” said Brian Lawson. “We knew that Trinity would be innovative in moving forward, and when the opportunity arose we strongly wanted to support this vital initiative.”
“Universities have a crucial role to play in helping meet the global challenge of sustainability,” said University of Toronto President Meric Gertler. “Joannah and Brian have been prominent champions of our efforts at U of T, through their generous philanthropy and their wise counsel. This visionary gift builds on their remarkable legacy.”
Said Provost Moran, “As the Trinity community develops plans for a new building on campus, we are so fortunate to have visionary alumni like Brian and Joannah Lawson, who share our values and make it possible for us to transform the lives of Trinity students by realizing our desire to make a difference.”
Dear Members of the Trinity Community:
I am pleased to provide you with an update on Trinity College’s new building project.
Over the last few months, our architectural team – Mecanoo in partnership with RHDA – has spent a great deal of time at Trinity, assessing our needs, exploring our campus, and talking with members of the Trinity community. Our need for space to better support our existing student population is acute—in addition to creating residential space to allow more students to live on campus, the growth of our programs means that we also require teaching and learning space. Following a comprehensive review of our site, they have developed an approach that is responsive to our historic campus, to the connections between our buildings and landscape, and to how we use our spaces.
Their evolving design is a lower-profile structure closer to the scale of our historic buildings than the mid-rise building that was presented for our development application. The new vision anticipates a low-rise T-shape footprint beginning at the west edge of the parking lot and extending along the north edge of the backfield. Re-integrating the North Field into the heart of campus life–something our students identified as a key aspiration during consultations—enables us to create open green spaces that can be used for a variety of activities and for play (as you may know, the field has been fenced and locked for well over a decade making it largely inaccessible to the college community). The T-structure will include a new north-south axis, with access points and pathways to better connect the new building with the rest of campus.
As you know, Trinity College aims to be a leader in sustainability. Mecanoo’s approach gives us great scope to integrate sustainability innovations and offers extensive rooftops for solar panels and urban farming as well as other opportunities to be a ‘living lab’. This design also creates wonderful spaces to bring the community together around food, whether through urban farming on the rooftop or in the new community kitchen that will serve as a hub for all students. The goal is to unite the entire Trinity campus, putting human wellbeing and a sense of community first with a more accessible, welcoming and walkable campus.
Over the last few months, we have been evaluating this approach through a wide variety of preliminary consultations with key constituencies. The results have been extremely positive. In the coming months, we will be engaging in further consultations in order to refine the design and move forward the process to build the spaces that we so desperately need at the College.
Trinity has always been about how our shared values, expressed in architecture new and old, can inspire and foster the flourishing of every member of this very special collegiate community. This new building will be a vital addition to our amazing campus and supporting it will be a central ambition of our Living Trinity Campaign. Together with strategic investments to support students and enhance programming, this ambitious new building will extend what we can do and show what is possible, positioning Trinity College at the vanguard of global higher education. I am excited by our journey ahead and what it will mean for our wonderful college.
Provost and Vice-Chancellor
Trinity College has selected Mecanoo Architecten from the Netherlands in partnership with Toronto firm RDH Architects Inc. (RDHA) to design and build the College’s new student residence and academic building.
“We are thrilled to be working with Mecanoo and RDHA on the design and development of our new building. They have a deep understanding of what we aspire to and our core values of excellence, community and sustainability,” said Professor Mayo Moran, Provost and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College. “We want our campus be an inspiring and welcoming place to learn, live and work. This is an exciting opportunity to complement our beautiful, historic campus.”
The addition of new physical facilities is critical for the student experience at Trinity College. While the student population has grown over the past several decades, the infrastructure has not. The new building will respond to this challenge, providing much needed teaching, learning and common space. Moreover, the addition of urgently needed residence space will mean that more of Trinity College’s current students will be able to enjoy living and learning in a close community – the quintessential college experience that so many alumni cherish.
The design architect for the project is Mecanoo, led by Francine Houben. “A world-renowned architect, Francine is known for her site-specific work, her deep understanding of design and her attentiveness to how people inhabit space. As an advocate for the way architecture can support community and the needs of users, her approach aligns with the College’s ethos,” Provost Moran said.
“We are so pleased to be working with Trinity College to enhance their world-class campus. The new building will embody our shared values of placing people first to create a memorable and inspiring home for all members of the Trinity community,” said Francine Houben, Mecanoo Creative Director/Founding Partner.
The project architect will be RDHA, led by Bob Goyeche. “RDHA is extremely excited with this opportunity to assist Trinity College in the development of this once in a generation project for the College,” said Bob Goyeche, RDHA Managing Partner.
Mecanoo and RDHA are outstanding teams and both have successfully completed many projects relevant to Trinity College. Mecanoo is renowned for its inspirational educational architecture including many important libraries and university projects: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library; Key Worker Housing at the University of Cambridge; Library of Birmingham; and Erasmus University Student Housing in Rotterdam. Both Mecanoo and RDHA are experienced in blending historic and contemporary architecture: Mecanoo in work such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, and the Bruce C. Bolling Municipal Building in Boston, which was awarded the 2016 BSA Harleston Parker Medal; and RDHA in the Hamilton Central Library & Farmers’ Market, the U of T Fitzgerald Building Revitalization (where RDHA is currently architect of record), and the Idea Exchange Old Post Office in Cambridge, Ontario, which received the 2019 AZ Award for Best in Architecture: Adaptive Re-Use.
Mecanoo’s architectural approach, which uses an integrated “live, play and work model” in all aspects of their design, resonates with the aspirations of Trinity College. They also strive to complement the aesthetics of existing buildings, and are leaders in integrating landscape architecture, incorporating sustainability into all aspects of the project, and building connectivity.
In selecting an architect, the College conducted a comprehensive two-stage selection process. Rather than a design competition, the College chose a qualifications-based search, focusing on breadth of relevant experience, design excellence, track record of successful collaborations, and the ability to solve the unique spatial, technical and programmatic challenges of Trinity College’s project. The College’s Architect Selection Advisory Committee unanimously chose Mecanoo and RDHA from a pool of excellent firms.
“It was so important to us that our new building be thoughtfully designed from the inside out in order to be as responsive as possible to the complex needs of our community and to our very special site. Now with our architects on board, the College can begin the design process in consultation with the community,” said Chancellor Bill Graham, chair of the Architect Selection Advisory Committee, noting how impressed they were with Mecanoo and RDHA.
“Trinity has always been about the significance of place and how critical it is to building community. Architecture has the power to bring our values to life,” Provost Moran said. “This is an incredibly exciting time as we imagine the evolution of our glorious campus.”
The proposed site for the new building will be centred on the current surface parking lot immediately north of the Gerald Larkin Building at 15 Devonshire Place. This is the first significant new building on the Trinity College campus in nearly 60 years.
Mecanoo Architecten is made up of a highly multidisciplinary staff of creative professionals from 25 countries. The team includes architects, interior designers, urban planners, landscape architects and architectural technicians. Discovering unexpected solutions for the specifics of program and context is the foremost challenge in all of our assignments. Each design is considered in terms of its cultural setting, place and time. As such, Mecanoo treats each project as a unique design statement embedded within its context and orchestrated specifically for the people who use it. Preoccupied not by a focus on form, but on process, consultation, context, urban scale and integrated sustainable design strategies, the practice creates culturally significant buildings with a human touch. Mecanoo’s projects have received over 100 awards, including the Dutch Association of Architects (BNA) 2019 Award for Liveability & Social Cohesion, the 2014 RIBA National Award (UK), and the 2013 Amsterdam Architecture Prize. Francine Houben was awarded the 2018 BNA Kubus Award and the 2015 Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prize in recognition of her contribution to architecture.
RDH Architects Inc. (RDHA) is a Toronto-based studio specializing in architecture for the public realm. Founded in 1919, the firm has a wide-ranging body of work encompassing post-secondary education, libraries, recreation, industrial, office, transit and secure facility design. In the past ten years the firm has focused on producing intelligent, concept driven architecture of the highest caliber, and now feels and acts like an emerging design studio, while their 100-year legacy provides a solid backbone of technical and managerial experience. The studio has received over 50 provincial, national and international awards in the last decade – most notably three Governor General’s Medals, the 2014 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Young Architect Award for design partner Tyler Sharp, and the 2018 RAIC Architectural Firm Award.
Founded in 1851, Trinity College is a small academic college with a long and illustrious history within the University of Toronto. Trinity College offers an exceptional academic experience and fosters community, responsibility and leadership. The College’s total student enrollment is approximately 2,000, consisting of undergraduate students from the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto and approximately 150 graduate students from the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College. Although the new building will house approximately 350 residence beds, Trinity College’s total student enrollment will not change.
Dear Members of the Trinity Community:
Since my last update in February, we have been focused on various planning details for the proposed new Trinity College building. To that end, I’m pleased to report that we have submitted a Development Application to the City of Toronto in order to amend the current zoning permission for the project site, which is the current surface parking lot immediately north of the Gerald Larkin Building.
Our Development Application for the new Student Residence & Academic Building includes a planning rationale report that outlines our approach and the parameters to develop our site, along with the results of technical studies, such as geotechnical, hydrogeological, shadow, wind, transportation, heritage and arborist reports. We have also included some illustrations of possible massings or demonstration projects in order to assist with determining the appropriate building envelope for the site. However, we do not yet have a building design.
As you will be aware from my earlier message, we are in the midst of a two-step search process for an architectural team. Our selection process has been designed to identify an outstanding architectural team that aligns with our vision and our values. Once that team has been selected, they will be consulting with the Trinity community and working to understand how to best fulfill our needs on our beautiful site. Please stay tuned as consultations with the architect will be scheduled to start later this year.
The goal of our new building is to be able to make the full collegiate experience available to more of our students, and to house our growing programs and services. We are not expanding our student body. But we are aiming to expand what we are able to do for the wonderful students that we have.
We are so excited for what’s to come in this next important chapter for our College. Please continue reading below to learn more about our early thinking for the types of spaces envisioned for the new building. If you have any comments, I would as always welcome your feedback.
Provost and Vice-Chancellor
Dear Members of the Trinity Community:
As you may know, over the last 18 months, we have been consulting with members of the community and others about the possibility of adding a new building to the Trinity campus. This new building would serve a number of important purposes including the creation of much-needed student residences, the addition of teaching and learning spaces, and more generous spaces for the Trinity community to engage, study and interact.
The project will be guided through governance and other processes by our Building Project Steering Committee and its subcommittee, the Architect Selection Advisory Committee. The volunteer committees are comprised mostly of Trinity alumni who have expertise in development projects, financing, construction law and architecture, and we are thrilled to have each of them onboard. In the coming months, with committee guidance, we will conduct a thorough search for the right architectural firm to help us with visioning and space planning for our new proposed Residence & Academic Building. This will be a two-step process, beginning with a Request for an Expression of Interest. We will also be submitting to the City of Toronto an application to amend the current zoning permission for the project site (the surface parking lot immediately adjacent to the Gerald Larkin Building).
We are still very early in the planning process and we do not know what the building will look like – design conversations will likely commence later this year. It is also important for members of the community to be aware that our total student enrollment will not change. One of the main reasons for a new building is to ensure that more of our wonderful Trinity students have the opportunity to get the full collegiate living-learning experience that our College is known for and which so many of our alumni cherish.
This is an exciting time as we imagine the evolution of our beautiful historic campus. Please stay tuned for further updates in the coming months. As always, I welcome any feedback that you may have.
Provost and Vice-Chancellor
Trinity College students are invited to attend one of our scheduled information sessions on two significant new infrastructure projects underway at the College: planning for a new building and the new Student Services Centre in the main hall. These projects will transform the student experience at Trinity and student input is integral to ensuring we plan properly.
Provost Moran will begin each session with an overview on the new building. Assistant Provost Jonathan Steels will talk about input received to date, as well as next steps in the planning and design. Finally, Nelson De Melo, Registrar and Director of Student Services, will provide an overview of the plans to date for the new Student Services Centre and when we expect the centre to open.
After the formal presentation, student leaders will help us facilitate feedback from the room on a few topics pertaining to the projects.
We hope you can join us!
Directions to the Combination Room: exit the door on the far north end of Strachan Hall (to the left of the high table). The Combination Room is location at the end of the hallway on your left side.
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 these information sessions hosted by staff and volunteers. Please register now!
Provost Mayo Moran
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
Assistant Provost Jonathan Steels
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 proposed new building. The new building would provide desperately needed residential space for our students. And 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 have designated floors of teaching and learning space, which are necessary for our academic programs to continue to flourish.
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.
Provost and Vice-Chancellor
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 email@example.com.
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.
Provost and Vice-Chancellor
The Architect Selection Advisory Committee is a subcommittee of the Building Project Steering Committee