Ryerson buys Gerrard St. building

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By News Team

Ryerson has close a $.156 million deal to purchase the building at 111 Gerrard St. E.

Director of campus planning Ian Hamilton said the purchase is part of the university’s plan to “intensify its presence within the campus boundaries.

But the school has no idea what it wants to do with the building.

“There’s a million possible uses,” Hamilton said. “There’s a number of very good competing needs.”

The purchase which was finalized March 9, comes as Ryerson begins planning several developments on campus. The school has three provincially funded projects on the go to help accommodate the double cohort of high school students graduating in 2003, and has just signed on architects to design a new student centre.

Because of all the developments, this new building could serve as temporary space for whoever needs it, Hamilton said. Ryerson also has a need for more faculty offices, he said.

Options for 111 Gerrard include tearing down the four-storey building to make way for another development of making use of the existing building. The building currently houses Sorn Thai Restaurant and Mother’s Taste Restaurant, whose leases will continue until further notice, Hamilton said.

Scusi Yang, owner of Mother’s Taste, said she was told March 9 that Ryerson had bought the building. She said she doesn’t know if she will have to move yet, but she thinks her business will be allowed to stay.

“It will be nice to have a change,” Yang said. “It wasn’t good before.”

Nuja Nak, owner of Sorn Thai, said as far as she knows she too will be staying at 111 Gerrard. Her lease with the previous landlord is good for more than five years.

The building also housed Dominion COllege, a private secondary school that moved out at the start of the year, and a handful of apartments. The tenants who lived in the building—mainly students—have all moved out.

The broker for the building, which is owned by a  numbered Ontario company, approached Ryerson about buying the property in the fall. Hamilton said the university made an offer in October.

Peter Teoh, manager of Dominion College, confirmed the deal was closed Friday. He said the purchase was initially discussed in September, but was held up by negotiations between the landlord and Mother’s Taste.

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