By Adrian Morrow
Associate News Editor
Ryerson is a step closer to constructing a study palace on Yonge Street — and it has the provincial government to thank.
Last week, the university closed a $4.5-million deal to buy the site of the former Future Shop property next to Sam the Record Man.
The money the school used to buy the building came in part from a $40-million fund the province gave Ryerson a year ago, which the school has since been using to expand its turf.
The school acquired the current Shipping and Receiving Building last year and hopes to buy Sam’s and the parking lot on Church Street across from the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre.
President Sheldon Levy expects to close both deals by the end of the month. The school already has ambitious plans to turn Future Shop and Sam’s into the school’s entrance on Yonge Street.
“The idea is to connect to the library building so the library expands over onto Yonge Street,” Levy said, adding that the buildings could be connected by a skywalk, or by a cantilever over O’Keefe Lane that would connect several floors of the buildings together.
He wants to add several more floors on top of Sam’s and Future Shop to build an über-library with executive-class study space. “It will be dominated by an improved library and improved study space for students. And I don’t mean normal study space,” said Levy. “And space where the students can go between class that is the best it can be for students now and in the future.”
The school is seeking another $40 to $50 million from the province to finance the project.
But government spokesperson Kevin Dove said the province can’t guarantee any capital support.
“It would have to be weighed with the fiscal capacity of the time,” Dove said.