By Drew Penner
Extreme temperatures are putting Ryerson students’ health at risk, says Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.
A senior technical officer with Ryerson’s engineering department, Dan Peneff, said temperatures in some rooms of the Monetary Times building have been as high as 33 C. Last year he remembers the air conditioning system shutting down.
“I know in my office there were times it was hovering around 28 degrees,” said Peneff. “It’s a mechanical system. It needs maintenance.”
David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, said that vulnerable individuals are put at risk when temperature rises over 32 C. The city requires landlords to keep rental units above 21 C in the winter and below 26 C in the summer if an air conditioning unit is installed.
Arts and contemporary studies student Sarah El-Shaarawi can recite the different temperatures of the library’s floors like a Ryerson tour guide. While the eighth floor may be cold, the fourth is just too hot.
‘I find from floor to floor it varies,” she said. “I don’t think it’s that healthy for students.”
Anthony Sangra, a first-year business student, said he spent the winter in Pitman Hall and was sick for an entire month because of freezing temperatures. A pipefitter and plummer from Alberta, Sangra took matters into his own hands, fixing his sink himself and investigating the cause of poor airflow.
“They need to set aside a lot of money to fix this,” Sangra said. “It’s all just falling apart. It’s so old.”
Glen Weppler, Ryerson’s housing manager said sometimes it can be difficult to control building temperature in the residences.
“There are major temperature swings outside, so what happens outside has a direct impact on what happens inside,” he said.
Lisa Anderson, supervisor of maintenance and operations, said the type of system used to bring heat and air conditioning to Ryerson makes no difference in the day-to-day operations of regulating temperature.
“If it’s too hot in a classroom it could be because the thermostat is not functioning properly or hot water valve is not functioning properly,” she said, adding that if students have complains they need to register them formally.