Ryerson to flatten roadblock

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Brad Whitehouse
Associate News Editor

Ryerson will finally be knocking down the World of Posters building at the corner of Yonge and Gould streets, one of the last roadblocks to the construction of the Student Learning Centre (SLC). The building will be gone by the end of the month, said Ian Hamilton, vice-president of Campus Planning and Facilities.

The university is paying $760,000 to a company called Quantum Murray to flatten the building. A large crane was on campus Nov.16.

“As soon as they bring it in, they’ll probably start knocking stuff down,” Hamilton said.

It’s the last of the building to get torn down where the SLC will be located.

But the rest of the process hasn’t been so easy. Ryerson purchased the poster shop for $2.45 million in July 2009, but had to wait until January for the tenants to move out.

Buying the building wasn’t in the original plan, said Hamilton. He said they expected to be able to work with just the Future Shop and Sam the Record Man properties.

But World of Posters and Future Shop occupied the same building, which meant the university would have had to build an entire structure to hold up the store.

“That was an expensive proposition so it was cheaper for us to buy this and then knock the whole thing over,” Hamilton said. “More land, more acquisition, more money. But it all seems to be working within the budget we have for the project. Everything seems to be on track, on budget, on schedule.”

The provincial government is investing $45 million into the project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

It’s planned to be a multi-purpose building that houses retail and study space.

In September, Levy said he was starting to look at very early designs for the building and expected construction to begin in 2011.

Don Ajith, the owner of World of Posters, wasn’t happy about Ryerson buying out the building.

When he spoke to the Eyeopener last year, he said he felt like he was being kicked out. The store has since relocated to Queen Street.

Hamilton said arranging for the relocation of the tenants was just one of the steps in the process.

After the tenants moved out in January, workers had to remove hazardous materials like asbestos and lead paint from the building.

They’ve also had to stabilize the building to the north, which houses Mariko restaurant.

Some manual demolishing had to be done too, especially along the wall that butted up against the restaurant.

“There have been a series of activities, but they’ve all been going on behind that hoarding,” Hamilton said.

“We all envision a big ball coming in and knocking it down.

“There’s an awful lot of very careful work that has to be done in advance of that.”

World of Posters and Ryerson

1992-2009 The building is home to World of Posters, owned by Don Ajith.

2009 Ryerson buys the building for $2.45 million in July.

2010 World of Posters moves out in January. The store relocates to Queen Street. Sheldon Levy announces Zeidler Partnership Architects of Toronto in association with Snøhetta of Oslo as co-architects of the SLC. Ryerson hires wrecking crew on November to tear the building down.

2011 Levy is hopeful that construction of the Student Learning Centre (SLC) will begin.

2013 The SLC is scheduled to be completed, according to Campus Planning and Facilities.

Photo: Marta Iwanek

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