Maple Leaf Gardens is slated to be finished this winter. Photo: Marta Iwanek

Top Four Big Projects

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When Ryerson first opened in 1948,  students toiled in old World War Two barracks, but our campus has become vastly more fly since then. Here’s a look at some of the bigger bucks Rye has shelled out, with the help of government, to expand our school’s reach.

4-Maple Leaf Gardens- $60 million-The cost of the ambitious new athletic facility and Loblaws grocery store was split between the provincial government, the city, and Loblaws. A looming cutoff for the provincial funding fueled a rush to finish by November 2010, but the province has since extended the deadline. Construction was delayed when workers encountered water while digging for underground parking. The university, which expects MLG to be finished January 2012, has not said whether these delays have boosted cost of the project.

3-The George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre- $74 million– Funding for the massive glass building came from a provincial capital plan to expand the campus. Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava came up with a $90 million design, but his plan was scrapped for a “cheaper” one. Since it opened in September 2004, the structure has called “ungainly” and a poor use of space. The building also has reinforced, earthquake-proof beams. We just want to know- what is it with these see-through structures? The panes of glass in the building have popped out on more than one occasion.

2– The Student Learning Centre- $112 million- Said to be shaped from the rubble of Sam the Record Man, the new study space will span nine floors, 155, 463 feet and include a customizable, sloping study floor dubbed the “beach.”  Construction is supposed to be complete by 2014. The provincial government is providing $45 million, and Rye is footing the rest of the bill. The hefty price tag means the school can’t build a new subway entrance to Yonge Station, at least not anytime soon.

1-Most everything else- $200 million– In 1999, Ryerson received a total of $200 million dollars to expand the campus through a capital expansion program. The money was intended for the construction, renovation and back-fill of six new sites. So basically, this money is the reason Ryerson looks the way it does.

The grant money funded construction of five new buildings on campus between 2004 and 2006:  the Student Campus Centre; the Heidelberg School of Graphic Communications; Sally Horsfall Eaton Centre; Heaslip House, which houses the Chang School; and the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, which cost over $70 million alone.

Additional fun fact: Now-deceased corporate giant Ted Rogers and his wife Loretta paid $15 million to have the Ted Rogers School of Management named after them.


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