By Ramisha Farooq
To meet the growing demand for on-campus living space, the construction of Ryerson University’s new student residence at 186 Jarvis St. has been finalized and will begin in September 2014.
Last month, Ryerson formally submitted their request to the City of Toronto for rezoning and site planning.
The building will stretch 27 storeys high, a five-storey extension of the previous proposal made in February.
“The MPI group, our developer, is responsible for how much height to go for,” said Julia Hanigsberg, vice president of administration and finance at Ryerson.
“They will look at how much density the city is approving on other sites near ours to determine how high it is appropriate to go for the Ryerson residence.” The construction of the tower will try to meet the growing demand for student living spaces on campus.
“Students can learn so much by living in residence, not only towards their schooling but, for their personal lives as well,” says Laura Darcy, a fourth-year photography student and current Residence Advisor in O’Keefe House.
“Residence is an amazing resource for universities,” said Darcy.
The new will include the first 500 of 2,000 beds being added to campus.
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy has said that though the tower is a great development, it is only a starting point.
“We’re trying to deliberately increase the residence rooms that we have on campus,” said Levy.
With the recent unveiling of Ryerson’s new Mattamy Athletic Centre at Maple Leaf Gardens, Levy has said that he would like to keep expanding into that area.
“My priority is somewhere on Church between Gerrard and Carleton. I would love to see a residence there so it better connects the Gardens to the campus,” said Levy.
With the approved proposal for 2000 new beds by the Board of Governors, Ryerson is looking to provide opportunity to students unable to live on campus because of space restrictions.
“With the majority of the student population being commuters, it’s a hassle getting to school. I think they want to live downtown, but there is such a limited space,” said Ashley Paton, a first-year urban and regional planning student.
“Ultimately, it eliminates the hassle of commuting; they could be using that time to study or in another meaningful way.” Though the residence is not directly on campus, it is within a five minute walking distance.
The development, design and building of the tower will be handled by MPI group in a partnership with Ryerson.
“We have a lot of confidence in MPI and their ability to deliver the project,” says Hanigsberg.