By Jonathan Bradley
About 100 people gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex (DCC) on Monday.
Deborah Brown, vice-president administration and operations hosted the opening.
“My office helps ensure that Ryerson is a vibrant place to learn, to live, to discover, and to work. You can do all of that at the DCC,” said Brown. “The opening of the DCC gives me enormous pride, because it adds so much to our university.”
Brown said the DCC provides the space and tools that will drive innovation for the years to come, especially in areas involving human health and well-being.
“From the creation technology lab in the basement to the state of the art nursing labs replicating hospital wards with real life scenarios, this is a place that gives Ryerson students the opportunity to push boundaries and try new things,” said Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi.
“As an engineer myself, I am also very impressed with the focus on sustainability and accessibility. And I’m very proud to have our second urban farm on this building.”
Lachemi thanked Jack Cockwell, a Ryerson Board of Governors member and son of the building’s namesake. His mother Daphne Cockwell worked as a nurse in South Africa in the 1940s, and Lachemi said that she was committed to helping people throughout her life.
“Her compassion and care are an inspiration to our community, in particular to our students,” said Lachemi.
Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities said that he was happy he could attend the grand opening.
“Mohamed has been advocating for this institution long before I was the minister and it’s very clear the amazing work that has been done,” said Romano.
“I have really enjoyed the relationship we have established, and you have been a sounding board for me with respect to the sector and looking at all of the things we can do to move us forward as a community.”
Construction of the DCC began in November 2015, and it opened in August 2019.
According to Ryerson Today, the building brings together students in nutrition and food, occupational health and safety, midwifery, and nursing. It provides students in these programs with research spaces, enabling research teams to be situated in common workspaces.
The DCC also houses the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) Creative Technology Lab. The FCAD Creative Technology Lab is a 7,500 square foot space in the basement of the building that has advanced design and prototyping equipment, such as computer numerical control (CNC) machines, laser cutters, and 3D printers. There is a Keller und Knappich Augsburg (KUKA) robot that has performed a dance routine with a dancer.
In addition, there are nursing labs on the fourth floor. These nursing labs replicate hospital wards, and there is nursing station equipment set up to help simulate realistic conditions and scenarios.
Food and nutrition students have access to a demonstration kitchen on the sixth floor. The kitchen is equipped with refrigerators, walk-in freezers, and stoves.
Lachemi said that the DCC will help Ryerson become more connected to Toronto. “The Daphne Cockwell Complex brings to the street and the surrounding area new vibrancy, more activity, and greater safety,”