There’s a huge transformation called the ‘Landmark Project’ happening to Front Campus or King’s College Circle. In front of University College, there’s a whole load of construction for the foreseeable future. From plans of removing the road to adding sustainable energy, the whole circle and the connected building will feel more of a social place and I’m excited for that. The changes aim to make it more open plan for students and make the campus feel more friendly for us. There will be more open areas, bike lanes and greenery added to the front campus and the Hart House areas. It’s a chance for past alumni to give back to the community that they enjoyed being a part of.
For me as a student who loves this special part of campus, this space represents a lot of student life so far for me and many of my friends. I had my first days on this centre circle and I really remember those days fondly. I think this is the opportunity that many who have walked through U of T before have taken and alumni have donated trees and benches for a personal thank you. There’s a U of T alumni, Mychael Danna who is an Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy Award Winner donating which is amazing, and it’s great to learn about those who have come through before.
For some more information on the project and some donors find it here.
Some really positive changes in their plans are the increase in accessibility and removal of vehicles that come through campus. This includes the large ring road around King’s College Circle and Hart House. The introduction of heat storage underground for sustainability that is collected in summer and used in winter sounds like another step in the right direction for renewable energy and will hopefully be successful!
Perhaps one of the most important steps has been the engagement and working with Indigenous stakeholders. Continuing from the land acknowledged we are reminded of in our classes and clubs, it’s so great to see it in a huge project and I’m sure it creates a better campus feel as they get more viewpoints on board.
One place that I hope will get a pleasant change is Hart House and the surrounding areas. With the roads gone it should make for a busier and quieter area of campus without the road and vehicles gone. They also say a priority is the inclusion of more greenery and that will help break up the city and buildings and be a nice backdrop for fall and spring. I think that will be a really calm and beautiful area in the future and with the inclusion of more seating options, it will be a nice haven in between classes as it’s right at the main part of campus.
If you want to get involved or if you want to donate, see below: