Goldring Student Centre at the University of Toronto breaks ground on May 28

Victoria University, at the University of Toronto, will break ground on an exciting new renovation and expansion project, the Goldring Student Centre on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 1:00pm. The groundbreaking will take place at 150 Charles Street West in Toronto. In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place at the Isabel Bader Theatre, located at 93 Charles Street West.

Named in honour of lead donors, Victoria College graduates Blake C. Goldring and Judy G. Goldring, the Centre will double the current space of the Wymilwood student union building, built in 1952, to 40,000 square feet. Victoria College students have also contributed generously to this important project.

Wymilwood is a historically listed building and is a rare example of a building designed by notable architect Eric Arthur. Arthur, who taught at the University of Toronto until 1966, was one of the first to teach the Modern movement in Canada. He was also known for encouraging the preservation movement of the 1960s and 1970s with his book Toronto, No Mean City.   

Victoria University has hired renowned Toronto-based architectural firm Moriyama and Teshima, who will preserve some of the wonderful heritage features of Wymilwood within the new Goldring Student Centre. Once completed, the building will join a wonderfully diverse ensemble of Victoria University buildings from Burwash Hall (Neo-Gothic), to Old Vic (Romanesque), to the contemporary Isabel Bader Theatre.

The Goldring Student Centre will create a much-needed hub of student activity on the Vic campus, providing space for meeting rooms, offices for student government and more than 20 student clubs, a renovated café, a two-storey lounge, an assembly space, a newly defined quadrangle and the addition of much-needed lockers for commuter students.  It will give students, especially those who don’t live on campus, the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, join a student club, socialize with friends, and engage in all the activities that make for a well-rounded student experience.

Victoria University, founded in 1836 as Upper Canada Academy in Cobourg, Ontario, federated with the University of Toronto in 1890. It comprises Victoria College, an arts and science college of the University of Toronto, and Emmanuel College, a theological college of the United Church of Canada. As one of the oldest universities in Canada, Victoria has earned a distinguished reputation for excellence and creativity. It has graduated more than 40,000 students and counts among its alumni some of the country’s most recognized innovators, artists, academics and political leaders: literary critic and scholar Northrop Frye, Nobel laureate and prime minister Lester B. Pearson, pioneering doctor Augusta Stowe-Gullen, Nobel laureate and co-inventor of the laser Arthur Schawlow, authors Margaret Atwood, John Bemrose, David Gilmour and Elizabeth Hay, artist Robert Bateman, poet Dennis Lee, actor Donald Sutherland, the Honourable Bill Blaikie, former ambassador Kenneth Taylor and filmmaker Norman Jewison. Victoria University celebrates its 175th anniversary year from October 2010 to October 2011.