The University of Toronto announced the purchase of a four-acre site in downtown Toronto today, with the CAMH lands near the corner of College and Spadina now owned and administered by the university. According to U of T, “the site’s current tenant, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which is one of U of T’s fully affiliated hospital partners, will continue to operate there as long as needed. The hospital’s lease runs until 2038, with an option to renew for another 20 years.”
Located immediately northeast of College and Spadina, the site is being described as a “prominent gateway” to the University’s marquee St. George campus, which is home to some 88,000 students, staff, and faculty. University President Meric Gertler celebrated the acquisition as “great news” for U of T. “This investment will benefit future generations of faculty and students, and will allow the university to continue its work as an important city builder.”
Image via University of Toronto, by Michal Kuzniar, assistant planner, Campus & Facilities Planning
The university is buying the property from a fund managed by Brookfield Asset Management, for $123-million. The site includes three buildings built in 1968 – a 15-storey tower that fronts on College Street and two buildings on Russell Street. There is also a house on College Street currently used for office space, and a parking garage. The majority of the purchase will be funded with long-term debt, with some money coming from reserves and cash.
In the long-term, the university intends to consult broadly as it develops plans for the site, which is likely to be the home of future academic, research, innovation and residential projects for students, faculty and staff.
A closer look at the site, image via Google Earth
The CAMH lands are located almost immediately east of Spadina Crescent, which will be the new home of U of T’s new John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Now nearing completion, the new faculty building — which brings a NADAA-designed addition to the historic Knox College building — opening to students this year. Meanwhile , the University is also undertaking a long-term land use review of its Secondary Plan, which comes amidst a planned revitalization of King’s Circle.
More information is available via the University of Toronto’s official news website, linked here.