In his latest column, the Toronto Star's Christopher Hume highlights the importance of integrating our University institutions into the fabric of our towns.
Commenting on Ryerson University's plans to re-design its downtown campus, Hume notes:
RU today is a mess; despite a student population of more than 24,000, it remains bleak and hostile to pedestrians, not to mention students. It exists within the city, but also despite the city. Now the time has come for the two to make up.
I recently took a course at Ryerson - I know where Hume is coming from. The campus is a mess.
Take a walk along Victoria Street or across Gould and ask yourself how integrated you feel.
The campus reminds me a bit of McMaster, shielded from the city by the University buildings. Where it is not fully enclosed it is spread out at random - odds and sods of old buildings dotted around like an afterthought.
For a true campus feel and a healthy integration, take a stroll through the University of Toronto: majestic old buildings, a sense of history and place, and a seamless transition from the campus to the street.
The Ryerson re-design, set to be published this March, would do well to emulate this design. As would McMaster.
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