Toronto’s Ryerson University plans innovation hub in heritage building

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Toronto's Ryerson University plans innovation hub in heritage building
Toronto’s Ryerson University plans innovation hub in heritage building / © Eduardo Lima

Centre for Urban Innovation will bring together researchers in nutrition, energy and water in an urban context

Ryerson University will repurpose an old building to study new ideas about urbanism.

The downtown university will on Tuesday unveil its plans for the $45.7-million Centre for Urban Innovation at 44 Gerrard St. E.

The 40,000-square-foot facility will adapt an 1886 heritage building that once housed Canada’s first pharmacy school and has been part of Ryerson since 1963.

Carol Phillips of Moriyama and Teshima Architects is the lead designer of the project and says the renovation brings the site full circle.

“It returns the building to it original history” as a research facility, she told Metro. “As time has gone on, there has been a need for Ryerson to consider research programs.”

The Centre for Urban Innovation will bring together researchers of separate but related subjects with a focus on nutrition, energy and water in an urban context.

The building is designed as an innovation hub so researchers can get to know one another. That means there are lots of shared kitchenettes and meeting rooms, which Phillips refers to as “places to bump into each other.”

There will also be a focus on pairing researchers with the local startup scene and businesses.

The building will “allow our faculty and students to develop solutions to critical urban issues,” Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi wrote in a statement. […]

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