UTSC’s draft plan: 1. pedestrian/bicycle routes, 2. relocating Military Trail northward to create a pedestrian-friendly north campus inner core, 3. integration of traffic enhancements, 4. central, multi-purpose public transportation hub located at Ellesmere Rd. and the new Military Trail, 5. major open spaces, 6. hotel-conference centre located close to the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre.
By Rob Elbertsen
For the past several years, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) has been developing its Master Plan. Since the opening of the first campus buildings in 1966, student enrolment, programming and physical size have significantly increased. A Master Plan was conceived to plan for long-term campus expansion and growth.
UTSC recently filed an Official Plan Amendment for a draft Secondary Plan, which is built upon the foundation of the Master Plan, and is intended to link the future vision contained in the Master Plan with official municipal policies.
A public open house and community consultation meeting was held on January 25 for residents to learn more about the university’s Secondary Plan, and to ask questions and provide comments. The open house segment allowed for the viewing of information panels that provided an overview of the draft plan.
Staff from Metrolinx and City of Toronto were also on hand with information pertaining to the Eglinton East LRT and the Durham Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The future vision is that the UTSC campus will be serviced by BRT transit links to the Durham Region, and that the Eglinton East LRT will extend into the campus.
The presentation portion of the meeting was facilitated by a senior member of Toronto City Planning. Representatives from Toronto City Planning and consultants from Urban Strategies Inc. presented an overview of the Secondary Plan. They briefly summarized the various policies, initiatives and issues to be addressed. Here are some of the items highlighted in the presentations:
- pedestrian/bicycle routes very prominent
- relocating Military Trail northward to create a pedestrian-friendly north campus inner core
- parking demand to be reduced (transit integration)
- a central, multi-purpose public transportation hub located at Ellesmere Rd. and the new Military Trail
- integrity of cultural heritage
- major open spaces
- UTSC as a “community”
- a need identified by city for UTSC to define a student housing plan
- UTSC becoming the “centre of East Scarborough”
- commercial partnerships with the local community
- hotel-conference centre located close to the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre
Following the presentations, there was an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to city and UTSC representatives. Afterwards, staff from UTSC, City Planning, Metrolinx and Urban Strategies Inc. were available to informally discuss and answer further questions from residents regarding the UTSC Secondary Plan, Eglinton East LRT expansion plans and the Durham Scarborough BRT.
Anyone wishing to ask questions or present comments/concerns regarding the UTSC Secondary Plan can do so via the following link: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aboutus/secondary-plan-consultations
Student Residence Proposal
Related to the Master and Secondary plans, UTSC has submitted a rezoning application for a proposed student residence at 3300 Ellesmere Rd. (just east of Military Trail). The proposal calls for two buildings (10- and 8-story heights) accommodating 750 beds. It will be operated by UTSC. The proposal also includes retail fronting onto Ellesmere Rd., as well as dining hall and event space fronting onto the newly rerouted Military Trail.
A preliminary planning report has been submitted to Scarborough Community Council and a public consultation meeting will follow. Details can be found at the following city link:
Future updates will be posted on Councillor Jim Hart’s website (http://jimhart.ca/PLANNING.php).