The Master Plan was developed in 2011 to meet the needs for more space to accommodate the rapid
expansion in student enrollment.

By Shelley Cooke

In 1964, UTSC (then University of Toronto Scarborough College) was founded as an undergraduate satellite campus of the University of Toronto. It gradually transformed to a midsize university offering an extensive academic program, and is now in the process of major expansion, dubbed ‘The Master Plan.’

According to the UTSC (now University of Toronto Scarborough Campus) websites that outline the Master Plan, it was developed in 2011, to meet the needs for more space to accommodate the rapid expansion in student enrollment. The recent growth in the past decade has doubled the campus population, and by 2030, it is expected that enrollment will grow from 10,200 to over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

To date, several short-term projects have been completed. Among the long-term projects is the Instructional Centre on the north campus, which is a 165,000 square foot, four-storey facility of teaching space and student learning areas. This was quickly followed by groundbreaking for the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre (TPASC) in the fall of 2012, which opened in 2014, and the Environmental Science and Chemistry Building, which was completed in 2015. Most recently, a newly completed residence building called Harmony Commons welcomed 746 students as of last September.

Today, three capital projects outlined in the Master Plan are currently under construction: the Indigenous House, the Sam Ibrahim Building, and the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH).

The Indigenous House will be located on the northeast corner of Morningside Ave. and Ellesmere Rd. in Highland Creek. Its intent is to “bring together our community of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous lifelong learners, by supporting and celebrating diverse Indigenous ways of knowing locally and from across Turtle Island.” (UTSC: Indigenous House). It is expected to be completed by this fall.

The Sam Ibrahim Building will be a five-storey building that will feature 22 lecture halls, 133 faculty and staff offices and several active-use spaces. It will offer not only technologically advanced classrooms and study areas, it will also include the Office of Student Experience and Wellbeing, Computer Science and Mathematics, the Academic Advising and Career Centre, AccessAbility Services, the Health and Wellness Centre, and the Sam Ibrahim Centre for Inclusive Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership. It is located at the northeast corner of Military Trail and Pam Am Dr., and is set to open in late 2024.  

One of the largest projects that is currently being constructed is a state-of-the-art building for training health professionals in Scarborough. This medical academy addresses an urgent need for health professionals in the Eastern GTA. It will be called Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) and it will “train physicians, nurse practitioners and other health-care professionals right in the region – to serve the region.” This five-storey building will be located at Military Trail and Morningside Ave. Construction began last fall and it is projected to open in September 2026.

Going forward, the Master Plan includes a vision to transform the university from a suburban automobile-oriented campus to a sustainable “walkable and transit accessible place that has respect for and takes action towards the conservation of the natural environment, and provides a lively, dynamic learning environment for students of diverse backgrounds.” This ongoing fulfillment of the Master Plan is providing more opportunities for local students to continue their higher education pursuits closer to home.

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