Update on the Temerty Building
This fall, we began the process to select an architect for the new James and Louise Temerty Building at the University of Toronto. This state-of-the-art facility will replace the west wing of the Medical Sciences Building, and will be a spectacular new home for education and research at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. Early in 2023, we will invite a shortlist to participate in the request-for-proposal process, then a Committee will select the teams that will design and construct our building. Groundbreaking is still some time away — likely 2025 — but these recent developments are key and exciting milestones for the project, one of the largest redevelopments of physical space our Faculty has ever undertaken.
The Temerty Building will be a welcoming environment for all and foster a culture of collaboration. Preliminary planning began years ago, with a consulting firm that conducted a feasibility study. We also engaged deeply with our community — through working groups that provided a broad representation of learners, faculty and staff across the Faculty — to identify concerns and opportunities for research, education and administration. Today, we continue to engage stakeholder groups including our Indigenous advisors, who were involved early and consistently in planning and will help ensure our new spaces are inclusive and culturally sensitive.
In addition to planning this complex renovation, we have undertaken several other projects to vacate complex research and education spaces that currently occupy the west wing of the MSB. These moves and renovations are challenging but necessary, and I want to thank the many teams involved for what has been a tremendous amount of work — including several administrative units that relocated this month to renovated space at 777 Bay Street. Our high-containment lab also operates in the west wing, so we must fully relocate this research space to another part of the building before any demolition can begin. News last month of a $35M investment from the federal government for the Toronto High Containment Facility will help underpin efforts to move and build a new facility to replace the 20-year-old lab, which has been crucial for the study of COVID-19 and other high-risk pathogens.
I’m also proud that the new Temerty Building will be a high-performance building that aligns with U of T carbon reduction goals, including net-campus carbon neutrality by the year 2050. The climate crisis is a pressing challenge that we as a community must confront and overcome, and the Temerty Building presents many opportunities to bring us closer to a climate-positive campus and to lead in this important area.
Our mission to train future generations of physicians, health professionals and researchers is as important as ever — especially in the face of urgent pressures on health care systems across the country. While many of our spaces no longer match learner or faculty expectations, the Temerty Building will be designed for the present and the future, and will serve as a vibrant centre for responsive and relevant education and research for many decades to come. As 2022 draws to a close and we think about the year ahead, I look forward to communicating with you regularly on how this project is progressing.
Finally, I hope the holiday season provides you all with an opportunity to rest and recharge. It has been another challenging year, and I know for many of us it has brought moments of frustration and exhaustion. Take care of yourselves and one another, and have a safe and healthy break with family and friends.
Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine
Vice Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions