The University of Toronto announced it has chosen Westbank to design and build its innovative Site 1: The Gateway project.

The Gateway project will create significant housing for faculty, staff and student families, academic space focused on life-long learning, ancillary retail opportunities, and enhanced public space at the northwest gateway to the university’s downtown campus. Key objectives for the project include sustainable design, energy conservation and energy infrastructure improvements, thoughtful integration with existing heritage assets, animation of the public realm and commitment to Indigenous engagement, along with inspiring architecture and design excellence. The project envisions a seamless and dynamic gateway between the university and the city.

The university’s evaluation committee selected Westbank, a leading private North American real estate developer, from a shortlist through a competitive procurement process, led by CBRE. The project team has also initiated an RFQ process to prequalify firms for architectural services.

Westbank is one of North America’s leading mixed-use real-estate development firms, with three other projects currently underway in Toronto, including Mirvish Village at the corner of Bloor and Bathurst streets, a new purpose-built rental-housing community.

“The Gateway will significantly address the university’s strong demand for housing, advancing the academic mission by adding hundreds of new units to the campus and to downtown Toronto,” said Scott Mabury, vice-president, operations and real estate partnerships. “We are thrilled to partner with a team so well aligned with the university’s values, with further expertise in design and construction and a solid track record in stakeholder engagement and positive city building. We are excited to bring this project forward and committed to our goal of achieving a climate positive campus by 2050.”

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“With The Gateway, we saw an opportunity to create an inspiring faculty and student family housing project that will incorporate a high degree of innovation in its response to climate change and a level of city building that the University of Toronto consistently strives to achieve,” said Ian Gillespie, founder and CEO of Westbank. “This project will allow the university to advance its leading role in addressing climate change while accelerating Toronto’s path towards carbon neutrality. We look forward to working with the University of Toronto to create not only a new gateway into its campus, but a gateway to more inclusive, low-carbon city-building.”

The Gateway (Bloor-Spadina Project) will be developed in partnership by University of Toronto and Westbank (CNW Group/University of Toronto)

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