New museum to replace McLaughlin Planetarium
A massive new museum and academic complex is set to revitalize the McLaughlin Planetarium site, which has sat dormant for almost 20 years. Later today, U of T will announce plans to knock down the planetarium and build in its place a complex that will house a new Jewish Museum of Canada, a performance hall for the Faculty of Music, research centres, and academic space for the history department.
There is significant fundraising to do before the project becomes a reality, but given the involvement of Four Seasons founder Issy Sharp, one tends to think that the target of $150 million is reachable. Toward that end, U of T president Meric Gertler told the Star that " the complex is in the early stages of planning and approvals."
Speculation as to the future of the site at 99 Queen's Park Cres. has been quiet of late, but ever since the planetarium shut down, it's been a prime piece of real estate waiting for redevelopment. And while it will be sad to see such a unique building go (one that notably doesn't have heritage status. Update: A review is actually pending), at least the proposed replacement bears significant cultural value, something the marquee location quite frankly deserves.
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