202 jarvis street toronto

Toronto university plans new building set to transform downtown intersection

Toronto Metropolitan University has an impressive plan to breathe new life into the site of a boring old surface parking lot at Toronto's Dundas and Jarvis intersection.

And unlike the increasingly ambitious tower plans hoping to pierce the surrounding downtown skies, this proposal is actually coming in at 30 storeys shorter than previously pitched to city planners.

The university is planning to replace the parking lot at 202 Jarvis Street with a new 14-storey Science Building boasting a slick design from a renowned Danish architecture firm.

But first, a bit of backstory.

TMU, formerly known as Ryerson University, had previously applied to construct a 41-storey student residence tower atop a new science building in 2018, later upping that ask to 44 storeys in 2020.

But the institution would ultimately scrap these plans in 2022, instead opting to scale back the proposal dramatically by chopping off the 30 storeys of student residences and focusing solely on the new Science Building component of the proposal.

TMU has publicly stated that the change in plans was the result of rising construction costs and a re-prioritization of classroom and lab space over student residence accommodations.

For the updated plan, TMU has retained Copenhagen-based Henning Larsen Architects, who are working with local firm Zeidler Architecture. The resulting design reads very similarly to the previous plan, maintaining the massing proposed for the base of the now-scrapped tower, with a slightly different exterior expression.

The most obvious change is the removal of floors 14 through 44 of the cancelled dormitory element, replacing the lowest level of residential with another academic floor and mechanical level for a new 14-storey height.

202 jarvis street toronto

Comparison showing the previous (left) proposal with residences above and the current (right) proposed Science Building. Renderings by Henning Larsen.

A grid-like exterior of pre-finished metal panels framing windows would add a subdued but strong presence on the last undeveloped corner of the Dundas and Jarvis intersection.

Other changes introduced in the scaled-back plan include a small bump-out at the northwest corner of the building on the 6th floor, and a slashed bicycle parking component to address the removal of the residences above.

Photos by

Henning Larsen Architects

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