The Landmark Project

The Landmark Project is one of the most significant open-space projects at the University of Toronto in the past 100 years. Our plan, based on more than a year of public consultation, envisions transforming the heart of our downtown campus into a greener and more accessible park-like setting, with a stunning network of pedestrian-friendly spaces. When completed, this historic space will once again serve as a thriving centre of campus life.

students walking accross campus as part of graduation

A more walkable and accessible campus

The University of Toronto Landmark Project will recapture the original open spirit of Front Campus and King’s College Circle (KCC) by creating an underground garage with 60 electric vehicle parking spaces and secure storage capacity for more than 300 bikes. A major geothermal field will also be installed beneath KCC, saving an estimated 15,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions each year—equivalent to taking more than 3,000 cars off the road. It will make a significant contribution to greening the St. George campus and achieving our commitment to reducing U of T’s GHG emissions by 37 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030.

The Circle will become a beautifully integrated green space for the University community and the city at large. Winding granite pathways, dotted with colourful gardens and generous seating, will connect several new public spaces around the Circle creating dynamic new gathering places and a more integrated, safer and accessible campus.

Elevating our iconic spaces

The project will also rejuvenate the space surrounding Convocation Hall—the ceremonial heart of campus, where generations of graduating students have assembled to receive their diplomas and begin a new chapter in their lives. Here a spectacular new plaza will signal the significance this space holds for thousands of students, alumni and families, and provide a safer and more attractive passage to King’s College Circle.

Hart House Circle and Sir Daniel Wilson Quadrangle will also receive significant upgrades. Revitalized pathways will elevate the experience of passing through these spaces to Front Campus and King’s College Circle. A new plaza outside the Soldiers’ Tower will accommodate many types of gatherings and events, including the annual Remembrance Day ceremony. Granite pavers will extend from Soldiers’ Tower to a revitalized Tower Road, elevating the pedestrian experience along this important corridor.

Enhancing Back Campus

On Back Campus, new seating areas will create much-needed spaces for conversation, relaxation and quiet reflection. Resilient grasses, early-flowering trees and species that stay green well into the fall will be introduced, while a stately row of trees along Tower Road will frame the view south to the Soldiers’ Tower. The Back Campus fields will be integrated into the landscape with the addition of terraced seating, giving spectators a comfortable place to watch sporting events.

These elements, together with many more enhancements, will transform our campus into a much greener, more accessible and socially dynamic place. With the support of our community, we will reinstate the campus core as one of Toronto’s essential public spaces.

Landmark stories

Jean Doan (Med 1983)
“A double bench means we can be together. I like to think of the students wandering around King’s College Circle and stopping to sit on our bench to have a cup of coffee or to just relax between classes. It’s just perfect—the perfect way to pay tribute to Glenn.”
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The Landmark Project’s plans for new flowering trees, gardens and green space on Front Campus inspires a $100,000 gift from the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, with funding from the City of Toronto.
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Ron Saporta,
Chief Operating Officer of Property Services & Sustainability at U of T
“Having the country’s largest urban geothermal field in the centre of our downtown campus not only generates much-needed energy, it creates real-world learning opportunities for U of T students”
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Elizabeth Smyth (BEd 1977, EdD 1990),
Former Vice-Dean, Programs, School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
“I am so honoured that my colleagues at the School of Graduate Studies have commemorated my time as Vice-Dean with a personalized paving stone outside Convocation Hall. There’s an energy and excitement around Con Hall that is unlike anywhere else at the University.”
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Mychael Danna (MusBac 1986, BEd 1987, Hon LLD 2014)
“My bench will look onto Hart House Circle, which was my favourite place of refuge and inspiration. Landmark is a perfect way to say ‘thank you’ for the momentous role the University of Toronto has played in my life.”
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Katherine Carney (BA 2008 NEW)
Pictured with Adam Carney (BPHE 2007) and their son Will
“Adam and I are both very sentimental. We love the idea of a tree—of having literal roots here at U of T and being able to mark our son’s growth alongside our tree. Maybe one day we’ll be able to take a family photo in front of it on Will’s graduation day.”
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Harvey Botting (BA 1967 VIC, MBA 1985)
Pictured with (at right) his son Kevin Botting (MBA 2006)
“For the rest of my life I will walk to King’s College Circle and visit my family’s square foot of granite.”
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Bharati “Bee-Bee” Mukherjee
“When I learned about the Landmark Project, I decided that I could do something for my son. We would name a bench in memory of Raj. It will be permanent and have his name on it.”
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Paul Shaffer (BA 1971 UC)
“I’m very appreciative that I'm getting the opportunity to honour my parents and all they did for me.”
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Mathias Memmel (BMusP 2016)
Past President of the University of Toronto Students’ Union
Pictured (at right) with President Meric Gertler (at left) and current UTSU President Anne Boucher (centre)
“We enthusiastically support the Landmark Project’s goal of creating a more inclusive, pedestrianized and student-friendly campus environment.”
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Esther Atkin (DPTOT 167)
Pictured (top right) with Karen Jones (top left), Lynn Corbey (bottom left) and Aita Moore (bottom right), all (DPTOT 167)
“Being back on campus takes me right back to my student days. We took our classes in the School of Practical Science building, which everybody called the Old Red Skule House.”
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Dario Di Censo (BCom 1988 UTM)
“Supporting Landmark is about so much more than a paving stone. It’s about creating a spot to gather and remember how important the University of Toronto has been to me and to my family.”
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Lesley Riedstra (BA 1995 NEW) (left) and Rian Mitra (BSc 1997 NEW)
“Walking across King’s College Circle on the way to class, attending events at Hart House or playing sports on Back Campus field are such important elements of campus life. The opportunity to make them even better versions of themselves is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
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Mathias Memmel (BMusP 2016)
Past President of the University of Toronto Students’ Union
Pictured (centre) with Vice-President Alim Chao (at left) and President Meric Gertler (at right)
“We share the University’s vision of a modern campus that is fully integrated into the social, cultural, intellectual and environmental life of the city.”
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R. Scott MacKendrick (BASc 1982)
University of Toronto Alumni Association
Pictured with President Meric Gertler (on left)
“With the support of our community, we will revitalize our breathtaking architectural inheritance and reinstate the St. George campus core as one of the most vibrant and indispensable public spaces in our city and country.”
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Professor Donald Ainslie
Principal of University College
Pictured (at right) with Scott Mabury, U of T’s Vice-President, University Operations (at left)
“I wanted to contribute to this project because I deeply believe in it, but also because I want to acknowledge my family's U of T roots.”
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Charles A. Ward
Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering.
“When my wife Barbara passed away, I wanted to do something to commemorate how important the campus was for us, and the Landmark Project is a perfect way to do it. As Barbara loved flowers, I decided to dedicate a garden and a bench in her honour.”