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Public Realm

Public Realm

As Toronto Metropolitan University grows, we must continue to provide an engaging network of public spaces that promote a vibrant, welcoming, inspiring and harmonious campus life for our students, employees and the broader community.

The vision and framework for meeting that goal is outlined in TMU's  (PDF file) Campus Public Realm Plan. This document provides the vision for TMU as a leading innovation university and city builder, and serves as a resource of tools to implement that vision. It sets out flexible guidelines for improving our public spaces that prioritize safety, accessibility and quality of place; and supports our Campus Master Plan principles, including priorities such as pedestrianization, design excellence and taking a people first approach.

Frequently asked questions

Find out more about the Toronto Metropolitan University Campus Public Realm Plan, including current and future plans to implement its proposed projects.

TMU defines the public realm as the publicly accessible, exterior campus spaces, including streets, pathways, right-of-ways and parks – the spaces where our community moves, meets and celebrates.

Most of the TMU public realm is owned by the City of Toronto. Close coordination with the City is required for any improvements on public right-of-ways.

The Campus Public Realm plan provides a high-level vision, direction and key performance indicators (KPIs) for the development of outdoor, publicly-accessible features on campus.

The Campus Public Realm Plan was developed between 2015-2016 with the help of DTAH Architects.

The plan was informed through stakeholder engagement sessions with the TMU community of students, faculty and staff to establish guiding principles for implementation also known as key performance indicators (KPIs).

Some highlights from the community consultations that went into shaping the Campus Public Realm Plan included:

  • Placemaking is important; the plan should create high-quality destinations.
  • Planting and greenery, lighting, public art and street furniture are popular wants.
  • Some approaches can achieve multiple goals (e.g. lighting can address safety but also be a public art statement).

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the guiding principles for implementing the Campus Public Realm Plan. Each stage of the plan’s implementation will incorporate different KPIs where feasible and appropriate. The KPIs are:

  1. Define the campus core with signature public-realm elements such as paving and lighting.
  2. Customize city furniture to define TMU’s public realm boundaries.
  3. Create a signature TMU landscape by introducing and/or improving urban agriculture, green open spaces and the streetscape.
  4. Enhance connectivity through public transit.
  5. Develop a consistent approach to lighting.
  6. Enhance pedestrian mobility and primary pedestrian zones.
  7. Integrate laneways as part of the public-realm network.
  8. Enhance accessibility and active transportation routes.
  9. Provide opportunities for small retail at grade.
  10. Create an active and transparent ground plane that is both interesting and inviting.
  11. Reinforce existing visual pedestrian axes and create new ones.
  12. Create a flexible and adaptable strategy for the project’s phased implementation.
  13. Introduce sustainable materials.
  14. Introduce new public art opportunities and zones.
  15. Restore an Indigenous presence on our campus that includes various Indigenous Nations' cultural markers, as well as celebrating all heritages.