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TMU acquires two properties at Dundas and Victoria Streets

Purchase of 277 Victoria St. and 38 Dundas St. E. will enhance campus entryway and support university’s growth
June 12, 2023
Busy Yonge and Dundas Sts. intersection showing 277 Victoria St building with the iconic Sam the Record Man sign atop.

Toronto Metropolitan University is expanding its presence in Toronto’s downtown core with the addition of two properties on Victoria Street and Dundas Street East. Photo credit: Jaye Huynh

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) has made a strategic acquisition of two properties located on the edge of campus in downtown Toronto; 277 Victoria St. and 38 Dundas St. East. The purchase provides a pivotal opportunity to support campus expansion and revitalization, and increase TMU's public realm contributions and impact.  

“We are delighted to have acquired these two properties. The addition of over 115,000 square feet of built space creates countless possibilities for academic, research, community supports and creative and entrepreneurial initiatives,” says Mohamed Lachemi, TMU’s president and vice-chancellor. “The location will create another vital connection point between our campus and the city. I’m looking forward to working with our community over the coming months to develop plans for the future of these sites.”

In alignment with TMU’s  (PDF file) Campus Master Plan, which identifies the creation of inclusive, vibrant spaces as a priority, the properties will help to support the long-term growth of the university. The acquisitions also reflect the university's commitment to providing the best possible learning, teaching and research experiences for students and faculty by enabling expanded programming and services.

Enhancing TMU’s identity and presence  

Support for stronger physical integration with the surrounding neighbourhoods is another important aim identified by the Campus Master Plan. The buildings which are visible along a major downtown arterial route, are well placed for the development of an enhanced and welcoming campus entrance just steps from Yonge-Dundas Square.

The Campus Master Plan sets out goals to increase space on campus for enrolment growth and to increase our impact in the community through community engagement, creative and cultural initiatives that advance equity, diversity and inclusion, and by supporting skills development and learning opportunities. As a future-forward city-builder, the university is expanding its presence and commitments as an integral member of Toronto’s vibrant downtown-core community. 

Two-year site handover plan

According to the City of Toronto, its ModernTO plan optimizes the City’s real estate assets  (external link) and addresses City needs and building objectives such as affordable housing, employment uses and community infrastructure. This strategic initiative also supports the City of Toronto’s revitalization of the Yonge-Dundas Square area and building more vibrant and livable communities.

As a condition of the sale, a leaseback to the City of Toronto has been established between TMU and the City for a period of two years, allowing current occupants to remain in the building until the spring of 2025. This provides time for the occupants in the 277 Victoria St. building to finalize long standing plans to relocate, and extends the City’s oversight for these properties and all operations from spring 2023 until spring 2025.

According to a  (PDF file) Council of Ontario Universities report (external link) , despite rapid physical growth, TMU remains one of the most space-challenged universities in the province. As a landlocked campus, with in-demand programs and growing research base, TMU is always looking for strategic opportunities to acquire new space to better support students, faculty and the community.

Positioning TMU for growth

By expanding through capital projects like these, the university can plan ahead for growth and increase capacity for enrolments. The addition of two distinct properties at the campus’s edge will also help to underpin a key commitment to strengthen the university’s presence in the urban core and support priorities like providing exceptional student experiences and improved access to post-secondary education in the heart of the city.

TMU will continue to give back as it builds by transforming neighbourhood buildings and public realm areas as gathering spaces for academic achievement and positive community impact.

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