Media Releases

U of T’s Gerstein Reading Room wins architectural award

April 6, 2010

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Ger­stein Read­ing Room is among 15 win­ners of the 2010 design excel­lence awards. The awards, pre­sent­ed by the Ontario Asso­ci­a­tion of Archi­tects on May 7, 2010, hon­our the best in Ontario archi­tec­tur­al design, inno­va­tion, and busi­ness. 

“We are thrilled to be giv­en this award,” said San­dra Lang­lands, Direc­tor of the Ger­stein Library. “It has been nice to restore the room to a read­ing room, because it had been a ref­er­ence room for years and it seemed such a shame. The ren­o­va­tions have allowed us to show off the her­itage end of the build­ing again.” 

Dat­ing back to 1892, the Ger­stein Read­ing Room, housed in the Ger­stein Sci­ence Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre, was ren­o­vat­ed and renewed by Dia­mond and Schmitt Archi­tects. The restora­tion was part of a three-stage, mul­ti-year under­tak­ing that includ­ed a library addi­tion, ren­o­va­tions to the main entrance and infor­ma­tion com­mons and the Mor­ri­son Pavil­ion study wing. 

While work­ing on the Ger­stein Read­ing Room, archi­tects dis­cov­ered an attic that enclosed a soar­ing ceil­ing, hand-carved truss­es, rafters and a dra­mat­ic glass sky­light that had been con­cealed since the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry behind a dropped ceil­ing. They restored the ornate, neo-Goth­ic style wood­work and repaired sec­tions of the dra­mat­ic 14-metre high ceil­ing. The uni­ver­si­ty also replaced the sky­light and added a new slate roof. 

The read­ing room now includes study space for 100 with new light­ing, fur­ni­ture and shelv­ing. It also offers new grad­u­ate and group study space on the sec­ond floor of the Her­itage Wing. 


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Joy­ann Cal­len­der
Media Rela­tions Offi­cer
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to