Media Releases

Environmental Science experts to teach and train in environmentally-friendly, sustainable building

October 10, 2013

TORONTO, ON — The University of Toronto Scarborough broke ground today (Oct. 8) on the technologically advanced Environmental Science and Chemistry Building (ESCB).

Since the new building will be home to environmental sciences, UTSC is walking the talk: targeting LEED Gold certification with sustainable features that include geothermal boreholes, an Earth Tube system to supply 100 percent fresh air to the administrative wing, unique fritted glazing to minimize solar heat gain, all LED lighting fixtures and a high performance curtainwall. Once completed it would become the first new building at the University of Toronto to receive LEED Gold certification.

“As a graduate of UTSC, I have experienced first-hand the commitment to excellence that this school has and the new Environmental Science and Chemistry Building will be no different. The University’s choice of a cutting-edge sustainable building design is just another sign of the innovative spirit of this campus and its students,” said the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

The 110,000-square-foot (9,290-square-metre) facility provides innovative design solutions for sustainable and highly flexible research and study space. It will house two disciplines in the Department of Physical and Environmental Science, with research and teaching laboratories, an analytical instrumentation centre, office and meeting space. The ESCB will also include student study space, a librarian office, a police office, seminar rooms and multi-purpose space.

“Not so long ago this wonderful location was the site of a parking lot. In about 18 months, it will be the site of another beautiful new building, designed to support the excellence of our faculty, staff, and students at UTSC,” said University of Toronto President David Naylor.

UTSC’s Department of Physical and Environmental Science and its chemistry program have a history of highly respected teaching as well as innovative water and environmental research. This building will enable UTSC to remain at the forefront of preparing students to work in the interdisciplinary context of environmental science. It will also help train the next generation of experts to address the scientific challenges presented by environmental issues such as groundwater pollution in urban settings, restoration of degraded environmental systems, climate change and rising sea levels.

“The Department of Physical and Environmental Science is a powerhouse, with a great story of innovation and discovery,” said UTSC Principal Franco Vaccarino.  “That story can now continue to unfold and be celebrated in this exceptional new facility as it becomes home to the faculty and staff of the Environmental Science and Chemistry programs, and almost 200 graduate students in U of T’s Environmental Science professional master’s and PhD programs.”

The new building will be a science education and research hub on UTSC’s north campus complementing development that already includes the Instructional Centre and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre that is currently under construction. The building is scheduled to open in July 2015; total project cost for this own funds building is $65.1 million.  The Design/Build contract was awarded to internationally renowned Diamond Schmitt Architects in partnership with EllisDon.

About University of Toronto Scarborough

UTSC offers undergraduate and graduate students the academic rigour for which the University of Toronto is renowned. Combined with innovative experiential education opportunities, a focus on emerging areas of scholarship and a wide range of programming spanning the sciences, arts, management, teacher education, and U of T’s only co-op prorgrams, UTSC has everything needed to help students achieve their life goals. UTSC’s $35 million fundraising campaign is an integral component of Boundless: The Campaign for University of Toronto, which is raising $2 billion for a suite of initiatives directed toward Preparing Global Citizens and Meeting Global Challenges. It is the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian history.  For more information on the University of Toronto Scarborough, visit:


For more information, contact:

University of Toronto Scarborough
Don Campbell
Media Relations Officer
Tel: 416-208-2938