Governments pump $98 million into $189.9 million extensive University of Toronto lab renewal program


STAFF WRITER The GTA Construction Report

The federal and provincial governments are pumping in $98 million to modernize research labs at the University of Toronto (U of T).

The governments announced support for the Lab Innovation for Toronto (LIFT) project to improve 546 labs across the university’s three campuses, says a news release.

Queens Park is contributing $14.3 million and the federal government is adding $83.7 million to the pot. The University of Toronto will contribute its own $91.8 million, resulting in a total investment of $189.9 million.

The LIFT project will lead to the renewal of 47 per cent of U of T’s research space, Scott Mabury, the university’s vice president operations, said in a statement.

The labs to be renovated by the project are on average 50 years old and comprise more than 50,000 sq. m. of inefficient space, he said. Work has already begun and will be complete by the spring of 2018.

“The renovations will modernize U of T’s research labs to increase usable space and enhance the quality of the research and learning environment,” Mabury said. “They will also improve air handling, climate, and electrical systems.”

The LIFT project will affect nine academic divisions. The facilities to be renovated include not only medical, dental, biology, chemistry and engineering labs, but also include a former horse barn north of Toronto now used for ecological research, a green roof on the historic 1 Spadina Ave. building (the new home of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design), an electroacoustic music studio at the Faculty of Music and many others. For example, at the University of Toronto Scarborough, the campus vivarium and the S-Wing research labs will undergo $17.8 million in renovations, while the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Davis Building will get a $17.1 million upgrade.

The University of Toronto has a prequalification system for construction general and trade contractors. Prequalification guidelines are available at this link:


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