Work is underway on the first of two towers to make up the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre at the University of Toronto (U of T). The tower is scheduled to be completed in December 2022.

The building is constructed on the north side of College Street, east of Queen’s Park Crescent. Construction has started on the eighth and ninth floors.

Concrete slabs and vertical walls are being installed on the upper floors of the 12-story building with two mechanical penthouse floors. The lower levels are also undergoing mechanical and electrical rough-ins and drywall framing.

Students at the university will have access to 250,000 square feet of learning space in the tower that focuses primarily on artificial intelligence (AI), innovation, and machine and deep learning.

“The main utility feeds are now coming into the property or in progress,” the university reports in a statement to Daily Commercial News.

“Mechanical equipment installations are starting at the P1.5 level. Mechanical and electrical will continue to progress as re-shoring is removed. Precast cladding will start in late October into early November.”

The Banting building on campus, built-in 1930, will be demolished to make way for the second tower.

The second tower is expected to have over 400,000 square feet of space. The building will be dedicated to biomedicine, housing laboratories, and research spaces for innovators in regenerative medicine, genetics, and precision medicine.

Each tower will be a glass-clad structure that tapers towards the top. Additionally, they will have in-floor heating and meet all of Toronto’s green building standards. The buildings will have a combined 650,000 square feet of institutional space.

The buildings will have direct access to the nearby Queen’s Park subway station in the future.

A U of T spokesperson said the towers would be Canada’s largest innovation hub, reflecting the university’s central role in AI research and development.

“It will be the country’s largest concentration of student and faculty-led start-ups, firmly positioning Toronto as the place for creating new technology companies, jobs, and solutions,” the spokesperson said.

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