Transformed Lassonde Mining Building Celebrated

Sub-title: 
New space supports student learning and adds sustainable features to heritage building
Author: 
Liam Mitchell

The University of Toronto celebrated the opening of the renovated Lassonde Mining Building on Nov. 28. The transformation of the building, which first opened in 1904, converted the previously unused attic into new collaborative student design studios and teaching spaces and added a rooftop meeting room.

“We are celebrating a new chapter of mining innovation at the University of Toronto with the opening of this building,” said David Naylor, president of the university.

The new 4th and 5th floor space, known as the Goldcorp Mining Innovation Suite, provides 100 workstations for students studying mineral and civil engineering to complete engineering design projects. It will also be home to the Lassonde Institute of Mining, an interdisciplinary research institute focused on a whole spectrum of mining activities, including mineral resource identification, mine planning and excavation, as well as extraction and processing. In addition to classes, the suite will host public events ranging from small meetings to seminars and lectures. (Enjoy a video highlighting features of the new suite.)

The project was made possible by generous financial support from Dr. Pierre Lassonde, the chair of mining giant Franco-Nevada, Goldcorp Incorporated, as well as Knowledge and Infrastructure Project (KIP) funding from the federal government matched by provincial funds. 

“What we do is always for the students,” said Lassonde. Referring to the new collaborative space, he remarked, “… there is no doubt that the student experience here will be absolutely incredible.”

Wladyslaw Lizon, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-East-Cooksville, was on hand at the opening to extend the federal government’s best wishes. (View photos from the opening, as well as a video.)

“Modernizing and improving research and training facilities at Canada’s university and college campuses will help us build the foundation for future growth. It will help us protect and create more jobs for Canadians and ensure we are well-positioned for future prosperity,” said Lizon.

In addition to new space, the project allowed a number of sustainable features to be added to the building. This includes photovoltaic panels that power the new suite’s lighting and computer needs. It also includes improved insulation, the addition of skylights and rain harvesting to water the surrounding grounds. An elevator was also added, making the building more physically accessible.

“The Lassonde Mining Building is an excellent example of what can be accomplished through a combination of private philanthropy, industry investment and government support,” said Professor Cristina Amon, dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering.

As a major research university located in Toronto, U of T is well situated to support Canada’s mining industry, Lassonde remarked.

“We have the pulls of the industry here (in Toronto). We have the services, we have the legal firms, the equity firms, the investment bankers and we have the University that does an incredible amount of research,” stated Lassonde.

“I am confident that the University of Toronto, through the intellectual capital of its world-class engineering and physical sciences faculties, has the capacity to create an academic enterprise of unprecedented depth, focus and impact to address these challenges,” said Amon.