Report: Planning and Budget Committee - May 09, 2024

Simcoe Hall, 27 King’s College Circle, Council Chamber (second floor)

Report Number 212 Of The Planning & Budget Committee 

MAY 9, 2024

To the Academic Board,
University of Toronto,

Your Committee reports that it held a meeting on May 9, 2024 at 3:10 p.m. with the following members present:

PRESENT: Mark Lautens (Chair), Markus Dubber (Vice Chair), Trevor Young (Vice President and Provost), Scott Mabury, (Vice President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), Jeff Lennon (Assistant Vice President, Planning and Budget), Catherine Amara, Carol Chin, Janet Cloud, Lisa Dolovich*, Ramy Elitzur*, Adam Fox, Robert Gazzale, Rita Kandel, Scott MacKendrick, Suresh Sivanandam, Lindsay Stern*, Sali Tagliamonte, Steven Thorpe

*participated remotely via Zoom

REGRETS: Basil Abu Sara, Lulwa Al Hidiq, Annabelle Dravid, Robyn Stremler, Melanie Woodin

NON-VOTING ASSESSORS: Dave Lehto (Chief University Planning, Design & Construction), Trevor Rodgers (Chief Financial Officer),

SECRETARIAT: Tracey Gameiro, Secretary

IN ATTENDANCE: Elizabeth Church, David Kim (Warden, Hart House), Lachmi Singh (Director, Academic Programs, Planning & Quality Assurance), Archana Sridhar (Assistant Provost)

Pursuant to section 38 of By-Law Number 2,
consideration of item 10 took place in camera.


  1. Chair’s Remarks

    The Chair welcomed members to the final meeting of the governance year and thanked them for their valuable service to the Committee. 
  2. Assessors’ Reports

    The Vice President & Provost, Professor Trevor Young provided the Committee with an update on the protestor encampment at the University’s King’s College Circle.

    The Provost stated that the goal remained to find a peaceful conclusion to the encampment as soon as possible, without the risk of violent confrontation or physical injury.  He shared that there continued to be unresolved matters of health and safety that needed to be addressed before further discussions could take place. These included hateful messages and speech, blocked exit points, which were needed to provide safe passage in case of fire and medical emergency, and non-U of T community members entering, leaving or staying in the encampment overnight.

    The Provost understood that some members of the community felt unwelcome and unsafe on campus due to the encampment.  He reiterated that the University accepts and encourages the widest range of debate, and has a high threshold for expression, but that discrimination and harassment exceeded this threshold. The Provost stressed that the University’s accountability for the health and safety of its community was a critical priority.

    A member questioned why more was not being done by campus safety staff to intervene and that the camp was seen as promoting hate speech by many in the U of T community who felt threatened by the signs and banners.  The member asked why the encampment had yet to be removed.  They stated that many felt increasingly unsafe on campus.  The Provost stated that the health and safety of community members, including protestors, remained the overarching priority.  He shared concerns that some of the messages emanating from the encampment were disturbing, but stated that forced removal of the encampment was not an avenue the University was inclined to pursue and that the goal remained the peaceful conclusion to the unauthorized encampment as soon as possible.

    Professor Scott Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships reported that campus safety officers were trained in de-escalation and had been quick to defuse conflicts between protesters and counter-protesters without altercation.

    The Provost stated that every report of assault and illegal activity had been investigated.  He encouraged members to continue to bring forth their concerns and to share where they felt more follow-up was needed.

    Professor Scott Mabury, Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, indicated that he would provide his assessor’s report in camera.
  3. Capital Project (Level 2): Report of the Project Planning Committee for Hart House Infrastructure Renewal Stage 1  – Project Scope and Sources of Funding 

    Following introductory remarks by Scott Mabury, (Vice-President, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships), David Kim, Warden of Hart House (“HH”), provided an overview of the project.  Warden Kim

    During the course of the presentation, David Kim, Warden of Hart House highlighted the following aspects of the project:
  • The project proposes significant and transformational changes that would accommodate existing and expanded programming and was required to support continued operational functions.
  • Designated by the City of Toronto as a heritage building, HH was the largest student centre of all three campuses and one of the University’s premier co-curricular learning centres.
  • Studies had found that HH could no longer be operated successfully without significant capital investment in its aging and failing infrastructure.
  • Sustainability, resilience and inclusivity were central to the HH project vision.  
  • Due to overwhelming costs, a staged approach was planned with the most critical project priorities addressed first  – safety, heritage asset preservation, and components of accessibility and sustainability.
  • To minimize disruption, the project would be phased over approximately 6 stages over a minimum of 10 years, subject to available funding.
  • The approach planned was to build new mechanical and electrical rooms and a new duct bank as a shell to set up for the next phase of installing a new mechanical and electrical system.

Professor Mabury added that the primary aim of the project was to ensure the (long term) success of both the building and programs at HH, while upholding the University’s commitment to accessibility and sustainability.  He explained that this first phase of the renovation was the foundational project that made all additional phases doable.  Professor Mabury reported that current systems had exceeded their expected lifetime and that current building codes required upgrades to sustain operational functions.  The proposed renovation, respectful of HH’s heritage designation, aimed to enhance key infrastructure systems while minimizing disruptions to ongoing activities. 

In the discussion that followed, the following matters were raised:

A member asked whether the cost of renovating the building versus constructing a new building for the same purposes had been considered.

Professor Mabury explained that Hart House was a major contributor to student life, one of the University’s most cherished architectural structures, and a foundational heritage building.  Given its significance to the University and broader community he stated that it was inconceivable that the building would ever be demolished.

Students’ continued well-being and the support they received from Hart house was compelling and consistent with institutional investments.  As noted by David Kim, the project was about supporting the next century of community engagement and would enable the legacy that HH had in the community and with the University to continue well into the future.

A member queried whether the administration was thinking broadly enough about long term use and whether consideration had been given to repurposing any part of the facilities given that expanded athletic programming was now available at the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education Athletic Centre and the Goldring Centre.

The Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, Professor Scott Mabury stated that while there was some overlap, these other centres focused only on athletics and did not provide student services, where Hart House offered both.  He added that the planning group had considered alternative uses for the space, but that regardless, what had to be done as part of Stage 1 was necessary to support the facility.  Professor Mabury assured members that all proposed infrastructure renewal was designed broadly, considering the longer term use of the facility.

A member asked what due diligence had been done to mitigate the risk of cost overrun.  Professor Mabury stated that significant work had been done to adjust the tendering process, with consultants engaged earlier on in the process to ensure appropriate contingencies were in place. He had reasonable confidence that the project would be delivered on budget.

A member asked whether there were any plans to transform the quad space to become a covered space allowing for more expanded use year round.  Professor Mabury advised that a cost benefit analysis had been done, and that from a fiduciary responsibility and capital assets responsibility the priority needed to be improving and replacing existing infrastructure.

A member asked the Hart House Warden whether they had given thought to re-imagining Hart House. 

In reply, Warden David Kim stated that rather than reconceptualizing the space, the focus was on aligning with Hart House’s peers within the faculties to identify synergies to further HH’s strategic plan to improve inclusivity and accessibility of physical spaces.

On motion duly moved, seconded and carried,


THAT the Stage 1 project scope of the Hart House Infrastructure Renewal as identified in the Report of the Project Planning Committee for University of Toronto Hart House Infrastructure Renewal dated April 5, 2024 be approved in principle; and,

THAT the project totaling approximately new 577 gross square metres (gsm), and 1,854 gross square metres (gsm) renovated space, be approved in principle, to be funded by Hart House Capital Reserves, Hart House Reserves, Hart House Future Ancillary Funds, Fundraising Received, Provostial Funds, and Financing.



THAT the consent agenda be adopted and that Item 6, the Report of the Previous Meeting, be approved.

  1. Annual Report: Executive Committee on the Capital Project Space Allocation Committee (CaPs)

    The Committee received the Annual CaPS report for information.
  2. Annual Report: Design Review Committee (DRC)

    The DRC report was provided for information.
  3. Report of the Previous Meeting: Report Number 211 – April 9, 2024

    The Report of the Previous Meeting was approved.
  4. Business Arising from the Report of the Previous Meeting

    There was no business arising from the report of the previous meeting.


  1. Date of the Next Meeting: September 17, 2024, 3:10 – 5:10 p.m.

    The Chair reminded members that the Committee’s next meeting, the first of the governance year, would take place on September 17, 2024, at the regular meeting time from 3:10 p.m. to 5:10 p.m.
  2. Other Business

    No items of other business were raised.



  1. Capital Project (Level 2): Report of the Project Planning Committee for the Hart House Infrastructure Renewal (Stage 1) - Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding

    On motion duly moved, seconded and carried


    THAT the recommendation of the Vice-President, Operations & Real-Estate Partnerships, as outlined in the memorandum dated May 2, 2024, regarding the Total Project Cost and Sources of Funding for the Hart House Infrastructure Renewal Stage 1 Project, be approved in principle.

In Camera Assessor’s Report

The Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships, provided the Committee with an update on recent cyber security initiatives.


The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

April 11, 2024