One of the largest gifts ever received by Ryerson University
TORONTO, Nov. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - Sheldon Levy, president and
vice-chancellor of Ryerson University announced today that
philanthropist and business leader Peter Gilgan, Founder and CEO of
Mattamy Homes, has contributed $15 million to Ryerson University for
its new state of the art sports facility currently in construction at
the historic site of the former Maple Leaf Gardens. Mr. Levy and Mr.
Gilgan were joined by John Carmichael, Member of Parliament for Don
Valley West, representing the Government of Canada, and Ryerson
students, who have contributed significant funding to the project.
At over 220,000 square feet (20,000 square metres) the new Peter Gilgan
Athletic Centre more than doubles the amount of athletic and
recreational facilities on Ryerson's campus. The facilities will
feature a full-sized ice rink to be known as the Mattamy Home Ice, a
multi-purpose court for basketball and volleyball, a fitness centre,
studios, and a high-performance gym. The facilities will be accessible to both Ryerson's students and the
local community. Construction is expected to be completed in spring
"The vision of transforming this historical, iconic building --
affectionately known as the Gardens -- began with the generosity of
Ryerson's students and the Government of Canada," said Levy. "I know
that two of Peter Gilgan's children are graduates of Ryerson, two more
are current students, and I'm very pleased that Peter has chosen to
support Ryerson in this way. Peter's wonderful generosity will benefit
Ryerson students, our community and our city for years to come."
"The Gardens holds such wonderful memories and historical significance
for Toronto and Canada," said Peter Gilgan. "I am delighted to play a
part in the transformation of this iconic treasure that not only
respects its rich heritage but also ensures the next generation will
enjoy it all over again as a much needed community hub of sports,
activity and fitness."
"Our government is proud to invest in the revitalization of this
important historic building," said John Carmichael, Member of
Parliament for Don Valley West, on behalf of the Honourable Denis
Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "Thanks
to Canada's Economic Action Plan and our committed partners, this
project created jobs and economic growth in downtown Toronto, and will
strengthen our community for many years to come."
The renovation of the Gardens was made possible in part by funding from
the Government of Canada. Federal funding for one-third of total
eligible project costs will be contributed through the Infrastructure
Stimulus Fund, to a maximum federal contribution of $20 million, for
costs incurred up to October 31, 2011. Ryerson students will also
contribute $20 million through a student levy approved in 2009.
Of the "Original Six" NHL hockey arenas, the Peter Gilgan Athletic
Centre is the only facility to retain a skating rink. Four of the
original six rinks have been demolished (Boston, Chicago, Detroit and
New York). The Montreal Forum was converted into shops, restaurants and
a movie theatre.
The Mattamy Home Ice rink, on the third level of the Peter Gilgan
Athletic Centre, is 100 feet below the iconic dome of the Gardens and
50 feet above street level, making it the highest elevated skating rink
in Toronto. The ice surface is comprised of two slabs, a heating layer
and an insulation layer, which can maintain separate, optimal
temperatures for ice hockey and for figure skating.
For dozens of Ryerson Rams athletes, the new Peter Gilgan Athletic
Centre at the Gardens will mean easier access to an ice rink on campus
where they can practice and play. Currently men's and women's hockey
teams, as well as the figure skating team, have been travelling to
George Bell Arena in the city's west end for practices and games.
"For as long as I've been at Ryerson, our hockey and figure skating
teams haven't had ice available near our campus for practice or for
games, and our varsity gym is cramped," said Carli Yim, a senior member
of Ryerson's women's varsity volleyball team. "All of the athletes
cannot wait to work out, practice and play in this amazing new
facility. We'd like to extend our thanks to Mr. Gilgan for his
generosity. It's going to be a thrill to play in such a historic
Peter Gilgan has a long history of philanthropic initiatives in support
of health and wellness, recreation and athletics, and higher
education. He has donated millions of dollars to many charitable
institutions including the Oakville YMCA, Sheridan College, George
Brown College, Trillium Health Centre, William Osler Health Centre,
Markham Stouffville Hospital, and the Wellspring Cancer Support
facility. Last year, Mr. Gilgan was the lead donor to the new Oakville
Hospital with a $10 million donation for the new hospital.
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented
education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve
societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its
community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate
programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the
university is home to more than 28,000 students, including 2,300
master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more
than 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory
of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the
past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is
Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more
information, visit www.ryerson.ca
SOURCE Ryerson University
For further information:
Michael Forbes, Ryerson University
416-979-5000, ext. 4282
If you require this in another format, please contact Ryerson University Public Affairs at 416-979-5000 x 7134.