TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The official ribbon-cutting took place for the Munk School of Global Affairs' newly renovated and restored heritage building at 315 Bloor Street West yesterday morning. The opening celebrates an exciting period of growth for the Munk School as it moves into a new fall semester in the University of Toronto. Expanding from its existing site at Trinity College, the additional building provides a home for the flagship Master of Global Affairs program, as well as doubles the amount of space for students, faculty, and staff, and is home to the new Canada Centre for Global Security Studies.
The expansion was made possible due to the significant contributions from the federal and provincial government and generous support from Peter and Melanie Munk. After a complete restoration and renovation, the building is now equipped with a state-of-the-art boardroom, four new meeting spaces, a library and reception space, and dedicated teaching and study spaces for Master of Global Affairs students.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Munk School students and faculty, as well as a number of special guests, including: Dr. Leonel A. Fernández Reyna, Former President of the Dominican Republic, John Baird, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms. Judy Goldring, Vice Chair of the University`s Governing Council, and Peter and Melanie Munk.
Speaking at the event on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Baird said: "Our government is working on all fronts to create the conditions necessary for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. This new Centre - led by Janice Gross-Stein - will not only help focus academic attention on areas where it needs to be now, but ten years from now, to help contribute to our shared understanding of the links between security and prosperity in Canadian foreign affairs and international relations generally."
University of Toronto President David Naylor said, "Canada is well positioned to reassert its place on the world stage as an interlocutor between the existing and emerging global powers. Only with outstanding intellectual leadership can the advantages of globalization be maximized, and the threats, constrained. Thanks to the prescience and generosity of Peter and Melanie Munk, Canada's leadership capacity has been significantly enhanced."
In a letter read during the ceremony, Premier Dalton McGuinty expressed his support for the School: "By nurturing leaders and thinkers who will thrive in this new globalized landscape, we can continue to build on Canada's achievements and strengths — as a peacemaker, as an innovator and as a champion of multiculturalism — and further secure our place as a leader in the international community. On behalf of the Government of Ontario, I am honoured to extend congratulations to the executives, faculty, staff and students as you celebrate the opening of the Munk School of Global Affairs."
315 Bloor Street West has a rich history. Originally constructed in 1909, and designed by noted Toronto architects Burke and Horwood, the building served as a meteorological observation centre and home to the Dominion Meteorological Service well into the latter half of the twentieth century. In 1975, the University of Toronto took over possession of the property and made the historic building its admissions and awards office. For a further thirty-five years the building served as a gateway to the campus and a place of welcome for all new students being admitted to the university.
It has now been restored and renovated to reflect both its heritage and new purpose as a home for the Munk School of Global Affairs. Designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, it is a beautifully renovated space that reflects the historic character of the original building—serving not only as a home to students and faculty of the Munk School but as a gateway to the University of Toronto for visiting delegations, heads of state, and experts from around the world.
Additional information about the Munk School of Global Affairs may be found at www.munkschool.utoronto.ca
SOURCE: University of Toronto
For further information:
Media Contact: Sean Willett (416) 946-8904