It was a momentous occasion as 20 former UTS staff came from far and wide to gather at our renewed home for their annual reunion luncheon, and to see the transformation that has taken shape at our historic home. Not only was it the first time they were able to gather in person in nearly three years with the pandemic, but it was their first chance to experience the new UTS.
“Many of us were teaching together in the old building, so it is wonderful to get together again in our rejuvenated space and see the changes that have taken place,” said Judy Kay, who taught Music.
When UTS staff get together, the space comes to life with lively conversation. They saw aspects of the building they recognized from decades past. “Is that the old floor from the 1920s?” one queried. UTS Principal Rosemary Evans confirmed that yes, it is, but then described how Diamond Schmitt Architects melded the old with the new, matching the terrazzo floor with a similar pattern in the building’s new wing. In the Jackman Theatre, Ornella Barrett, a retired Health and Physical Education teacher, pointed out the space where her old office used to be and marvelled at how this was once a gym. Former Principal Al Fleming ’54 saw the trophy case that alumni had dedicated in his honour. While the trophies have yet to be installed, extraordinary student art was on display.
Al Fleming ’54 with the trophy case named in his honour
“The facilities that the students have and the room that they have is something that I would never have imagined,” said Don Borthwick ’54, who was Executive Director of the UTS Alumni Association and Director of the UTS Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. “Especially the McIntyre Gymnasium with its double gym and the Ridley Centre fitness facilities!”
This new space with the Jackman Theatre, purpose-built music rooms and spacious art classrooms, really promotes a diversity of education, says Don Boutros. He should know! He brought the art into our school, as the first-ever Visual Arts teacher at UTS. He also praised the structure as “in keeping with our contemporary times” – not only in how the space feels very current, but how facilities such as the Lang Innovation Lab and modern science classrooms prepare students to transition seamlessly to the world of post-secondary education and work.
UTS Founders along with our school architect
Don Schmitt C.M. ’70 of Diamond Schmitt Architects (far left),
UTS Board Chair Jim Fleck C.C. ’49, P ’72 (far left at back and
also a UTS Founder) and Principal Rosemary Evans (far right).
Our renewed school is built on the transformational generosity of 20 Founders, who are honored with named spaces in our beautiful new home at 371 Bloor Street West. This month, they came to tour their spaces such as the Jackman Theatre, McIntyre Gymnasium, Lang Innovation Lab, Wright Living Lane, and more to see the future they have built for us. Thank you so much to all our Founders, for giving us this future. Your gifts will keep on giving back to UTS students for generations to come, starting with the Class of 2022, the first of many that will graduate from our renewed building!
Have your name included in the Donor Report
All donors who make their gift by June 30 will be included in the Donor Report in the fall issue of The Root.