U of T lab retrofit “an historic investment in Canadian science and innovation”: Meric Gertler

 U of T's Scott Mabury (left) and Meric Gertler (centre) with federal innovation minister Navdeep Bains (Johnny Guatto photo)
Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 12:04pm
By Terry Lavender with files from Jennifer Robinson

In what University of Toronto President Meric Gertler called “an historic investment in Canadian science and innovation,” the federal and provincial governments are joining with the university to provide almost $190 million to upgrade nearly half of U of T’s research labs over the next two years.

The announcement of the Lab Innovation for Toronto (LIFT) project was made this morning at U of T’s Medical Sciences Building by President Gertler, federal  innovation, science and economic development minister Navdeep Bains and science minister Kirsty Duncan, and provincial ministers Deb Matthews and Reza Moridi. The university will provide $91.8 million, while the federal and provincial governments will contribute $83.7 million and $14.3 million respectively for a total of $189.8 million.

“These investments will help us attract and retain talent from around the world and across the country. It’s really critical,” President Gertler told reporters after the announcement. “We’re very well known as a research powerhouse but, as the ministers have said, if the [lab research] space is substandard it limits what this talent and faculty and student body can do. By modernizing that space the sky is really the limit.”

The LIFT project will lead to the renewal of 47 per cent of U of T’s research space, said Scott Mabury, vice-president operations. The labs to be renovated by the project are on average 50 years old and comprise more than 50,000 square metres of inefficient space, he said. Work has already begun and will be complete by the spring of 2018.

Click to read more about how LIFT funding will impact research at U of T >