U of G Master Plan Wins National Legacy Award

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Photo by Owen Scott

The University of Guelph has won a national award for the creation and implementation of its original 1965 master plan.

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) today named U of G as the winner of its 2017 Legacy Project Award. The award recognizes landscape architecture projects that were forward-thinking for their time, contributed significantly to their communities and have a lasting impact on Canada’s landscape.

“This is a gratifying award and wonderful recognition for the University of Guelph,” said Kevin Golding, chair of the University’s Board of Governors and chair of the Master Plan Steering Committee. “We take great pride in our University’s heritage, beauty and environment, especially our public open spaces and natural gardens.”

Completed in 1965, the University’s original master plan emphasized a pedestrian-oriented environment and social spaces, while respecting history and nature and promoting construction innovation and sustainability. The plan also reinforced the University’s important role in the City of Guelph.

The CSLA award jury highlighted the plan’s tree-defined walkways and streets, and such innovations as the underground steam-heating system and brick detailing over asphalt to meet winter conditions and lengthen the system’s lifetime.

The original master plan was developed and implemented by the landscape architecture firm of Project Planning Associates Ltd.

It has been revised every five to 10 years to accommodate campus growth and changes.

The most recent update in 2012 reflected construction of new buildings and changes to existing infrastructure, including additions to the Thornbrough Building, renovation of Alexander Hall and the expansion of the University Centre bus loop.

The 2012 update was overseen by a steering committee and Urban Strategies Inc., a Toronto-based planning and urban design firm.

“In updating our master plan, we worked hard to preserve the character of our campus while also meeting current and future needs of students, faculty and staff,” Golding said.

That year’s revised plan received an Excellence in Planning Award from the Ontario Professional Planners Institute in 2014.

Photo by Owen Scott