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Downtown Oshawa: An Academic Centre

100 UOIT banners installed in the downtown core just in time for university’s convocation. Downtown Oshawa is fast establishing a reputation as a centre for academic excellence with the development of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) downtown campus. The City of Oshawa, Downtown Oshawa Business Improvement Area (DOBIA) and UOIT partnered together to install banners along key corridors to mark the Downtown Oshawa University District.
As UOIT graduates, friends and family members, faculty and staff gather for the annual convocation ceremony at the General Motors Centre on Friday, June 4, the area streetlights will be decorated with UOIT banners. The banners feature undergraduate students representing each of UOIT’s seven faculties – several of the students are graduating this year and will attend the convocation ceremony.

“The newly installed banners are a great way to celebrate the university’s contribution to the redevelopment of downtown Oshawa,” says Councillor Joe Kolodzie, Chair of the Community Services Committee.

For a number of years, the City’s Community Services Department and the DOBIA have partnered on streetscape beautification in the downtown core, which has included banners, winter lights and floral displays. For this particular project, UOIT designed the banners and shared production costs with the City. The DOBIA provided space on 100 banner poles, with the City repositioning the 100 DOBIA banners in other areas of the downtown.

“Business and property owners in the downtown are rolling out the welcome mat because UOIT students and faculty will bring an energy and vitality to the downtown that has not been experienced since the 1960’s,” says Councillor Louise Parkes, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “The restoration of the Regent, Genosha and Alger Press Building connects the past with the future – a fun and safe downtown full of activity.”

UOIT has a comprehensive plan to establish a downtown Oshawa campus. In 2008, the Faculty of Education was warmly received downtown when it moved to a refurbished building at 11 Simcoe Street North. They will be joined by the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities this fall, when students, faculty and staff occupy several buildings in the downtown.

The university has signed a long-term lease for a new 30,000-square-foot, five-storey building at 55 Bond Street East, which is being built immediately to the north of the historic Regent Theatre, which will soon serve as a large lecture hall and community event space. The Bond Street facility will include four large classrooms, labs, study space for undergraduate and graduate students, a student lounge, a boardroom and faculty offices.

The university has also signed a long-term lease for use of the former Alger Press building at 61 Charles Street. Located immediately east of the General Motors Centre, the building is being renovated and refurbished by property owner LPF Realty Inc. The restored building will include classrooms and lecture halls, office space, study areas, student services, a café, a library dedicated to the faculty’s diverse programs and other common areas for students and faculty.

The students will alternate between the university buildings to study and attend classes and labs. In addition, they will have convenient access to the new Durham Region Courthouse where they will put theory into practice.

Furthermore, Summers & Co. continues to move forward on renovations to the historic Genosha Hotel that is being transformed into a student apartment building. Once complete, the apartment complex will support UOIT’s downtown Oshawa campus growth and help meet the accommodation needs of post-secondary students.

Established in 2003, UOIT delivers a leading-edge learning environment that combines academic knowledge, undergraduate research opportunities, hands-on skills training and a vibrant student life. For more information, visit www.uoit.ca.

For information on downtown Oshawa visit www.oshawa.ca/business or www.downtownoshawa.ca.

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