Toronto basketball and volleyball fans have a new reason to cheer: U of T has confirmed it will build a 2,000-seat field house as part of the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, to be located on Devonshire Place across from Varsity Centre.
The field house got the green light after Ron Kimel (BA 1966 UC), a former Varsity basketball player, donated the lead gift. Kimel, who sported the blue and white at Hart House gym in the 1960s, hopes the new facility will draw more fans to U of T games and translate into stronger community support for athletics in Ontario.
The Kimel Family Field House, which will encompass the first three floors of the Goldring Centre, will be a critical component of U of T’s high performance sport complex. “This will be the best home that Varsity and intramural athletes could hope for,” says Bruce Kidd, dean of the Faculty of Physical Education and Health. Kidd says the new facility will strengthen U of T’s relationships with Basketball Canada and the Ontario Volleyball Association and enable the university to attract more national and international competitions.
Kimel, who also earned a business administration diploma from U of T in 1967, believes people who attend sporting events get a lot more out of the experience than simply entertainment. “Being at the games connects you to a community. It connects you to the University of Toronto,” he says. “If alumni become more supportive of U of T as a result of these connections, we’ll see not only better sports facilities, but better teaching facilities, better lab facilities and a stronger school overall.”