U of T MISSISSAUGA
Just beyond the Toronto Argonauts’ practice field, Erindale Park is a glorious patch of green spanning the Credit River. Everyone crosses the bridge to lunch in Mississauga’s largest park or to drink in the spectacular fall colours. UTM’s natural environment, notes alumni development officer Sue Prior, “is a primary reason students choose the campus.”
Also across the Credit is Riverwood, a 150-acre natural area being transformed into a park featuring a healing garden, rotating art gardens and a labyrinth. Two-thirds of the park will be maintained as original Carolinian forest, providing wonderful opportunities for students in UTM’s burgeoning environmental programs.
Ageless Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion has been a staunch supporter of UTM since the beginning. She thinks of the campus as a community centre and attends numerous university events. She also sits on the Principal’s Advisory Committee.
The Associates is a group of community leaders organized by founding principal J. Tuzo Wilson when the new Erindale College was too young to have any alumni to provide friendship, wisdom and counsel. The Associates still sit on university committees, administer scholarships and organize lectures. “There’s strong community involvement in UTM,” says chair Joyce Delves, “and we played an important part in that.”
Painter and printmaker David Blackwood was UTM’s first artist-in-residence (1969 to 1975), and he has donated a number of original Canadian prints to the school’s collection. Blackwood met his wife, Anita, on campus, and their son, David, was born while they were living there. UTM, says Blackwood, “was the most important thing to happen to me as a young artist.” In turn, UTM opened the Blackwood Gallery in 1992. He received the Order of Canada in 1993.
UTM faculty go to Mulligan’s Pub & Grill (2458 Dundas St. W.) for that Cheers feeling (and the roast beef). Other popular watering holes include Web’s Restaurant (2273 Dundas W.), a sports bar offering tasty wings, live bands and karaoke, and Loose Change Charlie’s (777 Dundas W.), a roadhouse that encourages UTM students to “get loose for a change.”
Mississauga-based Hatch Associates, one of the world’s largest engineering firms, earned its good-neighbour credentials in 1999 when it contributed to the creation of a chair to help UTM students pursuing careers in information and technology industries develop better business skills. The Hatch Chair in Technology and Management is one of the first of its kind in Canada.
UTM is co-operating with Sheridan College in nearby Oakville on three joint programs: theatre and drama studies, art and art history, and communications, culture and information technology. The union marries UTM’s teaching and research smarts with Sheridan’s practical prowess.
The City of Mississauga is a donor to UTM’s new communications building, a partner in the development of new biotech initiatives, and an enthusiastic supporter of UTM’s growing environmental programs.
UTM increasingly borrows performance and studio space at the Living Arts Centre, a bustling arts complex in Mississauga’s City Centre. UTM’s Theatre Erindale is also experimenting with performances at the centre.
The Sheridan Science and Technology Research Park (five kilometres west of UTM) is one of the few research communities in the world built entirely by industry. It offers special lectures and internships for UTM students, and now houses UTM’s new-technology incubator.
Pill Hill – the nickname for the nearby conglomeration of head offices and labs of major pharmaceutical companies – is a big benefactor, especially to UTM’s biotech program. With help from the Hill, UTM last year opened its $7.5-million Centre for Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology.
A U of T lab is working with actors, writers and directors on how they could harness AI and other emerging technologies to generate new ideas and – just maybe – reinvent theatre