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Campus Core Revitalization update: Nelson Mandela Walk re-opens to pedestrians

January 17, 2020
Photograph of Nelson Mandela Walk from Gerrard Street to the Podium. Planting beds will be fenced off until spring planting.

We are excited to inform the Ryerson community that the Campus Core Revitalization Project has successfully completed the key infrastructure upgrades along Nelson Mandela Walk and will soon be completing upgrades along Gould Street. 

Some fencing taken down, some remains

The fencing at the north end of Nelson Mandela Walk has been taken down and pedestrians can now access the main entrance into the Library and both the upper and lower terraces of the Podium. The fencing will remain in place just south of the Library entrance. The accessible entrance remains available via Gould Street.

The underground infrastructure work and concrete underlay for the paving stones is complete along Gould Street and the installation of the paving stones is well underway. For public safety, the fencing will remain along Gould Street until the paving stones are in place and construction materials are cleared.

What’s been accomplished so far?

Over the past several months, the team has worked diligently to meet our infrastructure goals within very complex parameters and challenging site conditions. They set in place infrastructure for some of the key project initiatives:

Technology advancements

Deep excavations were completed and cable duct banks were installed to provide pathways for future technology advancements. These “future-proofing” channels ensure we have the infrastructure to support continuous connectivity improvements as our campus continues to grow and technology demands evolve.

New accessible entrance

A new concrete ramp and automated door opener were added to the north end of Kerr Hall to create a new accessible entrance. The ramp includes heat tracing — wires embedded under the surface to heat the ramps to reduce ice and snow accumulation in winter.

Improved lighting

The foundations have been installed for new and improved pedestrian lighting that will surpass the functionality of our previous light standards. They are also significantly more energy efficient and inline with our commitment to reduce energy consumption.

Trees and rainwater

Workers set in place underground cells that promote tree growth and assist in rainwater management. These soil cells allow air, water, and soil nutrients to reach plant roots which will be instrumental in supporting the health and ecological function of Ryerson’s treescape.

Stormwater management

Modernized catch basins were installed along Gould Street that will also divert water to the soil cells for efficient and more environmentally-friendly stormwater management.

Pedestrian zone

Roadways were raised to sidewalk level and paving stones were installed over a bed of concrete to make our pedestrian zone permanent and more accessible, and new concrete benching has been added along Gould Street.

What’s next?

Over the next few weeks, pedestrians will see tents erected on Gould Street to finish the temperature-sensitive paving. When the paving along Gould Street is complete, the street will re-open to east-west pedestrian traffic.

Plantings, furniture delivery and electrical work for upgraded lighting fixtures will take place in the spring. The older sections of paving stones where walkways were maintained during construction will also be replaced with new pavers to match the CCR enhancements when the winter weather gives way to patio season.

Stay tuned for more information about next steps which we’ll communicate with you on our website and by email. 


For comments or questions about this project, please contact Nic de Salaberry, director, planning and development, by email at or by phone at 416-979-5000, ext. 553428 or 647-824-7165.

 For media inquiries, please contact Brian Tran, communications and media relations, by email at or by phone at 416-979-5000, ext. 3339.