“Success in my role is reflected in creating and maintaining good relationships with our faculty, staff and student community, with our neighbours, with the City of Toronto and with others.”
As the director of real estate in Facilities Management and Development, Molly Anthony is responsible for the university's real estate portfolio, focussing primarily on leases and acquiring new space. To make this happen, she works with dozens of people, both internal and external to the university, on unique and complex files. To get an idea of the variety of her work, just think of all the buildings and property Ryerson owns and leases. As Molly explained, in order to see transactions through (like the leasing of new space for the university), she starts by establishing strong relationships based on trust, making sure people know they can rely on her and her team to get things done.
“We’re currently working on refreshing the Campus Master Plan, envisioning what Ryerson’s facilities could be in 2030. This is really exciting, and a culmination of a lot of the ongoing work our team is doing.”
Sponsored by Deborah Brown, vice-president, administration and operations and Ian Mishkel, vice-president, university advancement, Molly is working with Dialog consultants and team of Ryerson staff to update the university’s Campus Master Plan. Originally drafted in 2008, the current plan has guided the university’s remarkable growth, which has included Ryerson acquiring Maple Leaf Gardens (now the Mattamy Athletic Centre), building the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre and more. Altogether, we’ve expanded our leased space footprint by ten times since 2008, doubling it in the last five years alone. Ryerson has added over 800,000 square feet of built space in the same timeframe. The updated Campus Master Plan will provide a framework for undertaking the future growth of our campus, whether in leased or owned properties, and acts as a catalyst for change and renewal within our unique downtown community. Essentially, it outlines the principles that will continue to guide campus development.
“A good master plan includes feedback from far and wide, from internal and external stakeholders. To be successful, it needs to have buy-in from across the university and our broader downtown community. Updating the plan will take us about a year, but it’s wonderful work.”
As Molly explained, the plan will inform the university’s growth and development in years to come, so it’s important that it includes input from as many people who experience our campus as possible. It’s a chance to generate excitement around the future vision for our campus. Along with the Campus Master Plan team, Molly is currently organizing consultations with the Ryerson community, assembling materials for review and pulling out key themes from the feedback they’re receiving.
“Many of the themes emerging so far are really focused around enhancing our existing spaces.”
There are some challenges inherent to Ryerson’s growth — we’re urban and landlocked, and there’s a high utilization of our existing space. Every square inch matters. It’s not surprising that much of what the Campus Master Plan team has learned so far is not only about the creation of new spaces, but finding ways to update our existing spaces. How we can improve green spaces, art, lighting and more? How can we create integrate academic work into all corners of our campus?
As Molly and the Campus Master Plan team moves forward on this project, they're excited to continue working with our campus community. As a university, we have experts in planning, architecture, real estate and more. Similarly, our faculty, staff and students are experts on our physical campus, because they use it every day. As the project unfolds, Molly’s looking forward to finding more ways we can continue growing our campus to enable our community to thrive in learning, research and work.
Big hugs from my two kids...and coffee.
Long Point Beach near Lake Erie.