Govan Brown


 Robarts Library

  Square Footage: 80,000
  Market Sector: Institutional/Government
  Architect/Designer: Diamond & Schmitt Architects
  Electrical Engineer: Smith & Andersen
  Mechanical Engineer: Smith & Andersen
  Landlord: University of Toronto

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In 2009, Govan Brown was retained by the University of Toronto to conduct a multi-phased renovation of their Robarts Library.  The library is predominantly purposed for the university’s humanities and social sciences programs and contains one of the largest book collections in Ontario.  Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Robarts Library is one of many University of Toronto projects that Govan Brown has had the privilege of working on.  Out of the 14-storeys that comprise the library, we were required to service 8 of the 14 floors.  Each floor required unique treatment however the bulk of the work was dedicated  to  demolition, abatement and refurbishing the interior. 

The library was to remain occupied throughout the construction process, therefore a heavy emphasis was put on essential project phasing, scheduling and organization.  Beyond refurbishing the interiors, our team was also required to construct an external stairwell, new exit ways and install a new security system.  The security system mandated the demolition of many areas in order to be properly implemented.  Most of the demo work required for the interior refurbishment and multiple system installations to be completed in the evenings and weekends to avoid disturbing students and staff.  Although many areas had to be returned back to  base  and  extensive structural

elements were added to the buildings’ framework, our team was able to complete the project ahead of schedule while also maintaining the building’s historic integrity.  Our team was able to efficiently delegate and organize schedules and trades in order to complete project objectives and achieve timely milestones.  Govan Brown and the University of Toronto have worked on several projects together over the years.  Our positive relationship with the client was paramount to our success in completing this project.