Last week, my high school, the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), sent out an e-mail concerning the University of Toronto’s rejection of its site redevelopment proposal, effectively thanking UTS for all the fish. Though not entirely surprising, what was surprising was finding an article in the Globe and Mail about it this morning, prompting this off-cycle blog post. Not being half as eloquent as my academic siblings, I will try to keep it brief.
I’m not entirely sure how the relocation makes me feel (and I don’t know enough to comment objectively), but I’m saddened by the prospect of the loss of our auditorium. It isn’t the most grand of spaces, but it is the home of many memories. After passing the entrance exams, there we were wooed; on the first day of school, there we were welcomed; for our weekly assemblies, there we gathered; on our graduation, there we said our auf wiedersehens and valetes. Though this immutable chamber stands outside time, by virtue of assigned seating, its occupants can see how far they’ve come by looking to their left and where they have yet to go by looking to their right. I’m sure most graduates still remember taking their seats on the left side of the auditorium on their first day of school to a standing ovation and being told that these ovations were reserved for only the most extraordinary accomplishments ((aside from welcoming the incoming classes, the number I witnessed there as a student can be counted on two hands)).
Looking to the future, I suspect UTS will retain much of its character as it joins two of my previous academic homes in having successfully undergone a major relocation. A permanent relocation will no doubt pose practical problems and cause some pain from the emotional ties that run deep for many of the few thousand graduates, but the kind end of the double-edged sword of UTS’ age is that UTS’ Schulegeist extends far beyond the brick, mortar, and asbestos-filled walls of 371 Bloor St. West. So whatever happens in the meantime, we need only remember that “this too shall pass”.
Side sections leave first.