Archived FAQs and Responses to Questions Submitted via Social Media, 2011-2012
Why does York University Keele Campus need to update its Master Plan?
There have been two Master Plans for the Keele Campus: the first, prepared in 1963 and the second, prepared in 1988. There have been substantial changes in and near the campus since 1988 - for example, there are two TTC subway stations being constructed on the campus, a new track and field stadium is being planned and a new residential community is slated for development south of the campus. The Master Plan requires updating to ensure it provides a sound framework to guide the physical design of the campus - where buildings will be located, the form and character of open space, the location of pedestrian and cycling routes, the location of roads and parking.
It will be one of the ways that York University will address the needs of a growing community. An updated Master Plan aims to serve the best interests of students, faculty and staff who use the campus and its amenities.
When will the Master Plan be completed? When will we see the plan implemented on campus?
The Master Plan is expected to be completed in 2012, after students, staff and faculty have engaged within the planning process and presentations have been made to the Board of Governors.
Keep in mind that this is not a construction project. The Master Plan will provide a framework to guide decision-making with respect to the planning and physical design of the campus over the next several years.
The Master Plan Update reduces the amount of on-campus parking. Why reduce parking when so many people drive to campus?
The large amount of parking currently available on the York University campus is surface parking and not environmentally friendly. It was designed to accommodate students and staff over 50 years ago, when the University was designed as a primarily automobile-oriented, commuter campus. Over time, the demand for parking on campus has actually decreased due to the changing transportation patterns of the YorkU community and we now have unused parking lots.
All indicators and studies tell us that reducing the amount of parking is a good decision, both environmentally and for public transit – and one that remains in coordination with York U’s sustainability initiatives and transportation demand management program. With improved transit links - thanks to the upcoming subway line extension and improved cycling and walking routes- there will be more opportunities for students and staff to access campus without relying on the car.
Ample parking will be made available within mixed-use development outside of the proposed Greenway to ensure that those who drive are still able to access the campus. Creating a mainly pedestrian-focused zone within the heart of the campus (inside the proposed Greenway conversion of the ring road formed by Ian Macdonald Blvd and The Pond Road) will allow for safe and convenient movement between classes and buildings.
Will the Master Plan's goals and objectives increase my tuition fees?
Why were the ‘three lenses’ chosen for the Master Plan and what do they mean?
The Three Lenses of the Master Plan were created to direct focus in establishing recommendations for the future growth and improvement of York University Keele Campus. They are: Pedestrians First, Greening the Campus and Infilling the Campus.
Pedestrians First focuses on improving circulation and transportation to ensure a safe, convenient and accessible campus for students and staff. Greening the Campus prioritizes the campus landscape by integrating existing and proposed green spaces to confirm a strong green identity for the campus in keeping with the University’s sustainability agenda. Infilling the Campus addresses the needs of a growing academic community while creating more compact and walkable spaces in the Academic Core. All three lenses contribute to an enhanced campus community.
What is The Greenway and what purpose does it serve?
The Greenway is a proposed transformation of the existing ring road formed by Ian Macdonald Blvd and The Pond Road into a multi modal shared street. The tree-lined street will integrate the existing landscape along its length, including woodlots, tree clusters and streetscape planting on connecting streets.
The Greenway will also act as a marker for the pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly environment encapsulated within.
Is York University expected to continue growing?
York University is planning for the future, which may include potential new academic programs, increased student enrollment, and new building floor area in order to be prepared to meet provincial direction and to take advantage of other opportunities as they arise. However, the precise extent of further growth on Campus will depend on York University’s academic mission and funding sources that may evolve over time.
What sustainable initiatives are being proposed within the Master Plan Update?
The Master Plan Update will support the initiatives of the President's Sustainability Council. Some of the important directions with respect to sustainability include:
Integrated storm water management systems
Increasing opportunities for alternative forms of transportation to, from and within campus
Greening the campus by enhancing natural corridors and growing the tree canopy
Maintaining cultural heritage woodlots (Boyer Woodlot, Osgoode Woodlot, Boynton Woods, Danby Woods, Saywell Woods and the Black Creek Valley)
New buildings will exemplify best practices in sustainability
Compact transit-oriented development