Robarts Common

A major expansion of the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, is taking shape, thanks to a transformational gift from Drs. Russell and Katherine Morrison. The firm Harbridge + Cross Limited is constructing the Robarts Common.

Robarts Common


The Robarts Common is the signature project of the Robarts renewal initiative, and is one of the most important capital projects on campus today. The five-storey structure will add 1,200 new work and study spaces to Robarts Library. The new building will be flooded with natural light, making the overall environment more inviting, accessible and productive for students. This project is the final step in completing our vision to restore, revitalize and expand Robarts Library as a centre for research and learning.

The revitalization was conceived to provide Robarts Library users with improved facilities which allow them to conduct rigorous research and excel in their studies. The extraordinary philanthropy of Drs. Russell and Katherine Morrison, along with the generosity of over 1,000 individual donors, has allowed us to achieve this goal at last.

In 2020, we will welcome our students into an inviting new space filled with natural light, ample workspace, comfortable seating and full internet connectivity. During the construction no existing study spaces will be closed and disruption to library users will be kept to a minimum.

Construction updates


  • A mobile crane truck will be set up within the hoarded area adjacent to Huron street to deliver and erect steel for the South tower, and place remaining precast slabs for the North tower. The crane will be hoisting steel off of flatbed trucks parked adjacent to the site. Signage will be posted on the exit doors leading into the dock and flag people will be used to maintain pedestrian/traffic safety on Huron
  • The Loading Dock is now closed for the duration of construction. For safety and security reasons no library staff or users will be able to enter or leave through the Robarts Loading Dock area. The north and south Loading Dock ramps will be hoarded off to prevent entry by vehicles and people. The accessible entrances will continue to be the 1st floor main entrance and the accessibility ramp off of Sussex Avenue.

May 1-7: 

  • Crews will be cutting the openings for the bridge connections between the new and existing buildings from May 1 - 7. This work will be very noisy and will cause vibrations which may be felt throughout the building. As the areas being cut are enclosed by hoarding there will be no dust or debris entering the library. To minimize disruption to library users and staff, this work will take place between 7 – 11 am each day. Signage will be placed to notify library users and ear plugs will be available for users at the Information Desk and Ask Us Desk.

All work will take place between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm in adherence with City of Toronto noise bylaws.

Please visit this page regularly for updates and important messages about the Robarts Common construction.

Watch construction progress with our Construction Cam! 


Questions? Contact Margaret Wall | Library Administration | | 416-978-1757