Robarts Common

A major expansion of the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, is starting to take shape, thanks to a transformational gift from Drs. Russell and Katherine Morrison. We are pleased to announce that the firm Harbridge + Cross Limited will shortly begin construction of the 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 the fall of 2019, we will welcome our incoming 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

Work on the Robarts Common will resume this week, after a pause due to encountered site conditions. Here is an overview of work to take place over the next several weeks:

Week of February 20:

  • Drilling of test piles (foundation): This will be moderately noisy. The sound we can expect has been compared to that of an idling truck.

Week of February 26:

  • Excavation and removal of a portion of concrete wall on the south side. This work will be moderately noisy. 

Week of March 5:

  • Continued excavation and removal of a portion of concrete wall on the south side. This work will be moderately noisy. 
  • Testing and engineering for piles (foundation). 


All work will take place between the hours of 7 am and 4 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 new Construction Cam! 


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