The Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) is set to break ground in early 2023, a UTSC spokesperson told The Varsity in an email.
The SAMIH was announced in March 2022, and is slated to begin operation and classes in the 2025–2026 academic year.
Increased feelings of burnout among health-care workers following the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to a strained medical system. U of T envisioned the SAMIH to address the shortage of medical professionals in Scarborough and Durham exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SAMIH will boost the number of undergraduate and postgraduate students seeking careers in the medical profession, with the allocation of 30 undergraduate seats and 45 postgraduate seats by 2025 and 2027, respectively.
Recently, U of T submitted a Zoning By-Law Amendment application to the city — an application to alter or construct on an already-owned property in a manner that does not correspond with established land use regulations — outlining plans for the construction of the SAMIH.
According to the proposal, a six-storey building for the SAMIH will be constructed on the north end of the UTSC campus at the corner of Morningside Avenue and Military Trail Road.
In the application, U of T proposed that the ground floor be used to serve public utility, with plans to include a pharmacy and food services. Academic spaces for studying and conducting classes, as well as office spaces for faculty, will be located in the basement and the upper floors. The uppermost level is designed to be a rooftop patio.
“Student common spaces are a priority. Specifics in terms of locations within the building will be determined during the upcoming design process,” wrote the UTSC spokesperson.
To align with UTSC’s commitment to sustainability, the project’s construction will follow the U of T Tri-Campus Energy Modelling and Energy Performance Standard, which provides energy and water efficiency targets for new construction and renovation projects.
Currently, the location for the SAMIH’s proposed construction is a student and visitor parking lot. According to the UTSC spokesperson, temporary parking lots will be installed to accommodate vehicles until the Retail and Parking Commons, UTSC’s new parking structure, is constructed.