The Campus


Lakehead University is situated in the heart of Thunder Bay.

On May 7, 1969, an Order-in-Council of the Province of Ontario amalgamated the Cities of Port Arthur and Fort William and the Townships of McIntyre and Neebing to form the City of Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay is located in Northwestern Ontario at the head of Lake Superior, on the Great Lakes, about 705 kilometers east of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The original college site comprised some 32 hectares of land lying between the cities of Port Arthur and Fort William, and was donated by the City of Port Arthur. In 1962 an additional 42 hectares of adjoining land were purchased and in 1965, 45 hectares of land were purchased in anticipation of future expansion. As well, a building fund campaign raised $175,000 from local industries and individuals.

The first college building, constructed by the Department of Public Works of the Province of Ontario, was formally opened on October 2, 1957. This building which was initially called the Main Building, underwent six separate extensions from 1960 - 1967 to develop into its present form. A new library wing was added in March, 1960, and in the fall of 1969, two extensions providing additional lecture rooms and laboratory space were opened.

A men's residence, including recreational and dining facilities for 52 students and a resident staff member, was opened in September, 1962. In 1966, 32 additional double bedrooms were added to the residence and a section of the new structure was made available as a residence for women. In 1968, a new $2,750,000 Residence Village comprising 10 new buildings and providing residence for 520 students was completed. The village is situated on the banks of the McIntyre River within easy walking distance of all University buildings and athletic facilities.

In the fall of 1989, a complex of 36 townhouses marked the newest addition to the Residence facility. This venture provides housing for 142 students in 4 bedroom townhouses. A second townhouse complex providing an additional 144 beds, including units accessible to the physically challenged, was opened in September 1991. A third townhouse complex providing 32 four bedroom townhouses and 8 two bedroom apartments opened in September 1992. Prior to the start of the 1993 term, Avila Centre was purchased from the Roman Catholic Church for the purpose of providing an additional 100 bedrooms for women and quarters for the Alumni Offices and Avila Music School.

On February 15, 1964, the University Centre was officially opened. It had a 325-seat lecture theatre, as well as lecture and seminar rooms, club rooms, and a cafeteria. Also in 1964 an additional wing was added to the original building and in 1965 a new library building was erected. An additional three floors were added to the new library building in September 1967. In March 1968 an athletic centre gymnasium, the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse, was constructed on the other side of the McIntyre River opposite the main University buildings. September 1969 saw the official opening of the Centennial Building which houses the science and technology laboratories, classrooms, and faculty offices. An administrative wing and an addition to the University Centre building, which includes a new cafeteria and dining hall, were also completed in that year.

A man-made lake is located in the centre of the campus. Its creation was planned with the regional conservation authorities as an important flood control project for the McIntyre River which runs through the campus.

A new academic building, named in memory of Dean Tim Ryan, was dedicated on November 18, 1972 and the extension to the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse, which houses an olympic length swimming pool, additional office space, classrooms, and instructional gym, was officially opened on January 12, 1973.

On May 31, 1980, the University Library was named The Chancellor Norman M. Paterson Library in honour of the First Chancellor of the University. On September 28, 1981 the first "Main" building was named the "Harold S. Braun Building" in recognition of Dr.Braun's great contribution to the development of the University.

On May 29, 1982, the Faculty of Education Building was named the Bora Laskin Building in honour of Mr. Bora Laskin who was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Chancellor of Lakehead University from 1971 to 1980. Growing enrolment in the Education program and subsequent demand for additional administrative and instructional space was met in 1988 with the addition of 7 temporary portable buildings around the Bora Laskin Building. An addition to the building, completed in the Spring of 1995, replaced the portables and provided for an expanded Education Library. The previous library space was then renovated to provide more classrooms. A new elevator made both floors of the building accessible to the disabled.

Confederation College's School of Nursing Building was purchased in 1984 and renovated to house a number of functions including Lakehead University's School of Nursing and School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism. In 1985 an Engineering Structures Laboratory was constructed adjacent to the Centennial Building.

During November 1987, Lakehead University Board of Governors approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction and operation of a forestry research facility. The Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research is the result of a co-operative effort between the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Lakehead University. Located beside the Chancellor N.M. Paterson Library, this facility was officially opened in October 1990. Lakehead University operates the building with Ministry of Natural Resources as the tenant on a 25 year renewable lease.

September 1988, marked the opening of Lakehead's first off-campus building. Cornwall School, a 75 year old public school located at Cornwall Street and Algoma Street, was rented from the Lakehead Board of Education and the Departments of Visual Arts and Music were located in this facility. In April 1992 the Department of Music and Department of Visual Arts relocated back to the main campus to a building designed for their needs. In July of 1995 this building was named after William H. Buset in recognition of his appreciation of business and the arts.

September 1991 marked the opening of Lakehead University's first major construction project in nearly 20 years. The Regional Centre provided much needed academic office and classroom space required as a result of expanding programs and growing enrolment.

A Student Centre Events Hall, built through the efforts of the Student Union and funded entirely through student support, opened in September 1991. This building shares common walls with the Regional Centre and the University Centre. Operated entirely by LUSU, with a management agreement between the Union and the University, the Outpost boasts a full service kitchen and a hall licensed for more than 700 people.

A joint venture project funded by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund with an operating commitment from the Ministry of Health, and co-operation from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and Lakehead University, was named Health Sciences North and opened in July 1991. This building, situated at the eastern edge of the campus, is home to health care programs offered co-operatively by McMaster University and Lakehead University. The venture has the goal of increasing new health care professionals' awareness of life in northern and remote communities with the intent of attracting more health professionals to these areas.

In the spring of 1995 Lakehead University completed construction of a Rural Family Resource Centre in the Village of Murillo, Township of Oliver. The Department of Social Work had been operating the centre in rented space in Kakabeka Falls since 1984, with funding from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. This newly owned Rural Family Resource Centre offers support programs to address the needs of rural families and their children and provides research opportunities for the Department of Social Work.

During September 1998, Lakehead University and Thunder Bay Regional Hospital entered into a partnership involving the transfer of 60 acres (or 24.24 hectares) of land for the purpose of building and operating a new acute care hospital. Under the terms of a partnership agreement Lakehead University retains an interest in development which will benefit health services in the Thunder Bay region and enhance the University's academic interests in the health sciences area.

In 2003 the University celebrated the opening of a $44-million Advanced Technology & Academic Centre (ATAC), a high-tech teaching and learning centre, that provides 1,400 new student spaces. The building, funded in part by Ontario's SuperBuild Growth Fund, contains "smart classrooms", GIS labs, enhanced distance education facilities, and computer teaching and research labs.

In September 2003 construction was completed on two new Residences behind the Avila Centre, adding a total of 288 beds. As well, Lakehead University was the recipient of the Hogarth Plantations, a 44-hectare property located on the outskirts of Thunder Bay, that will be used by the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment for teaching and research. The property was a gift by Dr. Walter Hogarth to the Lakehead University Foundation.

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine was established in 2002 as a joint venture partnership with Lakehead University and Laurentian University in Sudbury. NOSM is housed within the Faculty of Medicine of both Laurentian University and Lakehead University. Its mission is to contribute to improving the health of the people and communities of Northern Ontario by advancing the highest quality of medical practice, learning, teaching, research and professionalism. With main campuses in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, NOSM will have multiple teaching and research sites distributed across Northern Ontario, including large and small communities.

On August 26, 2004, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty visited the campus to participate in a historic ground-breaking ceremony for a new $8-million building for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. The 32,000-square-foot-building, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2005, will house a smart classroom, medical library, meeting rooms, research areas, offices, and laboratories.

In March 2005, Lakehead celebrated the opening of a new 55,000-square-foot athletics centre called The Hangar. The $6-million facility features an indoor track and multipurpose field with artificial turf, an aerobics/yoga studio, a weight room and fitness centre, and a sports medicine clinic.

Lakehead University's physical plant now consists of 39 buildings and 116 hectares of property including 40 hectares of landscaped and maintained grounds. The current value of land and property holdings is well over $150,000,000.

In a campus-wide referendum held in 2004, students, faculty, and staff voted 68% in favour of a smoke-free campus.


See also:
The University:
- Coat of Arms
- History
- University Library
- Communications Technology Resource Centre (CTRC)
- Health Sciences North
- Research Centres, Institutes and Facilities
- Academic Organization
- Co-operative Education

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2007-2008 Calendar version