Survey Camp construction underway




Construction underway for new facilities at Survey Camp July 2020. (Photo by Brent Sleep)



A ceremonial groundbreaking at the U of T Survey Camp on Gull Lake, near Minden, Ont,. as part of Centennial celebrations on September 7, 2019, for the upcoming construction of the new HCAT Bunkhouse and MacGillivray Common Room. With spades (L to R): Brent Sleep, Chair, Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering; Georgette Zinaty, Executive Director, Advancement & Alumni Relations; Scott MacGillivray (Civ 8T2), Alumnus & Donor; Christopher Yip, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering; Robert MacGillivray (Civ 8T5), Alumnus & Donor; Brenda McCabe (Civ 9T4), Faculty and Project Lead.(Photo by Phill Snel, CivMin)

Construction of new facilities at Survey Camp is now underway. A century after the first group of University of Toronto Engineering students used the site, located on the north shore of Gull Lake near Minden, Ont., a modern and flexible-use building has been planned. The new HCAT Bunkhouse and MacGillivray Common Room are some of the new facilities being built during the centennial year.

While no course is actually taking place on the grounds this summer, as precaution during this public health crisis, the construction is proceeding and had been reported ahead of schedule as of a mid-July report. The land clearing and grubbing was completed, as well as several concrete pours for footings and some boreholes for testing the hard clay base.

Purchased in 1919, the first cohort of U of T students took classes on the site in 1920, with the 2019 class becoming the 100th consecutive year to attend Survey Camp – now known as Civil And Mineral Practicals (CAMP). Centennial celebrations included the ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of two new connected buildings, a bunkhouse and common room, on Saturday, September 7, 2019. The campaign is appropriately called CAMP100.

Planning for a new building requires a dedicated approach, many opinions sought, several committees to meet with and hoops to jump through. “What we want is for it not to stick out (compared to the other buildings); it’s about the place, not about the building,” said Professor Brenda McCabe, who is acting as the faculty lead on the project.

Among the considerations, with feedback from students and alumni, was the new building should create continuity with existing structures, recognize the character and culture of survey camp, and maintain the existing site topography. Other considerations include the need for accessibility under the Accessibility Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), giving wheelchair access to bedrooms, washrooms, and the common room.


Rendering of the HCAT Bunkhouse and MacGillivray Common Room (Credit: V+A Architects)

Floor plan of the new complex (With files from V+A Architects)













Centennial CAMP100 celebration and images

Read about and look inside the new Survey Camp buildings




Leave your own mark on Camp:

The ongoing Centennial Campaign for Camp offers alumni an opportunity to once again ‘leave their mark’ on camp, and bolster the success future generations of Civil & Mineral students. All Donations are matched dollar-for-dollar as we work toward a goal of $1.5 million (we’ve reached 70 per cent to date!). Donors are gratefully acknowledged on the campaign website. Those who contribute $1,000 or more will be recognized on a permanent donor wall. In addition, bunkbeds can be named for $5,000, built-in benches for $10,000 or even rooms for $25,000 and above.

Direct link to donate 

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