“I believe a university’s physical environment is a fundamental part of the educational experience. A quality education requires an understanding and appreciation of beauty and design. Ron Thom conceived the buildings of Trent to grow out of the landscape. It’s a superb example of a conceptual architecture that is respectful of the location.” Thomas Symons
The Bata Library was designed by a team of Ron Thom’s strongest architects, including Paul Barnard, and later Paul Merrick. The window walled building seems to float on the Otonabee River, and its central top-lit atrium allows daylight to stream into the core and the adjacent study areas.
Champlain is the flagship college and nucleus of the campus, housing the university’s grand dining hall, residences, small seminar rooms, master’s residence (now Alumni House), and a bell tower that visually anchors it like a church spire. The entire complex is built with walls of aggregate rubble, a construction process that is highly labour intensive and expensive, but yields beautiful results evocative of medieval castles.
The Faryon Bridge is the pedestrian connection of the west and east campus sections and is an iconic image of Trent. Morden Yolles and Roly Bergman created a beautiful bridge over the Otonabee that, as per Ron Thom’s emphatic order, does not look anything like a utilitarian highway bridge. Yolles and Bergman inflected its under span and concrete piers into a parabolic curve. Architect Paul Merrick from Thom’s office designed the unique handrails on top of the bridge.
Originally conceived as a female-only dormitory, Lady Eaton is a sculptural building clad in textured concrete, after the rubble-aggregate process used for Champlain proved too expensive to continue. Ron Thom’s associate Alastair Grant was the main architect of this college and laid it out as two sinuous residential wings anchored by an entrance building.
Alumni House is the campus home of the Trent University Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Affairs. This positive environment for staff, alumni and visitors also provides a permanent home for the Alumni Association’s Hall of Fame and heritage collections
Otonabee is the largest of the five colleges at Trent University. Established in 1972, OC is located on the Eastbank overlooking the river for which it is named. In Ojibwe, Otonabee means "river that beats like a heart" which symbolizes the way this college looks to the horizon, and imagines how we can keep up with change in our fast-paced lives while honouring our hearts.
When it comes to fitness and recreation, the Athletics Centre at Trent University offers something no other community or university centre can – state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor facilities combined with access to the Otonabee River, diverse nature areas and kilometres of winding trails right at our doorstep.
The Symons Campus at Trent University is divided by the fast flowing Otonabee River, part of the Trent-Severn Waterway system. Trent was unique in the Canadian university sector in that it originally owned and operated a hydro-electric power station. Originally, the university was conceived as an “all hydro” institution that would use only hydro-electricity for its energy needs
Built in 1991, the ESB won an award for design. It is built to make people aware of the earth, the environment and all living things, and the importance of not jeopardizing it for future generations- that humans are not better than nature, but part of it. A design highlight is the green roof, which is used to grow produce for the Trent student-run Seasoned Spoon Café
The Chemical Sciences Building has a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, one of the country’s highest awards for outstanding architectural design. The building is a campus environment of innovative building designs that complement Trent’s beautiful natural setting and the legacy of Ron Thom
Classes began in the Chemistry Building in 1968 and it was officially opened the following year by Dr. W.G. Schneider (1915‐2013), renowned chemist and President of the National Research Council of Canada.