About Robarts Common

The Robarts Library renovations from 2008 to 2012 were the initial phase of the renewal of the John P. Robarts Research Library.

Phase 1

The first phase of renovations included:

  • Expansion and refurbishment of study spaces
  • Updating of electronic infrastructure
  • Opening of new special collections areas, such as the Map and Data Library and the Media Commons
  • Enclosure of Robarts Library porticos, adding additional study spaces

robarts 2nd floor portico after renovation


  • Crucial support from Drs. Russell and Katherine Morrison
  • Province of Ontario
  • University of Toronto Libraries
  • Individual donors

Phase 2

The second phase will be the addition of the Robarts Common.

Students studying in Robarts Common

The Robarts Common will:

  • Add 1,200 study spaces
  • Increase Robarts Library's capacity to 6,000 seats
  • Provide 24/7 access to study space during peak times in the academic year


  • Five-story free-standing addition to Robarts Library
  • Located on the west side of Robarts Library with an entrance on the south end
  • Connected to the library by bridges on floors two, three, four and five
  • Outdoor square with Wi-Fi access and seating amongst the cherry trees for studying in the warmer months


  • Lead benefactors Drs. Russell and Katherine Morrison
  • Over 1,000 individual donors
  • The University of Toronto

We began raising funds for the Robarts revitalization in 2008 and donors continue to support the project.