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Multi-Faith Centre gets a thoughtful refresh

Front of Koffler House behind tree branches.
Photo: @gitypictures for U of T Student Life

Posted September 21, 2022

By Sarah Ryeland-Etienne

Beauty is more than skin deep at the University of Toronto’s Multi-Faith Centre. Located within Koffler House, the facility has recently undergone renovations that allow students to experience a deeper connection to their practices and communities.

The Multi-Faith Centre’s design has always reflected respect and inclusion, but the space has been refreshed to meet the needs of the growing diversity of practices on campus. Every detail was thoughtfully considered, as were the many traditions honoured within the space, with experts using sacred architecture and numerology to guide the building’s changes.

Some elements are visually pleasing – like thoughtful colour choices or the living wall – and others are more subtle, like the upgrades to ventilation that allow for ceremonial fires to be safely lit and supervised in the Main Activity Hall.

But if you think of the Multi-Faith Centre as a quiet, sombre place, think again. Renovations were also made to enhance the enjoyment of every space, making room for fun activities and boisterous celebration.

“The Multi-Faith Centre is a place for everyone,” says Punita Lumb, Associate Director of the Multi-Faith Centre. “These rooms are for people with beliefs of all kinds – not just organized religion or tradition. We’re a space that facilitates respectful conversation, activity, questioning, reflection and fun. Every student is welcome here.”

With spaces for meditation, studying, physical activity and worship, the Multi-Faith Centre is ultimately a space for connection – to one’s self, others and maybe something bigger.

“Students might be surprised by the open and lighthearted vibe of our rooms,” says Lumb. “But reflection doesn’t always have to be serious. It’s about community, connection, inclusion and representation – and that can create a whole lot of joy.”

To learn more about the Multi-Faith Centre, drop by Koffler House at 569 Spadina Crescent or visit multifaith.utoronto.ca.