The Tomato

The U of O’s new concrete space will feature a very small tree. You may need to zoom in. Photo: Eric Davidson

Additional concrete will help “defy the conventional”, university says

After months of construction that involved digging up the parking lot in front of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) building, the university has fully replaced it with something completely new and revolutionary—more concrete.

“We stand here today to witness what the University of Ottawa is all about—months of mindless construction for no real reason,” said Peter Stone, the head of the university’s Unnecessary Construction Department, at the unveiling ceremony.

According to Stone, the newly created Concrete Space was designed to be visually impactful.

“Any other university would have made the ground one colour, but not us. We decided to defy the conventional with 51 different shades of grey,” Stone said, pausing to make a hashtag with his fingers.

He then proceeded to address concerns about the small and frail-looking trees dotting the exterior of the space.

“Those trees might be small and green now, but you have to look to the future,” said Stone. “In a few months, they’ll be completely bare, leaving even more space for our concrete to shine through.”

“Who knows, if we’re lucky, they may even die,” he continued.

Many members of the school’s student-run Concrete Sustainability Club (CSC) flocked to the stage to show their support for the Concrete Space.

“This new Concrete Space is far more than just a beautiful, grey piece of art.” said Connie Masters, president of the CSC.

“It sends a message that, in a world where so many people are recklessly planting trees and covering our precious concrete spaces, the U of O stands firm in its commitment to unsustainable resources.”

Stone said he’s been so pleased with the project that he eventually wants to add more concrete spaces to the campus beyond the FSS parking lot.

“I have a vision for our campus,” he said. “Right now, there are so many spots that are just concrete. I don’t think people realize that in a matter of years we could tear all of these areas up and replace them with more concrete.”

However, Stone would not comment on any future projects specifically.

“I would prefer to wait until the plans are more… concrete,” he said. “So far, nothing is set in stone.”

Near the end of his presentation, Stone paused. “What makes me the most proud of this project is that will put the U of O near the top of the highly-touted Concrete Sustainability List.”

The list ranks Canadian universities on who provides literally the most stable and concrete environment for their students.

When asked whether the university has any specific plans for the new Concrete Space, Stone responded “Oh, we’ll probably just let people park there.”