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Oscar Peterson's name to grace UTM's newest residence

November 13, 2006

Source: University of Toronto

Nov 13/06by Nicolle Wahl

Something about U of T at Mississauga strikes a chord with internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Oscar Peterson — so much so that the university’s newest residence will now be known as Oscar Peterson Hall.

The 423-bed residence, scheduled to open in September 2007, is U of T Mississauga’s eighth student residence. The building will honour Peterson’s accomplishments as an internationally recognized musician and social justice proponent, as well as his legacy of hard work and overcoming adversity.

The new residence will feature single student rooms as well as a number of bright and airy two-storey lounges. Located on Residence Road, the 12,500-square-metre residence is designed by Cannon Design and will be the most universally accessible building on campus for students with disabilities.

"Not only will Oscar Peterson Hall provide a welcoming home and collegial atmosphere for U of T at Mississauga undergraduate students but it will create a unique dining space for all campus residents," says Professor Cheryl Misak, acting vice-president and principal of UTM. "We are delighted that this wonderful building will carry Mr. Peterson's name. His achievements as a jazz musician are staggering. But they don't end there. His unwavering commitment to social justice has made him stand out even more as one of Mississauga's most important citizens. We are extremely proud to have a building that recognizes his legacy."

Peterson, a longtime resident of Mississauga, has thrilled audiences with his prowess on the piano and his passion for modern jazz for more than 60 years. Along with producing pioneering jazz with many iterations of the Oscar Peterson Trio, he has worked such luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Charlie Parker and has produced more than 70 albums.

For his contributions to the music industry and to his country, Peterson has been recognized as a companion of the Order of Canada and has received a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement and an International Jazz Hall of Fame award, among many others. Peterson was awarded an honorary doctor of laws from U of T in 1985 in recognition of his remarkable career as one of the world’s foremost jazzmusicians.



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