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University Building Naming Policy

Classification number ADM 1320
Framework category Administrative
Approving authority President
Policy owner President
Approval date January 17, 2020
Review date January 2023
Last updated Editorial Amendment, June 27, 2023


The purpose of this Policy is to define the principles and criteria that lead to the naming of the University’s buildings, and their associated codes. Naming opportunities are assessed in a judicious and consistent manner, and in a way that serves the strategic goals and longer-term interests of the University and the community. At the same time, building names that are inclusive of a variety of possible building usages help create a more welcoming and consistently branded campus that is easy to navigate.


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

“University Building Name” means the descriptive name assigned to buildings.

“University Building Code” means a unique set of 3-letters assigned to buildings that are derived from the name of the building.

“Building” means an enclosed structure with a roof and walls, including temporary buildings.

Scope and authority

This Policy applies to the naming and re-naming of the University’s buildings (existing and new).

Naming recognition associated with Building Components, Outdoor Facilities, Indoor Facilities, Memorial or Tribute Indicators, and any other physical asset as the University may from time-to-time see fit to name in order to recognize philanthropic donations, service contributions or other distinguished contributions of the University and the broader community, are guided by separate policies and procedures.

The Director, Brand and Marketing, Communications and Marketing, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.

In accordance with this Policy, no university officer, faculty or department is authorized to name or affix a permanent title, plaque, inscription or other signage of any material type to any of the University’s buildings without prior approval and required consultation as outlined in this Policy.

A database of all naming opportunities and an inventory of University Building Names and Codes shall be maintained and updated by the Communications and Marketing and Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability Offices and will be considered the master list of all building names for all usages, including scheduling and facilities management.


Authority and Responsibility

  1. University Building Name and Code

    1. The Director, in accordance with this policy, the Vice-President, Advancement in accordance with the Gift Acceptance policy, the Policy on Naming Physical University Assets, and in consultation with the Provost and the requirements as outlined in Section 8 will have the authority to recommend University Building Names and University Building Codes to the President. Recommendations will include a summary of feedback from consultations with responses.

    2. The President will have ultimate authority to accept or decline any recommendation regarding University Building Names and University Building Codes. Naming of buildings with references to any individual, individual who has previously held public office, or company that manufactures and/or distributes commercial products must be approved by the full Board of Governors. The President will provide a report for information to the Board on approved names and codes.

Naming Requirements

  1. Naming of buildings should enhance the profile and image of the University, ensuring that names are consistent with the mission, values and goals of the University.

    1. Regardless of any other provision set forth in this policy, no naming will be approved or, once approved, be continued if it is found that such action may harm the reputation of the University or interfere with the achievement of its goals and priorities.

  2. Naming should be created with consideration for the future, acknowledging that space purposes may change.

    1. Buildings are to be named utilizing landmarks, historical references and/or Indigenous references with significance to the university. Should Indigenous names be involved in any potential naming, early and full consultation with the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle (IEAC) must be undertaken.

    2. Names should avoid referencing concepts, technologies, or constructs that risk becoming outdated over time.

    3. Names should be inclusive of all foreseen building usages. Functions or units operating in a given building will likely change over time so should not be used in the name of a building. Units operating in buildings are to be referenced in signage as outlined in related signage policies.

    4. Single purpose, or purpose-built buildings (such as ACE, Library, CWRC, Campus Ice Centre) with a clear and singular usage in perpetuity are permitted to have functional names as University Building Names.

    5. University buildings are recommended to be designated as a “Hall” where there is no dedicated singular purpose to the building for the foreseeable future. This creates a common nomenclature across the campus and aligns with the Oxford English Dictionary terminology for such spaces. The term “Building” is to be avoided as the meaning is generic and narrow. The terms “Centre” and “Institute” are only to be used in situations where the building has a single purpose. Any University building may contain multiple centres or institutes and, as such, “Centres within Centres” are to be avoided. A “Hall” can contain multiple centres and/or institutes.

    6. Re-naming of buildings can be undertaken in situations where a significant gift is made to the university. Naming under these circumstances would be governed by related gift acceptance and recognition policies and procedures. Should Indigenous names be involved in any potential renaming, appropriate consultation with the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle (IEAC) must be undertaken.

  3. Names should be welcoming to all members of the campus community, making it easy to navigate the campus.

  4. Leased buildings can be named but consideration must be made to the length of the lease agreement. It is acceptable for leased buildings to be identified through their street address rather than using a University Building Name and Code. Units operating in leased buildings are to be referenced in signage as outlined in related signage policies.

Required Consultation

  1. It is recognized that any new building name and code, or change to an existing building name and code, benefits from the input of the campus community. As such, there is a requirement for broad consultation to inform the recommendation of a University Building Name and Code.

  2. Consistent with the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle (IEAC) Terms of Reference and IEAC Consultation and Communication Protocols, any naming permanent title, plaque, inscription, or other signage that includes Indigenous references (histories, geographies, art, names, words, etc.) requires early and full consultation with the IEAC.

University Building Name and University Building Code

  1. The University will set out procedures and directives for the standard naming and coding of buildings. Together, these will ensure the following:

    1. University Building Name and Code are consistent across all physical assets.

    2. Appropriate input and consultation is sought leading to the recommendation of a University Building Name and Code for approval.

  2. The University Building Name and Code will be distinct from any Honorific, Philanthropic, or Corporate Name. Such names (and their approval) are governed by the University’s established Gift Acceptance Policy and the approval authorities identified therein.

Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Director, Brand and Marketing, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

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Related policies, procedures & documents

Policy on Naming Physical University Assets

Endowment Management Policy and Procedures

Gift Acceptance Policy

Signage and Space branding Procedures (to be developed)