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Rocky Road

Nick Eyles with boulders on the Rock Walk

Walk on the north side of the Arts & Administration Building and you may stumble into a formidable display of boulders. These aren’t just any old stones. They’re part of the Rock Walk, the latest undertaking of Geology Professor Nick Eyles.

Supported with a grant from the UTSC 50th Anniversary Legacy Fund, the display will be a perma- nent feature on campus. Featuring the principal rock types found in Ontario, it creates a new public space where members of the UTSC community can relax and learn about the province’s ancient past. Originally from the Canadian Shield, most of the boulders are metamorphic. Eyles says they reflect UTSC’s advancement.

“Over billions of years these rocks were transformed. Similarly, the University provides stability, like the Shield, but is also transformative. People come here to change their lives.”

So far there are 24 boulders in the display, weighing a total of  30 tonnes. Visually striking, each tells a unique story. Eyles hopes they will lead people to ponder the enormity of time and their place in the Earth’s evolution.

“My favourite piece in the display is a marble. This particular boulder was brought south during the last ice age from part of the Canadian Shield north of Peterborough where Aboriginal Canadians cut petroglyphs and sacred symbols into marble known as Kinomagewapkong, the rocks that teach,” says Eyles. “That’s our goal for the Rock Walk."