Federation Hall

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Federation Hall was a nightclub built for the Federation of Students and has since become a general purpose banquet hall for special occasions and conferences. In April 2011, the university administration announced that it would not renew the Federation's lease of the building. The administration assumed control of the operations of the building on May 1, 2012.

Federation Hall
Official Designation FED
Alternate Names Fed Hall
Campus Main Campus
General Information
Construction started March 13 1984
Inaugurated November 14 1984
Floor count 2
Floor area 18,825 sq ft1,748.901 m²
Classroom count 0
Elevator count 0
Awards and prizes Award of Excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects[1]



"After a series of false starts in 1978 and 1982, Fed president Wim Simonis and the Fed Council succeeded [in 1982] in putting together a proposal for an alternative campus pub, and persuaded the university’s Board of Governors to guarantee the financing."[5]

The idea of building a facility to expand student pub space on campus was added as a referendum in the spring term Federation of Students elections of 1983. 75% of the students who voted agreed that the idea should be pursued.[6]

After being elected president of the Federation of Students in spring 1983, Tom Allison was given the mandate to investigate and plan the construction of the new pub.[7] An advisory committee was established. The name federation Hall was originally just a project name.[8]


Two referendums were held to determine whether students would allow a $7.50 fee to be levied for the construction of the pub. This allowed for students on campus during both spring and fall terms to vote on the decision.

Voter turnout In favour
July 19th and 20th, 1983 46.5% 82.2%[9]
September 27th and 28th, 1983 28.8% 78.3%[10]


The design of the building was then changed several time, first in October, as a $250,000 soil modification was added to the building's cost. The mezzanine that was to be located on the second floor was removed, and the first floor expanded somewhat.[11] When the design was open to tender, it was then found to be $400,000 over its $1.55 million budget and once again needed redesign.[12]

After the design was re-tendered in February, construction started in March, and was hurriedly completed in November. A mostly-complete Federation Hall was opened at a fancy gala on November 14, 1984. After initially not being invited to attend the event, protesting students who arrived at the hall that day were invited in along with all of the VIPs.[13]


Liquor Licence incident

See the full article on this incident: 2003 Liquor Licence Dispute

In January 2003, administration at the university took control of, and eventually ordered closed, the liquor-serving establishments operated by the Federation in response to fights and a beating that took place following a New Years' party at Fed Hall. In response, the Federation sued the university in March of that year for $11 million, claiming the university had breached a long-standing contract. The lawsuit was eventually settled and the bars reopened in June.

Administration takeover

See the full article on this incident: Federation Hall 2011 Lease Expiry

In April 2011, the university administration sent a letter to the Federation of Students stating their intent to not renew Feds lease for the building and to assume control of operations. Only after 70 students showed up to the university's Board of Governors meeting in June, did Bud Walker agree to open up negotiations with the Federation of Students.[14] Very little information about the negotiations has been released by either party, citing "privacy concerns".[citation needed]


The photo-voltaic solar panels on the roof of Federation Hall are the result of a project by the Sustainable Technology Education Project. The panel array consists of 36, 55-watt panels for a total power of 1.98 kW, and was installed in January 2004.[15]


  1. [1] Talk of the Townsfolk, September 25, 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  2. [2]. Buildings. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  3. Fed Hall: Four walls & roof by September; ready by November. Imprint. March 30 1984. Page 3.
  4. Surprise: Fed Hall. Imprint. November 16 1984. Page 16.
  5. To pub; or not to pub. Imprint. September 23 1983. Page 8.
  6. Issues dealt with at regular council meeting. Imprint. June 30 1983. Page3.
  7. Allison’s plans for year. Imprint, June 3 1983. Page 5.
  8. Federation Hall on paper. Imprint. July 15 1983. Pages 8-9, 15.
  9. Fed pub wins. Imprint. July 29 1983. Page 3.
  10. Fed Hall gets the nod from students. Imprint. September 30 1983. Page 3.
  11. Fed hall revised. Imprint. October 21 1983. Page 3.
  12. Allison defends Fed Hall. Imprint. November 11 1983. Page 8.
  13. Surprise: Fed Hall. Imprint. November 16 1984. Page 16.
  14. [3] Timeline. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  15. [4] FED Hall Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installation. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
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