Leonard Dining Hall Renovation

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The final phase of renovations to Leonard Dining Hall began this spring and will be complete by the end of 2023.

The original renovation was announced in April 2021 and was to be done in two phases.

Phase One completed in 2021, included rebuilding the truck delivery receiving area, storage expansion, and enclosing garbage facilities on the west side of the building along Collingwood Street, the construction of a new accessible entrance to the Leonard dining hall on the east side of the building plumbing, as well as electrical, and mechanical improvements.

Phase Two will improve the facilities functionality, speed of service, increase menu offerings to accommodate the evolving needs of the diverse student population, and will enable improved operational waste collection systems. The work commenced in May 2023 and completion is expected in December 2023.

Phase Two includes:

  • Optimization of production spaces (front and back of house).
  • Relocation of the dish room and service points throughout the servery to enhance traffic flow.
  • Development of service areas that feature healthy options and highlight the range of choices available for students with special or restricted diets.
  • Interactive food stations for teaching and cooking demonstrations.
  • Increased made-to-order and prepared-for-you menu options.
  • Replacement and/or upgrades to most of the production and service equipment.

For the fall 2023/24 term, Leonard Dining Hall will remain open for residence students on the mandatory Residence Meal Plan temporarily offering fixed meal stations based on 5-week menu rotations rather than All-You-Care-To-Eat buffet style service.

Ban Righ Dining Hall will be open with extended hours and offer continuous food service throughout the day and evening. The Jean Royce dining hall on the west campus will also remain open.

Changes to meal plans, the addition of two new temporary retail locations, and expanded meal options at select locations, including those in residence buildings (Lazy Scholar and Location 21), will further mitigate the impact on service while the renovations are completed.

Updates to students about campus food operations can be found by visiting Hospitality Services, Leonard Dining Hall.

Project Updates


Activity and Description Anticipated Duration
Overall Project Timeline: Additional details to follow as construction progress. The overall project is expected to take approximately two years. April 2021 – December 2023

Project Background & FAQs

Project Announced - Leonard Dining Hall Renovation

The cafeteria is planned to include the following:

  • The dining hall seating capacity will be increased to accommodate the new Albert Street student residence building.
  • Serving/cook stations will be remodeled to allow better viewing of meal preparation and display. Focus is on Healthy Choices and selection variety.
  • The renovations will include a newly designed accessible main entrance.
  • The renovations will include a new dishwashing system to better handle the volume of dishware and sanitary discharge.

Construction is expected to begin in May 2021 and end in December 2023. Queen’s will communicate directly with neighbours when more details about the construction process are available. Please sign up here for project updates.

As planning for the project moves ahead, and more details become available in the coming weeks and months, Queen’s will communicate with area neighbours about project plans and details related to construction. Please sign up here for project updates. If you have questions, please contact us at construction@queensu.ca.

    The detailed design of the building, including energy performance modelling, is in accordance with the Queen’s Design Building Standards, which identify energy performance targets in alignment with the university’s Climate Action Plan.

    The following will be included as specific sustainability initiatives:

    • Existing constant-speed kitchen exhaust system will be upgraded with new variable-speed controls that will use sensors in the hoods to determine which cooking stations are in use.

    • In Kingston’s cold climate this will result in a significant reduction in GHG emissions as limiting exhaust ventilation also limits the amount of fresh make-up air that needs to be heated using fossil fuels.

    • By eliminating an unnecessary 60% of ventilation that currently happens over kitchen equipment when it is not in use, GHG emissions will be reduced by around 200 tonnes CO2e/year, equivalent to the emissions of 100 Kingston houses.

    • Major investments such as these in mechanical systems are the key to achieving the targets in Queen’s Climate Action Plan.