With the sunny season upon us, it’s time to step out and discover – or rediscover – the places and spaces that make Toronto one of the liveliest places in Canada. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled five iconic attractions that PCL Toronto has built or renovated.
A signature icon of the Toronto skyline, the CN Tower stands more than half a kilometre high. At 346 metres above ground, PCL’s Special Projects group – that carries out highly-customized small-scale work on a fast-track schedule and tight budget – transformed the main observation level in time for the tower’s 40th anniversary.
This complex renovation included removing the existing exterior half-window walls and replacing them with self-tinting floor-to-ceiling glass. Though this posed challenges through the significant number of high-risk activities, PCL minimized risks and ensured safety, completing the project at extreme height through intense weather conditions and with zero orders from the Ministry of Labour.
Want to take in the city from 1,200 feet above street level? Test your courage while dangling safely from the one-of-a-kind EdgeWalk, an exterior walkway wrapped around the top of the CN Tower.
Located at the base of the CN Tower in the heart of Toronto, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is a treat for all age groups, with ample educational experiences and outstanding views of aquatic life.
At 140,000 square feet, and with more than 1.5 million gallons of water, the aquarium features over 16,000 animals from around the world, including favourites such as sharks, jellies and green sea turtles. The facility also provides behind-the-scenes tours, areas where visitors can touch crabs and stingrays, and an opportunity to camp overnight beneath the shark tank.
The irregular building form comprises a complex envelope of curtain wall, siding and precast concrete. Our team delivered the aquarium construction and all support facilities, while the owner supplied some materials, including acrylic for the tanks and theming throughout the facility.
Home to the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA's Toronto Raptors, Scotiabank Arena includes a 650,000-square-foot arena and a 165,000-square-foot, 15-storey office tower. This is just one of more than 40 major arena facilities across North America built or renovated by our sports facility experts, who now operate under PCL’s unique in-house Sports Centre of Excellence.
The arena features 18,800 fixed seats for hockey and 19,800 for basketball; four separate public restaurants and lounges; an 18,000-square-foot public galleria with retail areas and a food court; underground parking for 212 vehicles; two covered links to Union Station; and historically significant Art Deco façades dating back to the old Postal Delivery building that was occupied by the Department of National Defence in 1940.
The tower and arena exteriors are curtain wall and metal sandwich panels with a single-ply EPDM roof membrane. Windows in the historical façade were fabricated to match the original design using today's curtain wall technology. When the arena was rebranded as Scotiabank Arena from the Air Canada Centre, our team altered the curtain wall and structure to accommodate new signage and a new mega-digital display.
The Fairmont Royal York is Toronto’s landmark hotel, built in 1929 and located close to the heart of the city. This heritage icon is one of the busiest and most significant luxury hotels in Toronto, with patrons who have included royalty, government officials, celebrities and dignitaries from around the world.
This was another project by our Special Projects division, whose team overcame complex existing site challenges to revitalize the lobby, reception and restaurant in advance of the storied hotel’s 90th birthday celebrations. The hotel renovation included the installation of walnut and aged bronze cladding, solid wood coffered ceilings and stone flooring – all while hotel operations continued uninterrupted.
Exuding luxury and tradition, the hotel features a 23-foot bronze-clad bar with a doubled-faced clock originally donated by the Royal Family. The traditional chandeliers were replaced with contemporary bronze updates integrating a modern twist to complement the ornately detailed heritage wood ceiling.
It’s showtime! This stunning opera house holds room for 2,043 patrons to immerse themselves in the highest level of acoustical excellence. The traditional four-tiered European horseshoe-shaped auditorium, lined with resonant wood and plaster, provides unparalleled intimacy between the audience and the stage, with every seat positioned for the best possible sightlines.
The award-winning facility also consists of a four-storey main reception area, a generous rehearsal room, a ballet studio, a box office entrance, and back-of-house areas such as dressing rooms and wardrobe and instrument storage. The facility also accommodates some lounges, including the Henry N.R. Jackman Lounge, which overlooks Osgoode Hall.
With a more than 115-year legacy, PCL has delivered landmark projects – big and small – that have shaped urban landscapes across Canada. Toronto is just one example among many. No matter where we are, we are passionate builders who take great pride in collaborating and partnering to build the spaces and places where we live, work, play and thrive. Together we build success!