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Consulting engineers help create three new landmarks in Toronto

Three new landmark buildings opened in downtown Toronto this fall. At Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario, the ...


The newly opened RBC Centre near Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto
The newly opened RBC Centre near Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto

Three new landmark buildings opened in downtown Toronto this fall. At Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario, the 1929 Automotive Building has been transformed into a class A conference centre known as the Allstream Centre, which opened in late October. (Al Gore spoke at the opening night reception.)

 The 1929 building’s exhibition floors have been converted into a massive 43,900-s.f. column-free ballroom, with meeting rooms around the perimeter. Many Art Deco features were retained, including the terrazzo floored lobbies and original iron stair railings.

The building is being powered by renewable green power and is targeted for LEED Silver designation. NORR were the architects, structural and mechanical engineers; Enermodal Engineering was LEED and energy consultant, ERA was the heritage architect, and the contractor was VanBots.

Also in downtown Toronto, the RBC Centre opened. This 43 storey structure is south of Roy Thomson Hall at Wellington and Simcoe Streets. The building is being targeted for LEED Gold certification, with environmental features such as deep water cooling, windows that open on the first 10 floors, and a computer controlled “lighting and shelf system.” Almost 100% of the construction waste on the project was recycled.  Consulting engineers were Halcrow Yolles (structural), The Mitchell Partnership (mechanical), Mulvey + Banani (electrical), Shaeffers (civil), Project Control Group (scheduling), Enermodal (LEED), Terraplan (Geotechnical), RWDI (environmental), Leber-Rubes (life safety/code), BA Group (transportation) and KJA Consultants (elevators). Architects involved were Kohn Pedersen Fox, B + H, and Sweeney Sterling Finlayson. Construction manager was PCL.

Moving uptown to Bloor Street West, the centrepiece of the rehabilitated Royal Conservatory of Music complex on the edge of the University of Toronto campus opened in late September. The Koerner Hall concert hall seats 1,135 people and is located in the new Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, a glass enclosed structure built behind the historic Victorian-era brick building. Architects were Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg, with Halcrow Yolles (structural engineers), Merber (mechanical engineers). Sound Space with Aercoustics Engineering were the acoustical engineers.