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Scaling St. Lawrence

This plan integrates a traditional market and a City Court system to bring the ideas of the symbiotic city to life

Toronto, Ontario

Making the list

In 2009, DIALOG was one of only five firms to be shortlisted in this international competition to design a multi-storey replacement for the existing North Building in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market complex. The intention is that the addition would house both the market and an extensive City Courts complex.

Heirloom ingredients

The shape and copper cladding updated the building for the energy efficient 21st century while referencing historic aspects of the existing structures. The driving force behind DIALOG’s design was to create a bold demonstration of sustainable design in action: through form, materiality, envelope, and smart systems, the building was conceived as a virtual “living lab” of green initiatives.

A light touch

Light wells and a breathtaking solar chimney on the south façade provided natural light and air circulation while respecting the security and privacy of the court facilities on the upper storeys.

Street life...

With a café at the busy street intersection, a separate entrance for the courts facility, and enormous bay doors that open onto three sides of Market Hall, the design captured the vitality of the downtown street.

...is a green life

Numerous “green” technologies include a rooftop herb garden and a street-level “bike kitchen”, along with features such as rainwater harvesting and innovative closed-loop mechanical systems, all of which further support the eco-friendly community programming within the design.

Project facts

Size: 112,000 sq. ft./ 11,237 sq. m.
Cost: $57.9 Million (estimate)
Client: City of Toronto