Corus Quay

Corus Quay

Diamond and Schmitt Architects, Interior tenant fit-out: Quadrangle Architects Limited
Build Toronto/City of Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) Co-Developer: Morguard Investments Limited
Landscape Architect
Nak Design Group
General Contractor
About the Project

Constructed on a remediated 2.4 acre site and the catalyst for redevelopment of Toronto’s east waterfront, Corus Quay is the embodiment of an interactive and porous facility that fosters new business and recreational growth. The crisp, modern design of the 531,920 square foot, eight-storey, glass clad building was awarded NAIOP’s “Office Development of the Year” and was the forerunner to the development of two parks, a community college and large residential and office developments. Home to Corus Entertainment, the building’s five-storey glazed atrium forms a vibrant hub connecting the ground-floor radio stations, large reception area and multiple sliding doors that open performance stages onto the waterfront to the South and Sugar Beach Park to the west. Beyond form, the atrium unites efficient but large floor plates while maximizing daylight penetration and recycling air through a five-storey bio-wall. Corus Quay is designed to LEED Gold Certification standards, utilizing 41% less water and 30% less energy than a conventional building of the same size.

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Park land and public space added, kept or respected. Atrium is top drawer. Views to the south, from the upper levels, are rarely repeated anywhere in Toronto. Very pleased to see the LEED label. LEED (and higher) should be mandatory for all building of this size in Toronto and not just voluntary. Originally they planned a "green" roof, but Not sure how that ended.

Usable roof: yay
LEED: yay
Lots of public space: yay
Semi-boring public space: boo-urns
Too much concrete = hot hot hot in the summer: boo-urns
Boring facade: boo-urns

More than a decade of political wrangling over our waterfront and this is what we end up with?! I can see this glass cube of nothing from my office tower, and it's not pretty from any angle or at any level. It's as dead as the bad radio stations they flog. Proof positive that the Ontario Municipal Board must be axed.

i like it, but when i was inside i found it very difficult to explore, i could not find any stairs or elevators to go up. maybe its just me, but i found the interior very confusing, especially because i realyl wanted to go down the slide. such a tease. oh well, i still really like that they are using the waterfront for something! also the parklands around it are superb!

but I don't like the building! They had a wonderful oppurtunity to revamp the area with gorgeous buildings that fit well with the surroundings. But, they put a glass box which is just a modern version of an old concrete factory.

The glass cladding is interesting with opaque glass between floors that reminds me stone block with the mullions and proportions of the glass panels. There are some shifts in the facade to keep it from looking monotonous, which is positive. LEED certification is an obvious plus that enhances the functionality and sustainability of the building. The way it can open up to the public space around it for concerts and the restaurants it's supposed to have is great in terms of providing amenities on the waterfront and drawing more diverse crowds.

The scale is good too; it doesn't restrict access to the water's edge or overpower the public spaces with shadows and wind. The interior should be visited because there's a lot of interesting and colourful artwork installed to complement the architecture. Some art integrated into the exterior would have also been good. There's a large mechanical vent at ground level on one side, for instance, whose grill could have been designed by an artist to transform a (small) dead space into something that draws positive attention.

However, the architecture could have been more distinctive for such a visible site. From the islands, it's hard to make it out. Also detrimental is the large mechanical structure on the roof which is visible from Queen's Quay and Lake Ontario. It looks like an afterthought that isn't integrated in the architecture at all. Big mechanical structures on roofs that look poorly integrated with the building's architecture is a problem plaguing many new buildings. It cheapens the design and discourages people from even wanting to look at the buildings, when their eyes are drawn to these generic mechanical boxes amidst minimalist facades. Such unintegrated structures can't be tolerated. But the issue not that major here, since some care has been made for it not to be visible from the public spaces around the building.

The public space around it is amazing. The attention to design details at Sugar Beach is incredible, though it cannot affect judgment of this building since it wasn't the work of the architectural firm but rather that of Claude Cormier, as chosen and implemented by Waterfront Toronto. So if you're worried about the development of the waterfront, rest assured that at this location, there's a decent though not stunning building, but an absolutely beautiful public space that's great by any standard and belongs in international contemporary urban design books. Some real progress has been made here.

This is a beautiful building that keeps the old and brings in the new in a seamless, well organized way.
My kid's love it and it inspires them to explore books and computers and open spaces.
So glad this library is in my neighbourhood and so easily accessible.
Every visit we are conscious of how many people love this place as there is never a chair available!

Too bad the images in this competition are all exterior. This building looks totally banal and overbearing on the site. The only exterior redeeming feature is Sugar Beach, not really part of the project. The interior, though gimmicky TV land, is pretty well conceived and deserves merit. As edhor has said, the views out are great; too bad they are the best views.

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