Last Wednesday, 25 York Street, built by Menkes Developments and designed by Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Company (or &co) and Adamson Assoicates, became TELUS House Toronto, in a ceremony that brought Telus executives from across the country, together with the building's architects, federal politicians, workers from the building, an acrobatic dance troupe, and the media.

TELUS House Toronto by Menkes Development/Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & CoFront view of TELUS House Toronto by Menkes Development and Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co. and Adamson Associates

We'll start with the ceremony, and follow with a building tour.

The group gathered in Telus's flagship retail store on the ground floor of this 30 storey complex. 

TELUS House ceremony at the Telus flagship retail store at 25 York Street in T.OTELUS House ceremony at the Telus flagship retail store at 25 York Street in downtown Toronto

The ceremony was opened by Joseph Natale, Executive Vice President and President of Consumer Solutions at Telus Communications. 

Opening speech by Joseph Natale at the TELUS House ceremony in TorontoOpening speech by Joseph Natale, Executive Vice President and President of Consumer Solutions at Telus Communications.

Next to speak was Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment. TELUS House is a particularly green building, and is targeting LEED Gold certification. 

Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, giving his speech at the TELUS House Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, giving his speech at the TELUS House ceremony in downtown Toronto

Following Mr. Prentice was Peter Menkes, president of Menkes Developments. 

President of Menkes Developments, Peter Menkes, at the TELUS House ceremony T.O.President of Menkes Developments, Peter Menkes, at the TELUS House ceremony in downtown Toronto

Darren Entwhistle, TELUS president and CEO then took to the stage. 

TELUS president and CEO, Darren Entwhistle, at the TELUS House ceremony in T.O.TELUS president and CEO, Darren Entwhistle, at the TELUS House ceremony in downtown Toronto

TELUS president and CEO, Darren Entwhistle, at the TELUS House ceremony in T.O.TELUS president and CEO, Darren Entwhistle, at the TELUS House ceremony in downtown Toronto

Mr. Entwhistle's speech emphasized the green aspects of TELUS House, and Telus' corporate ethos of giving back to the community. The speeches culminated with a significant gift to the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation. 

Darren Entwhistle presenting a gift to the Hospital for Sick Children, TorontoDarren Entwhistle, TELUS president & CEO, presenting a gift to the Hospital for Sick Children at the TELUS House ceremony

So, time to head up the elevators: 

Elevators inside the TELUS House by Menkes Development/&Co/Adamson AssociatesElevators inside the TELUS House by Menkes Development and Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co. and Adamson Associates

Principal Dermot Sweeny of Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Company Architects, a.k.a &Co, led the tour: 

Dermot Sweeny of &Co led the tour of the upper levels of TELUS House in TorontoDermot Sweeny of &Co led the tour of the upper levels of TELUS House in downtown Toronto

The first stop is the 5th floor, which includes a large gourmet kitchen for cooking classes and nutrition courses, both popular as team-building exercises:

Kitchen space on the 5th floor of TELUS House, used for cooking and team-buildinKitchen space on the 5th floor of TELUS House, used for cooking and team-building

Off of the kitchen you will find a green roof/patio area on top of the podium box: 

TELUS House podium-top patio on the 5th floor in downtown TorontoTELUS House podium-top patio on the 5th floor in downtown Toronto

There are also indoor spaces to eat and meet on the floor. We stop for a while in one of them to hear about the benefits of building's 11 foot high floor to ceiling windows.

The 5th floor also features an innovative Telepresence conference room: 

Telepresence conference room on the 5th floor inside the TELUS House in TorontoTelepresence conference room on the 5th floor inside the TELUS House in downtown Toronto

What is Telepresence? This is Telepresence.

Next, a visit to a typical office floor, the 27th to be exact. No offices sit right up against the windows; in fact the space along the window walls is reserved as circulation space. Columns holding up the building are 4 metres back from the windows, so they nestle in amongst workspaces. Workspaces also feature independent airflow and temperature control. Overhead lights sense movement and only turn on when workers are preset and natural light is not sufficient. 

Office circulation space on 27th floor of the TELUS House in downtown TorontoOffice circulation space on 27th floor of the TELUS House in downtown Toronto

Cubical space on the 27th floor of the TELUS House in downtown TorontoCubical space on the 27th floor of the TELUS House in downtown Toronto

Central areas on each floor provide space for employees to meet, and workspaces are flexible. 

Meeting space on the 27th floor of TELUS House in downtown TorontoMeeting space on the 27th floor of TELUS House in downtown Toronto

Meeting space on the 27th floor of TELUS House in downtown TorontoMeeting space on the 27th floor of TELUS House in downtown Toronto

Of course, views from this building are pretty spectacular: 

27th floor scenic view from the TELUS House in downtown Toronto27th floor scenic view from the TELUS House in downtown Toronto

Next, we head back down to the 3rd and 4th floors, which read as the black box of the podium. Facilities inside the podium are numerous, and include a wellness centre, with physiotherapy, massage, meditation, and prayer rooms, as well as fitness eqipment: 

Workout space on the podium floors of the TELUS House in downtown TorontoWorkout space on the podium floors of the TELUS House in downtown Toronto

Another boardroom in the podium features large screen Telus television... which you can't get in Ontario yet. Someday... 

Boardroom on the podium level of the TELUS House in downtown TorontoBoardroom on the podium level of the TELUS House in downtown Toronto

Large screen TELUS TVs in the podium boardroom of the TELUS House in TorontoLarge screen TELUS TVs!....that not available in Ontario yet...such a tease.

At the back of the podium is access to the largest of the three green roofs at TELUS House, which features an herb garden overlooking Union Station and the financial core. The plants are just in the ground now, but should look spectacular, especially from the bank towers as they grow in. 

TELUS House's podium-top green roof in downtown TorontoTELUS House's podium-top green roof in downtown Toronto

TELUS House's podium-top green roof in downtown TorontoTELUS House's podium-top green roof in downtown Toronto

TELUS House's podium-top green roof in downtown TorontoTELUS House's podium-top green roof in downtown Toronto

Finally, back down to the lobby, and another look at Michael Awad & Daivd Rokeby's lovely light sculpture (sorry about the low res...) Overall, the impression one is left with of TELUS House is of a tremendously successful collaboration amongst the developer, the architects, and the major tenant. The views, the creature comforts, the green features, the great location by Canada's largest transit hub, its closeness to the Gardiner, walking distance to major entertainment venues, all add up to a very desirable place to work. This building is likely the benchmark against which all new office construction in this city will be tested.