Construction is well underway at the Fort York Visitor Centre, the new entrance and interpretive pavilion for the National Historic Site that acted as the Town of York's sole defence against invading American troops during the War of 1812.

Fort York Visitor Centre Patkau Kearns Mancini Fort York Visitor Centre, rendering courtesy of Patkau/Kearns Mancini

Set for completion in 2014, the $25 million project has secured $19 million in funding from by all three levels of government. The 2-storey, 24,000 square foot building includes a striking entrance hall, orientation theatre and an exhibit room, providing coherence to visitors' experiences of the site and raising Fort York's visibility as a site of historic importance for Toronto and Canada.

Designed by Vancouver-based Patkau Architects Inc. and Toronto firm Kearns Mancini Architects Inc, the Fort York Visitor Centre will be complemented by a unique forecourt created out of a newly landscaped space under the Gardiner.

Fort York Visitor Centre Toronto Patkau Kearns Mancini Land is flattened and prepared for unique landscaping under the Gardiner Expressway, image by RiverCity1

UrbanToronto Forum member RiverCity1 has captured the progress as concrete and rebar walls continue to rise above the foundations put in place last spring. The first story's angular walls have been erected as the project takes on its distinctive long and low shape. The area outside the pavilion and directly below the Gardiner has been flattened and prepared for landscaping designed to take advantage of the long neglected space beneath the Expressway.

Fort York Visitor Centre Toronto Patkau Kearns Mancini The Visitor Centre's long and low structure is taking form, image by RiverCity1

Fort York Visitor Centre Toronto Patkau Kearns Mancini The Fort York Visitor Centre's first story is taking shape, image by RiverCity1

Work shown below includes a ramp to the future viewing platform.

Fort York Visitor Centre Toronto Patkau Kearns Mancini The Visitor Centre will provide a striking entrance to the National Historic Site, image by RiverCity1

Fort York Visitor Centre Toronto Patkau Kearns Mancini Concrete walls rise as construction continues at the Fort York Visitor Centre, image by RiverCity1

This image, seen from the opposite side, will give you an idea of how the centre will be laid out.

3D Image of the Visitors Centre from the southeast, by Patkau/Kearns Mancini3D Image of the Visitors Centre from the southeast, rendering courtesy of Patkau/Kearns Mancini

For additional information about the project, including many more renderings, please visit the our dataBase file, linked below. Want to voice an opinion about the Visitor Centre's design or progress? Check out the associated forum thread, or leave your thoughts in the comments section provided on this page.