Toronto's City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square attracts over 1.5 million visitors annually, and that number is growing at a rate that mirrors growth throughout the region. With the prominent landmark square starting to show its age, the City of Toronto held a design competition to rejuvenate Viljo Revell's masterwork, while respecting the late architect's original vision. In 2007, the city announced the winning team to lead the Revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square; architectural firm Perkins + Will and landscape architects Plant.

The revitalization plan has already seen the completion of phases 1 and 2, recently having moved on to phases 3 and 4, which commenced in August of 2013 and which is expected to be complete by December 2014. These final phases involve much construction around the edges of the square, including the hard and soft landscaping of the Queen Street West forecourt, the installation of a new grade-level vent grill along the Queen Street West sidewalk, reconstruction of the sidewalk and traffic island at Queen and Bay Streets, reconstruction of the lay-by along the Queen Street frontage of the site, the landscaping of the southwest quadrant of the site and relocated Peace Garden area, and finally, the installation of furniture throughout the Square. Much work is already well under way on these projects, as seen in the images below.

Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization, Plant Architect, Perkins + Will, TorontoInstallation of a new vent grill along the Queen Street West sidewalk, image by Jack Landau

Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization, Plant Architect, Perkins + Will, TorontoNew pavers in the Queen Street forecourt, image by Jack Landau

The current revitalization work also involved the relocating of the Winston Churchill statue to the northwest quadrant of the site. The statue has recently been moved to its new location at Armoury and Chestnut Streets, kitty corner from where a new courthouse is to replace the parking lot which can be seen in the background. The installation of landscaping and interpretive plaques by the statue is complete.

Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization, Plant Architect, Perkins + Will, TorontoNew location of the Winston Churchill statue, image by Craig White

The square's Peace Garden is being relocated from its former site in the middle of Nathan Phillips Square to the west side, adjacent to Osgoode Hall. It will be situated around a reflecting pool and set between two elevated planting areas that are filled with flowering trees and native plants. At the centre, a granite bridge will span the pool and connect to the relocated pavilion that is nestled within the trees, while a rekindled eternal flame will sit within a vessel of water at the north end of the pool.

Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization, Plant Architect, Perkins + Will, TorontoFuture Peace Garden along the western edge of the site, image by Jack Landau

Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization, Plant Architect, Perkins + Will, TorontoWork along the west side of Nathan Phillips Square, image by Jack Landau

These final phases of the plan also include the refurbishing of the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) elevator building in the southeast corner of the square. Along with the stairs leading to the TPA parking garage, the renewed entry pavilion with visitor information kiosk is being constructed in this small standalone structure, which will also provide elevator access to bicycle parking below ground as well as making the aerial walkways fully accessible.

Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization, Plant Architect, Perkins + Will, TorontoNew entry pavilion with tourist info kiosk and elevator to underground parking, image by Jack Landau

Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Projects & Construction Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.