When it was completed in 1968 as a Canadian Centennial project, the St. Lawrence Market North building was intended to be a temporary structure that would ultimately be replaced by a permanent landmark worthy of the market's function and location. Nearly half a century later, that landmark is finally close to being realized. After a 2008 international design competition yielded a winning entry by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners in association with local firm Adamson Associates Architects, and years of consultations, revisions and largely unfortunate design-reductions, substantive work on the new St. Lawrence Market North appears to be imminent.

St. Lawrence Market NorthFinal Design of the new St. Lawrence Market North, courtesy of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

In anticipation of the demolition of the existing North Market, plans for a temporary North Market (ironically to be located to the south of St. Lawrence Market South at 125 The Esplanade) were revealed at a public meeting held earlier this month at St. Lawrence Hall. The temporary structure, which is to be completed in the first quarter of 2015, will be composed of a pre-engineered structural steel truss system covered by a durable white polyethylene fabric.

Temporary North Market Elevations

Temporary North Market Elevations

The final plans for the temporary North Market feature several improvements over the initial plans including full connectivity to municipal services, internal washrooms (as opposed to the outdoor porta-potties initially proposed), a small snack bar, and increased storage space. As a result of these additions, functional floor space for market activities will be slightly reduced to approximately 9,000 square feet. Although designed primarily for the Saturday Farmer's Market and the Sunday Antique Market, the temporary North Market will feature the same weekday programming and events as the existing structure.

Temporary North Market Interior Layout

Also revealed at the public meeting were further details in respect of the timeline of the project. Demolition of the existing St. Lawrence Market North will begin in the second or third quarter of 2015, however due to the site's over 200 years of continuous use as a market, staff estimate that archaeological excavation and environmental remediation of the site will delay the start of construction for approximately six months thereafter. The new building is expected to be completed in second quarter of 2017, following which the temporary market site (until now a surface parking lot) will be replaced with a new public park, for which a design study has yet to be undertaken.

Stay tuned with Urban Toronto for the latest photos and news. For more information and renderings of St. Lawrence Market North, click on our dataBase file, linked below. Want to talk about the project? Click on the Forum thread link, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Rami Kozman is a commercial real estate sales representative with The Behar Group and can be found on Twitter at twitter.com/ramikozman.