The Entertainment District continues to grow into one of Canada's most densely inhabited neighbourhoods, and while most of the growth has is in the form of high-rise residential, new office and commercial space is also being added to the mix. While the bulk of this employment space is being built into the ground realm of residential developments, Allied Properties REIT's Queen Richmond Centre West, or QRC West, is notable as the largest all-commercial development going up in the area.

QRC West, Allied Properties REIT, Sweeny &Co, Stephenson, TorontoQRC West viewed from the south, image by Marcus Mitanis

Designed by Sweeny &Co Architects with Stephenson Engineering, the 17-storey office building is now topped off and is almost fully clad. Since our last update on the project back in December, we have seen some texture added to the building's exterior; vertical fins have been installed on the building's east facade, while brise soleils—or sun shades—have been installed along the south facade.

QRC West, Allied Properties REIT, Sweeny &Co, Stephenson, TorontoQRC West viewed from the north, image by Marcus Mitanis

Much work is also under way in the building's five-storey atrium. This grand space, surely the standout element of the new development, is punctuated by three massive, 70-foot delta frames, X-shaped supports which have been engineered by Cast ConneX. These signature structural elements transfer the loads of the new tower down to the foundation below, while also providing a visually engaging sculptural feature to the atrium.

QRC West, Allied Properties REIT, Sweeny &Co, Stephenson, TorontoAtrium and two delta frames at QRC West, image by Carlos de Oliveira

The frames serve as an integral part of the structure's gravity and lateral force resisting systems. According to Carlos de Oliveira, President of CastConnex, each frame is made up of concrete-filled 40-inch diameter, 2-inch thick steel pipes, and 17.5-ton cast steel nodes. They support approximately 20-million pounds-force in gravity load alone (plus additional force from the lateral loading of the tower above).

QRC West, Allied Properties REIT, Sweeny &Co, Stephenson, TorontoTwo of the three delta frames at QRC West, image by Carlos de Oliveira

The atrium, which will host kiosk retail spaces, is partially enclosed by the  walls of restored heritage buildings, and by mast truss glazing systems that let in outside light. The image below also gives us a taste of the wood panelled ceiling, which along with the restored brick walls will add elements of warmth to the lofty space.

QRC West, Allied Properties REIT, Sweeny &Co, Stephenson, TorontoOne of the three delta frames in the atrium of QRC West, image by Carlos de Oliveira

QRC West will begin move-ins this summer. UrbanToronto will be in for a more thorough tour in the coming months. In the meantime, additional information and renderings can be found in our QRC West dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.