It has been almost a year since we last featured RioCan's Yonge Eglinton Centre revitalization, a project which has transformed an aging mall with both a major expansion and the modernization the existing space. At the time of our last story in September 2014, the Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed expansion had just topped off, replacing most of the windswept public plaza at the Midtown Toronto corner. Eleven months later, the project is close to completion, and recently marked a milestone with the August 20th opening of anchor tenant Winner's on the second level.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoYonge Eglinton Centre expansion, image by Jack Landau

The new construction has added 40,000 square feet of new retail space to the complex, bringing its total to 264,418 square feet of retail space. In addition to expanding the footprint of the over 1,000,000 square foot complex (most of which is made up of office space in the two towers), the project has also renewed the public realm at the Yonge-Eglinton corner. Though the majority of the underutilized plaza that once occupied the site is now interior retail space, a portion of the plaza has been retained and improved with new paving and lighting, with outdoor seating from the recently opened Aroma cafe helping to animate the space.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoYonge Eglinton Centre public plaza, image by Jack Landau

A new entrance to Eglinton Subway Station has opened at the southeastern corner of the expansion, connecting to the existing lower level mall and pedestrian tunnel below Eglinton Avenue which links the complex with the TTC.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoNew subway entrance at the northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton, image by Jack Landau

Along with weather protected stairs, the new entrance includes an elevator to improve accessibility.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoNew subway entrance at the northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton, image by Jack Landau

The previous entrance to Eglinton Station was unprotected from the weather. It closed at the start of the expansion work, and is now in the process of being removed, soon to be decked over as more public plaza space. 

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoFormer subway entrance being removed at the northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton, image by Jack Landau

One of the entrances to the expansion takes the form of a glass cube at the corner of Yonge and Eglinton. It leads to an escalator directly into the second floor space of anchor tenant Winner's, and a glass-enclosed elevator which rises to a landscaped outdoor space on the addition's roof. Renderings of this Privately Owned Publicly accessible Space—or POPS—depict seating, tables, and a central water feature.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoMain entrance at the corner of Yonge and Eglinton, image by Jack Landau

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoEscalator leading back down to the main entrance from Winner's, image by Jack Landau

While the escalators connect the ground level with the new Winner's, the retailer can also be accessed through another entrance via the mall, seen below. Prior to construction of the expansion, this view faced a dead end wall, just beyond where the illuminated information boards are located. The new lighting to the left is part of the mall's central atrium renovation.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoThe mall entrance to Winner's, image by Jack Landau

The mall itself has undergone major upgrades, including the new lighting pictured above and below, as well as new high-definintion screens to brighten the largely windowless internal spaces.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoModernized mall interior, image by Jack Landau

The illuminated pillars are powered by LED lights, which can cycle through the colour spectrum and provide dynamic lighting for the surrounding space. We happened upon one of the LED arrays still waiting to be covered up by translucent panels, giving us a peek at the lighting features' inner workings.

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoLED lights inside one of the illuminated pillars, image by Jack Landau

Connectivity within the multi-level mall has been greatly improved with the addition of a new illuminated walkway, stairs, and elevator which connect the mall's north and south mezzanine levels. 

Yonge Eglinton Centre, RioCan, Page + Steele / IBI Group, TorontoIlluminated walkway and stairs connecting north and south mezzanine levels, image by Jack Landau

More photos from our recent visit to the Yonge Eglinton Centre can be found in our Forum thread for the project.

Additional information and renderings can be found in our Yonge Eglinton Centre dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.