The Summer 2015 announcement of a Saks Fifth Avenue at Cadillac Fairview's Toronto Eaton Centre came with news of plans to replace the shopping centre's aging pedestrian bridge spanning Queen Street. Renderings for the new bridge—connecting Toronto Eaton Centre with the Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue flagship locations to the south—revealed a futuristic design by UK-based architects Wilkinson Eyre working with the Eaton Centre's original designers, Toronto-based Zeidler Partnership Architects. Now, months after the renderings first came to light, Cadillac Fairview has announced plans to officially begin work on the new bridge, releasing new renderings to accompany the news.

CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Cadillac Fairview, Wilkinson Eyre, TorontoNew Toronto Eaton Centre bridge, image courtesy of Cadillac Fairview

With plans for the bridge now approved by the City, construction is slated to begin later this month. Immediately below the bridge, Cadillac Fairview is also replacing the Queen Street doors to the mall in a fashion similar to the new east and west doors just to the south of Nordstrom which were installed last year. That area now has small temporary doors in place while hoarding seals off the bulk of the area where they are working.

CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Cadillac Fairview, Wilkinson Eyre, TorontoWalled-off bridge entrance in March, image by Craig White

For the new bridge above the Queen Street doors, a combination of glass and etched bronze cladding will cover the exterior, which has been designed to create a contextual link between the differing architectural typologies of the two connected buildings. To the north, the bridge uses a modern, rectilinear geometry, primarily clad in light, airy glass panels with narrow bands of etched bronze.

CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Cadillac Fairview, Wilkinson Eyre, TorontoNorth end of new Toronto Eaton Centre bridge, image courtesy of Cadillac Fairview

To the south, the bridge's glass coverage decreases, with the bronze etched panels taking over as the primary cladding material in reference to the heritage stone exterior of the Hudson's Bay/Saks Fifth Avenue building. Here, the bridge takes on a more circular geometry, bringing customers into the building through what was originally an arched window.

CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Cadillac Fairview, Wilkinson Eyre, TorontoSouth end of new Toronto Eaton Centre bridge, image courtesy of Cadillac Fairview

Dominic Bettison, designer of the bridge and Director at WilkinsonEyre, said in a press release "We designed the bridge's form to connect together the two inherent geometries of each building, transforming from the historical, circular arches of the Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue building to the modern rectangular geometry of CF Toronto Eaton Centre. This union of the two buildings is further reinforced by the use of bronze and glass cladding, inspired by the materials used on both buildings, which flow, wave-like in opposite directions across the bridge. This meeting and blending of the two building's form and materials becomes a beautiful and metaphorical 'handshake' extending out over Queen Street."

CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Cadillac Fairview, Wilkinson Eyre, TorontoNew Toronto Eaton Centre bridge, image courtesy of Cadillac Fairview

In an effort to minimize the impact of construction on Queen Street below, the assembly of the bridge's superstructure will take place on James Street, just west of the mall. Once the bridge structure is assembled, it will be hoisted into place above Queen Street. The new bridge is slated to open in the fall. 

CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Cadillac Fairview, Wilkinson Eyre, TorontoNorth end of new Toronto Eaton Centre bridge, image courtesy of Cadillac Fairview

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