It has been a busy month of work at Cadillac Fairview's Toronto Eaton Centre, as crews have been simultaneously demolishing and constructing a pair of pedestrian bridges connecting two parts of the busy shopping centre. The original Zeidler Partnership Architects-designed pedestrian bridge spanning Queen Street East was taken down last weekend on the mall's south side, while the assembly of a replacement bridge commenced on a closed stretch of James Street between the Eaton Centre and Old City Hall.

Eaton Centre bridge, Wilkinson Eyre, Cadillac Fairview, TorontoNew Eaton Centre bridge being assembled on James Street, image by Marcus Mitanis

The first elements of the new bridge—designed by UK-based architects Wilkinson Eyre with the original bridge's designer Zeidler Partnership serving as co-designer (and as Executive Architect)—appeared in the form of a 193,000 lb box girder beam that will serve as the bridge’s structural spine. A video posted to PCL Construction's YouTube Channel follows the late-night transportation of the lengthy girder to Toronto from Hamilton.

Video Copyright 2017 by Studio433 Inc.

In the two weeks since this element's May 10th delivery to the site, the structural steel skeleton of the bridge's enclosure has begun to take shape.

Eaton Centre bridge, Wilkinson Eyre, Cadillac Fairview, TorontoNew Eaton Centre bridge being assembled on James Street, image by Marcus Mitanis

With four of the bridge's proverbial ribs assembled as of last weekend, the unconventional shape of the new pedestrian connection is now evident. Once structurally complete, the bridge will be covered in a combination of glass and etched bronze cladding, with a gradually-shifting form and materiality that blends the glass and steel aesthetic of the modern mall to the north with the stone and masonry Hudson's Bay building to the south.

Eaton Centre bridge, Wilkinson Eyre, Cadillac Fairview, TorontoNew Eaton Centre bridge being assembled on James Street, image by Marcus Mitanis

While the new bridge was taking shape on James Street, the original bridge was lowered and then taken apart on a closed stretch of Queen Street. Sparks really fly in PCL's video of this work:

Video Copyright 2017 by Studio433 Inc.

Photos of the demolition captured over the long weekend will likely be some of the last images of this bridge ever captured, while also providing a rare glimpse of the temporarily bridge-less thoroughfare. (There are a number of photos on this page and the following of our dedicated Forum thread which show Queen Street without a bridge crossing it.)

Eaton Centre bridge, Wilkinson Eyre, Cadillac Fairview, TorontoPrevious bridge being disassembled on Queen Street, image by Marcus Mitanis

The removal of the previous bridge has, for now, opened wide the arched opening above the Queen Street entrances of Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson's Bay, which will soon serve as the southern anchoring point for the newly-constructed bridge.

Eaton Centre bridge, Wilkinson Eyre, Cadillac Fairview, TorontoFuture southern end of the bridge, image by Marcus Mitanis

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.