With hoarding now surrounding Toronto's Manulife Centre, the complex's $100 million podium and streetscape renewal is getting underway at Bloor and Bay. Set to be anchored by a 50,000 ft² Giannone Petricone Associates-designed Eataly, the first Canadian location of the Italian food hall chain will front Manulife Real Estate's glassy new two-storey podium structure, significantly altering the street-level presence of the 1970s complex.  

Manulife Centre, Toronto, by Manulife Real Estate, Moed de Armas & Shannon, B+H The Bloor Street frontage, image by UT Forum contributor Benito

Completed in 1974, the building's lower three levels are currently occupied by a couple dozen shops, restaurants, and services amongst which are an Indigo bookstore, a grocery store, a Cineplex movie theatre, and an LCBO. In addition to the new marquee Eataly food hall and restaurant, the redevelopment add 35,000 ft² of new retail space to the complex by building out closer to the street.

Manulife Centre, Toronto, by Manulife Real Estate, Moed de Armas & Shannon, B+H Balmuto Street, image by UT Forum contributor Benito

While the re-imagined complex will introduce more street-fronting retail space to Bloor and Bay—hopefully making for more engaging and active frontages—the Moed de Armas & Shannon and B+H Architects addition will also change the aesthetic of the original Clifford and Lawrie Architects design, modifying the relationship between the distinctive concrete tower volume and the street level.

Manulife Centre, Toronto, by Manulife Real Estate, Moed de Armas & Shannon, B+H Looking southeast from Bay and Bloor, image via Manulife Real Estate

Alongside the added retail spaces—which include a new home for Yorkville mainstay Over the Rainbow Jeans—the revamped Manulife Centre will also feature updated lobbies—with interiors by GH+A Design—a reconfigured circulation scheme, and extensive mechanical and electrical system upgrades to make the complex more sustainable.  

Manulife Centre, Toronto, by Manulife Real Estate, Moed de Armas & Shannon, B+H The Bloor frontage, image via Manulife Real Estate

With equipment now onsite, construction is set to be completed in 2019, with the firm of PCL spearheading the process. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and construction continues. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our Database file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment below, or join the conversation in our associated Forum thread.