Even as the skeleton for the WilkinsonEyre and Zeidler-designed pedestrian bridge sat moored on James Street, Toronto's future Eaton Centre skybridge captured the public attention. Beginning to take its distinctive helix shape as a steel frame was assembled in May, the the last weeks have seen the eye-catching pedestrian bridge slowly—and then quickly—come together, with the nearly completed installation now hoisted across Queen Street. 

Eaton Centre, Toronto, by WilkinsonEyre, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsThe Eaton Centre bridge on July 10th, image by Greg Lipinski

In the very early hours of Saturday morning, a PCL Construction crew transported the bridge to its new home, linking Queen Street's landmark Hudson's Bay store with the main hall of the CF Eaton Centre. The half-block journey was made possible by heavy duty self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) by Mammoet, an immensely powerful modular transportation system used to move heavy equipment—including objects as large as freight ships—over short distances. 

Eaton Centre, Toronto, by WilkinsonEyre, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsThe bridge installation on Saturday, July 8th, image by Marcus Mitanis

By daybreak, the body of the bridge was suspended above Queen Street, with the SPMT's hydraulic jacks gradually moving the structure to the site of the Zeidler-designed bridge that was removed in May. Replacing the comparatively conservative 40-year-old bridge with an architectural statement piece, the skybridge is designed to be a new landmark for the city. 

Eaton Centre, Toronto, by WilkinsonEyre, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsDown the barrel on July 8th, image by Marcus Mitanis

Continuing to be clad in a coil of elaborately etched bronze, the bridge's aesthetic is now taking shape above Queen Street. Although much of the cladding still appears almost black (or green below, depending upon the light), the etching will become more obvious once the protective film that covers the bronze is fully removed.

Eaton Centre, Toronto, by WilkinsonEyre, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsA closer look at the panels on July 10, image by Greg Lipinksi

The glazed portions are also set to be covered in a frit pattern, with the glass elements gradually becoming more prominent as the bridge's bronze spiral unfurls to the north. Meanwhile, the underside of the bridge will feature a translucent skin, which will eventually be illuminated to animate the street level below.  

Eaton Centre, Toronto, by WilkinsonEyre, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsThe underside on July 10, image by Greg Lipinski

With the structure now in place, the last—and thickest—of the steel ribs are continuing to be clad in bronze, while work gets underway on the bridge's interior. Marking the 40th anniversary of Eaton Centre, the new skybridge comes as a collaboration between the original Eaton Centre architects, Toronto's Zeidler Partnership, and the UK-based WilkinsonEyre. 

Eaton Centre, Toronto, by WilkinsonEyre, Zeidler Partnership ArchitectsLooking east on July 10, image by Greg Lipinski

We will keep you updated as construction continues, and more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our Database file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.