Following months of construction, a new pedestrian bridge opened this morning at Cadillac Fairview's Eaton Centre in the heart of Downtown Toronto. Designed by WilkinsonEyre Architects and Zeidler Partnership Archtects, the bridge over Queen Street West connects the main volume of the Eaton Centre with the Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue flagship locations, replacing the original 1977-built skywalk that was taken down earlier this year.

New Eaton Centre bridge spanning Queen Street West, image by Jack Landau

Following an early morning reception where media and the public had the chance to walk through the bridge's interior, guests were corralled into the south end of the Eaton Centre's second floor for a series of remarks. 

Reception inside the new bridge, image by Jack Landau

Speakers this morning included Cadillac Fairview CEO John Sullivan and Executive Vice President of Development Wayne Barwise, as well as Hudson's Bay Company's Governor, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO, Richard Baker, and Toronto Mayor John Tory. Hudson's Bay Company and Home Outfitters President, Alison Coville, was also in attendance to celebrate the opening.

(L-R) Alison Coville, Wayne Barwise, John Tory, Richard Baker, John Sullivan, image by Jack Landau

After remarks, dignitaries gathered for a ribbon cutting to officially unveil the new bridge.

Ribbon cutting for the new bridge, image by Jack Landau

The striking work was the product of an international design competition held in 2014, with WilkinsonEyre's winning entry representing a contextual "handshake" between the differing architectural styles of the two buildings it connects. This design was officially unveiled in April, with bridge assembly beginning the following month just to the west on James Street. The next major progress came in July, when the bridge's steel structure was carefully moved and hoisted into place above Queen Street.

View from inside the new Eaton Centre bridge, image by Jack Landau

As important as the structure is for its use, its architectural qualities were given equally high importance. At its north end, the bridge is rectilinear, responding to the Eaton Centre's modern style. Proceeding south, the bridge gradually morphs into a rounded shape in reference to the arched second floor former window of the Hudson's Bay/Saks building through which it connects.

View from inside the new Eaton Centre bridge, image by Jack Landau

200 etched bronze panels and 355 slumped glass panels form a gradual transition between the two buildings, further driving home this design statement.

New Eaton Centre bridge spanning Queen Street West, image by Jack Landau

Additional information and renderings can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.

Related Companies:  Giannone Petricone Associates, RJC Engineers, The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Walters Group, Zeidler Architecture Inc.