New planning documents are offering the first glimpse at the end of an era in Toronto sports history. The Air Canada Centre opened in early 1999 as the new home of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and NBA's Toronto Raptors, and 18 years later, it was announced that Scotiabank had purchased a 20-year naming rights deal taking effect July 1st, 2018. With that date rapidly approaching and building permits for the modifications already issued, we are taking a look at the revised arena exterior that will soon take shape at the Bay and Lake Shore site.
The plans—produced by Kramer Design Associates—show the style and positioning of the replacement Scotiabank branding, as well as other cosmetic changes to the building to be carried out. One notable element is the replacement and enlargement of the popular screen on the outer facade of the arena's west atrium, overlooking Bremner Boulevard and Maple Leaf Square—the area known Jurassic Park during Raptors events.
The most prominent signage will be placed on the upper levels of the arena exterior above the heritage facades and west atrium—an area currently covered in an opaque grey cladding and mechanical grilles. This section of the building will be fully reclad as part of the project. While the signage variance plans currently available do not specify the type of cladding that will be used, the elevation diagrams indicate a pattern of intersecting diagonal lines.
Branding on the upper section is much more prominent than is the current Air Canada Centre's signage, which has relatively a mid-sized sign above the west atrium and no permanent signage above the east heritage facade. The west elevation's upper floors will bear a much larger "Scotiabank Arena" sign, while the east elevation's upper section will have a prominent Scotiabank logo once the plans are carried out.
Let us know what you think using the comments section provided below, or in the dedicated Forum thread for the project.