It has been a big year for the Scotiabank Arena at Bay and Lake Shore in Downtown Toronto. Formerly known as the Air Canada Centre, the 1999-opened multipurpose arena was rebranded through a 20-year, $800 million naming rights deal in July, 2018. In the 13 months since, the facility has seen major shows and events, the Raptors winning their first NBA Championship, and the Leafs falling to the Bruins to maintain that overlong tradition. 

The multi-million dollar renovation designed by Kramer Design Associates is bringing a refreshed look to the building that includes dark exterior finishes, an expanded video screen along the arena's west side overlooking Maple Leaf Square/Jurassic Park, as well as a new signage and plenty of other upgrades within.

Scotiabank Arena, image courtesy of MLSE

The first exterior modifications came soon after the rebrand, with the Air Canada Centre signage replaced with Scotiabank branding, and the Air Canada logos on the arena roof replaced with Scotiabank’s trademark “S” logos. Another big change came earlier this year, when the first panels of black cladding began to appear on the upper reaches of the wall above the Maple Leaf Square frontage.

Aerial view facing east over Scotiabank Arena, image by Forum contributor sikandar

Work was temporarily halted in June while the building was in the international spotlight as the Raptors were making their NBA Finals run. Following the historic win, construction resumed with the start of removal of the video screen facing the square, to be replaced with a new one approximately 40% larger.

New cladding and future signage at Scotiabank Arena, image by Forum contributor MetroMan

Above it, new black finishes now cover a large area of the west facade, including around the outline of the initial Scotiabank Arena sign, soon to come down. The giant new letters on the wall will form the largest of the rebrand’s new exterior signs and will be visible down Bremner Boulevard to the Rogers Centre area. You can see how large the letters are in this image taken from a nearby tower.

Workers assemble components of the new Scotiabank Arena sign, image by UT Forum contributor sikandar

In the northeast corner of the building, an elevated pedestrian PATH walkway and bridge will soon connect the arena with the CIBC SQUARE office complex under construction across Bay Street to the east. To make way for the connection, the public art installation known as “Wins Losses Ties” by Micah Lexier that hung from the soffit has been removed. The PATH walkway will touch down in the high-ceilinged galleria via a pair of escalators, then turn north in Union Station through improved connections that are currently under construction.

Future bridge connection with CIBC Square, image by Forum contributor raptor

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

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