30 years after the Lawrence Square Shopping Centre opened adjacent to Lawrence West subway station, the mixed-use retail and office complex owned by RioCan is taking on a new identity through major renovations and a rebrand. On October 3, 2019, representatives of RioCan were joined by Toronto Ward 8 Councillor Mike Colle and MPP Robin Martin to officially unveil the re-named “Lawrence Allen Centre” as renovations make progress inside and outside the complex.

Councillor Mike Colle spoke of the mall's importance to the neighbouring Lawrence Heights community, currently undergoing a rebuild of its own following the mixed-income community redevelopment model. "This will be the centrepiece of this wonderful new community that links so many people," said Colle, before continuing to thank RioCan for their continued investment in the neighbourhood, and closing with "I say to all of you who had a part in this, Mazel Tov, and here's to another 30 years."

Mike Colle speaking at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

Next to the podium was Owen Hinds, Program Director of Pathways to Education at the nearby Unison Health & Community Services, who talked about the community around the mall overcoming socioeconomic challenges, including mention of a local scholarship program funded by RioCan that rewards local high school valedictorians.

Owen Hinds speaking at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

PC MPP Robin Martin touched more on the mall's offerings from a retail perspective, speaking on her own personal interactions with the mall while hinting at her desire for "maybe a Starbucks, who knows?" to be added to the mix.

Robin Martin speaking at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

The final speaker of the morning was John Ballantyne, Senior Vice President of Asset Management at RioCan, who thanked all the speakers and partners involved in the project before kicking off the official unveiling of the complex's re-brand.

John Ballantyne speaking at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

After these brief remarks, crews on an aerial work platform battled rain and wind gusts to remove a tarp from the complex's large signage pylon along Lawrence Avenue West, revealing the new branding and its vibrant orange backing to the public. 

New branding unveiled for Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

The exterior of the complex, which contains over 373,000 ft² of retail and over 304,000 ft² of office space, is currently undergoing a Pappas Design Studio-designed re-cladding of its original 1989 Postmodern-style exterior, which is scheduled for completion in Spring, 2020.

Exterior renovations at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

This exterior project is in full swing, with large sections of the south facade already enclosed in weatherproofing in advance of the new cladding materials. Below, a rendering provides a sneak peek at what the complex will look like once the re-cladding phase is completed.

Lawrence Allen Centre, image courtesy of RioCan

Inside, the mall has already undergone a noticeable transformation, replacing aged finishes, lighting, furniture, and even railings under a new interior design scheme by Pappas Design Studio. The mall's original vaulted skylights now work in tandem with the lighter finishes to give the interior a brighter, more airy feel.

Renovated mall interior at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

Renovations have added new retail spaces within the mall, and continue to add more like an upcoming BMO branch, while other established tenants are having their interiors remodeled. One such tenant is the Fortino's supermarket, which is having a new dining area called Pane Fresco by Fortino's soon to open.

Renovated mall interior at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

Other added features in the upgraded mall include new wayfinding with digital touchscreen signage by Kramer Design Associates, as well as a fully renovated food court and upgraded amenities. Below, a view of the renovated food court shows a similar finish palette, with skylights once again serving a central role.

Renovated food court at Lawrence Allen Centre, image by Jack Landau

Additional information and images for the proposal can be found in our Database file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment below.

* * *

UrbanToronto has a new way you can track projects through the planning process on a daily basis. Sign up for a free trial of our New Development Insider here.

Related Companies:  Kramer Design Associates Limited, Pappas Design Studio Inc., RioCan REIT