Oxford Properties Group's Richmond-Adelaide Centre in Toronto's Financial District has been undergoing a years-long expansion and modernization plan, creating modern additions like the new EY Tower while updating older buildings such as the recent re-cladding of 120 and 130 Adelaide Street West. The complex is also home to older building stock like the 1923-built Federal Building at 85 Richmond Street West, which has been undergoing a WZMH Architects-led renovation and expansion that includes heritage restoration work tasked to +VG Architects.

Looking west on Richmond to 85 Richmond West, image by Forum contributor condovo

Work on the project began in mid-2018 with interior demolition, followed by the installation of a tower crane in November, 2018. In the months that followed, a steel structural addition began to form filling in the building's rear U-shaped light well, increasing the building's floor area, while work behind the scenes has involved extensive modernization of electrical and mechanical elements, improvement of thermal performance, and the renovation of existing floor space to meet modern standards.

Looking east on Richmond to 85 Richmond West, image by Forum contributor condovo

While much of the addition and modernization work happens beyond the view of passersby, the project's most visible element is that of the exterior's heritage restoration. Work being carried out on it has introduced the replacement of tiled spandrels between the first and second-floor windows with new stamped metal panels designed to reflect the original design, as well as new windows replicating original fenestration patterns. Other exterior work has involved the cleaning and repairing of the building's three-storey limestone base, the brass front doors, and other masonry details including glazed white 'Kitanning' brick on upper levels.

Looking southeast to 85 Richmond West, image by Forum contributor condovo

Crowning the building is a reinstated cornice, replicating an earlier one that was lost to alterations during a time that such details were not in vogue. Views of the replicated cornice after dark show architectural lighting illuminating various a number of building elements . Other elements of the restoration process have yet to be revealed, such as the building's heritage designated lobby space which includes coffered ceilings, Crema Marfil walls, travertine floor finishes, and wall-mounted brass fixtures. 

Illuminated cornice after dark, image by Forum contributor condovo

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 below.

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Related Companies:  LiveRoof Ontario Inc, The Mitchell Partnership Inc., WND Associates Ltd, WZMH Architects