The 2015-built TR2 Parliament Street Data Centre in Toronto's Corktown area could soon be expanded via a new building on its north side. Located on the southeast corner of Front and Parliament streets, the striking design by WZMH Architects is for Equinix, and Arup, the same design/build team behind the vibrant orange and black TR2 building. A new application seeking Site Plan Approval offers details about the proposed four-storey Downtown Data Centre and its textured metal exterior with earth tones that nod to the surrounding heritage context. 

Looking east to new data centre building, image via submission to City of Toronto

The new building would act as a western gateway to the West Don Lands—along with the Toronto Police 51 Division building in a restored heritage Consumers Gas building across Front. 

Facing southeast over site of new data centre building, image via submission to City of Toronto

The Downtown Data Centre proposal seeks a height of 38.5 metres and a gross floor area of 13,220 m², entirely dedicated to data centre uses. An unusually tall height for a four-storey building, the building form is the result of high ceilings and an oversized mechanical penthouse, necessary for the building's high-tech operations. Like the TR2 building to the south, security concerns and the massive heat generation associated with data centre uses takes the potential for retail out of the equation. The need for solid, windowless walls provided a blank canvas for the proposal's Avant-garde design, which mirrors its sibling to the south with a modern spin on the warmer-toned building materials that define the surrounding area.

Looking south to new data centre building, image via submission to City of Toronto

Next steps for the project include an anticipated application coming later this Summer seeking variances related to the proposed mechanical penthouse and parking rates, and any other required variances that are identified through a Preliminary Project Review.

Looking northeast to new data centre building, image via submission to City of Toronto

The current design follows an initial pre-application version that was revealed shortly after the demolition of the Toronto Public Library's former administrative building, a PoMo structure cleared at the end of 2016. The initial version sported a textured white brick finish, a massing more closely-aligned with the adjacent TR2 building, and a gross floor area of around 15,600 m². While the new version has less floor area at 13,220 m², its total volume is greater.

Pre-application plan, looking southeast across Front and Parliament streets, image via Urbacon

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 space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  RWDI Consulting Engineers and Scientists, Terraprobe Inc, Trillium Architectural Products, Urban Strategies Inc., WZMH Architects