Designing Yonge-Dundas Square
In 1998, the City of Toronto launched a competition to design Yonge-Dundas Square. A five member professional international jury selected the Toronto firm, Brown + Storey Architects.
The design is simple. It uses basic geometrical shapes and lines to create a sense of vitality and serenity – a calm, quiet space amid the bustling downtown core.
Setting the Standard for Design Excellence
Yonge-Dundas Square has been honoured with two architectural awards:
1999 - Canadian Architect magazine, Award of Excellence for significant building in the design stage.
...recognized as an outstanding example of contemporary architecture.
2000 – Architecture magazine, Progressive Architecture citation.
...commended as a new form of urban space with great presence...pushes the limits of invention and originality.
Design Elements of Yonge Dundas Square
Large granite slabs cover most of the one-acre space. The space can be configured to accommodate seating and a temporary structure for indoor events. The capacity of the Square can range from 1,000 (seating and a temporary structure) to 12,000 (no seating with a street closure).
A sculptural entrance canopy extends from Yonge Street along the Dundas Street edge. Beneath the canopy, Toronto Theatre Alliance operates T.O. TIX, a booth for the sale of same-day, half-price tickets and advance full-price tickets to the City’s theatre, dance, comedy, opera and music performances (no longer open).
The canopy defines the opening to public washrooms and the Dundas subway station. An elevator from the street level to the washroom facilities and subway entrance ensures universal accessibility.
The Square is constructed on top of a 250-space parking facility operated by the Toronto Parking Authority. Entrance to the parking garage is located at the corner of Victoria and Dundas Streets.
The raised plinth at the east end of the Square sits above the parking garage entrance. This stage can facilitate concerts and other events requiring a higher degree of visibility.
Three lighting masts along the south edge will create additional illumination in the evening. The Square is also infused with light from the surrounding multimedia towers.
Twenty water fountains on the Square are computer programmed and can spray water from one to eight feet in height. The two rows of geysers create a myriad of animated tracing, waves and patterns. The fountains are completed with custom jets, which allow animation and high visual presence. Fibre optic lighting is brought through the centre of the boxes to provide an array of colour and light.