The team of designers, consultants, contractors and fabricators from Canada, the US and Europe were committed from an early stage to turning the concept design into a high quality piece of architecture. Engaging the specialist sub-contractors early on in the process enabled the team to produce a series of scale mock-ups where the precise details of the bridge could be analyzed and amended, and the quality standards could be set.
Communication and coordination were key to the success of the intricate design and incredible unique construction. In order to minimize disruption to this major arterial traffic route and dense commercial intersection, the bridge’s main structural components were assembled on nearby James Street and moved into place in one piece. Moving the 218 metric tonne bridge in place required a highly specialized hydraulic lift system given the minimal clearances on both the Eaton Centre and Hudson’s Bay sides. The entire process took several hours in the early morning hours on a weekend, shutting down this section of Queen Street. The remainder of work was done in place allowing the street to remain operable.
The structure revitalizes the intersection of Yonge and Queen Streets, elevating the public realm and pedestrian experience. Through its contribution to the urban landscape and public infrastructure of downtown, the project is an important milestone in the ongoing evolution of this key intersection and the Toronto Eaton Centre. The Bridge sets an exciting architectural precedent for creating an engaging streetscape within public space and upholds the idea that architecture can be an inspiration and catalyst for civic pride and urban renewal.