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Dundas Square, Meet Toronto Life Square

Posted by Ian / April 11, 2007

20070411_yongedundas.jpgLove it or hate it, the Metropolis on the north side of Dundas Square is going to be part of the city for a long time. Not to be outdone by every other square inch of the intersection, the building has sold its naming rights, and, in an odd twist of fate, may have done so in a manner that actually contributes to the area's sense of place. The rights were purchased by Toronto Life, which means there will be at least once space in the square that is, you know, reflective of Toronto.

The building will be called Toronto Life Square, which hopefully won't give the impression that life in Toronto is ugly and for sale. Since the word "square" is part of the name, I also hope it doesn't end up becoming synonymous with Dundas Square, thereby overriding the one name in the entire area that's derived from a public space instead of a corporation.

Set to open in the fall, Metropolis features 20 000 square feet of outdoor signage, and will also be home to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Image from



Jerrold / April 11, 2007 at 11:49 am
Why did they have to call it a "square" at all?

Couldn't they avoid confusion and branding bleed by calling it Toronto Life Complex or Toronto Life Center or whatever?

Is it even a square?
Snowman / April 11, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Maybe they're trying to position it as similar to 'Times Square' since there are so many comparisons. But I agree - I think something like 'Toronto Life Centre' would be more appropriate. Or re-name Dundas Square 'Toronto Life Square' and call this place 'Bad Boy Centre' or something. I'm actually surprised that Toronto Life would have the funds to afford naming rights for a prominent building like this - I'm sure it was a pretty penny.
alden / April 11, 2007 at 12:27 pm
I think because we already know that whole area as Dundas square we should just keep calling the area Dundas Square. That building is not much of a square, its a building. They should leave it as Toronto Life Centre, just like all the other Centres we have. Emagine: The Eaton Square, Hummingbird Square, Air Canada Square. Let's leave the squares to open spaces.
Matt / April 11, 2007 at 12:58 pm
I like it, I like the development in the Dundas Square region generally, and I'm looking forward to seeing this piece of the puzzle finally open this fall.
Johnny / April 11, 2007 at 01:04 pm
Favourite thing about the square is the free wireless internet access.
Dave / April 11, 2007 at 01:24 pm
Um, shouldn't it be called Toronto Life Triangle? That ugly piece of concrete in the centre of the "square" has three sides, not four.

kevin bracken / April 11, 2007 at 06:03 pm
actually, the city's official street naming guide allows any street that forms part of a square to have the "-square" suffix. notice how the southern border street of yonge-dundas square is actually called "Dundas Square"
japhet / April 11, 2007 at 09:38 pm
Yet another reason for me to avoid that area.
Chris / April 12, 2007 at 07:33 am
Are we living in a magazine yet?

I'm with japhet, thankfully this intersection is somewhere I find myself once every three or four months at most.
Steven. / April 12, 2007 at 09:59 am
Is passing through the "Square" the same as flipping through the magazine?

They probably have the same amount of ads on both.
Brandon / April 13, 2007 at 07:02 pm
why did they name it metropolis?!
why does it seem like someone's trying to compete with NY..
i dont like what they're doing with my city.. change is good, but try not to emulate others.. we're losing identity instead of gaining
Jason / April 16, 2007 at 03:29 am
I should point out that the Canadian Music Hall of Fame is no longer going to be in "Toronto Life Square". If I remember correctly, it was something to do with the area being too expensive.
Tom / April 18, 2007 at 05:43 pm
I also thought that Dundas Square was not in fact a public space and required permits of some sort from the City for anything to be done on the property. Something about how the City was able to disallow a protest or some such a few years ago?
May / April 23, 2007 at 08:50 pm
I'm really pissed off that this is going to be called Toronto Life Square! Very pathetic!! Couldn't they come up with something I little more creative! Leave it as Metropolis which sounded much better than the new name! Very disappointing is it imperative to have another square when we already have Dundas???? I THINK THERE SHOULD BE A VOTE ON CITY TV OR TORONTO STAR, SUN, GLOBE AND MAIL....the PEOPLE should decide!!!
sean / July 25, 2007 at 02:43 am
<p>In regards to the comment about not trying to emulate others, and losing identity. I love Toronto because of just that, it&#39;s a big quilt of influences and representations of other cities and cultures from around the world. Think about it, Toronto doesn&#39;t really have a unique identity all its own, its identity is formed from the amalgamation of other identities.</p><p>&nbsp;That&#39;s what I love about the city. And it&#39;s not as if massive Times Square-esque stores and advertisements are going up everywhere, just avoid it if you don&#39;t like it and quit with the complaining. This can only do good for the city. </p>
Jeff / August 1, 2007 at 01:15 pm
I thought I heard that the Canadian Music Hall of Fame had pulled out of the project.&nbsp; Can anyone verify this?
Kamran / October 1, 2007 at 09:31 pm
There too many squares popping up... Dundas Square was the first so that was fine.. now you got Toronto Life Square just around the corner and soon we'll have Maple Leafs Square :S.. can't these development people think of a more original name??
Sami / October 7, 2007 at 01:09 pm
Aw ye, opens in a few days
Karen / October 8, 2007 at 04:43 pm
I preferred the name Metropolis. Sounded much better. Also, I'm kind of dissapointed with the tenants that they've brought on board (except the Future Shop superstore and AMC)....they're all the same ones that are already in the Eaton Centre and surrounding areas.
Greg / November 11, 2007 at 04:08 pm
I agree with others, it is not a 'square'. The name Metopolis is great, but if T/L wants their name one it, then Toronto Life Centre works.
Dan Basil / January 15, 2008 at 09:23 am
Yet another architecturally disappointing building for Toronto. I wonder if they actually could have used cheaper looking materials, and saved even more money! Does the architects take any pride in their work, I think not! Let?s hope the ads cover every square inch of that dark grey slap of complete ugliest.
just one journalist / January 15, 2008 at 08:19 pm
I just tossed all my back issues of Toronto Life but I'm betting there's more than one anti-Dundas Square/Metropolis mention in the mag's past. Bet the editorial staff loved thie move by papa Joe.
Sarah / February 3, 2008 at 07:10 pm
This is stupid - the space is still a company - and if so many people hat ehte name then they should have thought about finding a way to buy it themselves. toronto life coughed up the money to buy the naming rights - and thus only they have the rights to name it or complain about it - if you want it renamed, then find a way to raise the money yourselves, people in toronto complain nonstop about our city, and now as we grow and develop people still complain. there are always going to be bills to pay and unless we want taxes to go up again, then buildings will continue to need sponsers as i am sure we all know toronto property tax is always going to be high.
sima / July 9, 2008 at 07:34 pm
who cares what they call it!
zeez / December 30, 2008 at 06:14 am
I want to see a Square Square
Mark / June 7, 2009 at 05:36 am
I've just found this awful visual price of sh__ pollution. I hope that this 'thing' has been stopped by the current economic conditions and never rises from the dead. this reminds me of the old adage, How can you tell when an architect has designed a piece of sh__? Answer...he covers it up with trees ( in this case giant f__king ads, flashing, screaming at you, and wasting huge amounts of energy.
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