The changing face of First Canadian Place
Since late 2009, First Canadian Place has seemed a bit like a giant snake shedding its skin, as construction workers have slowly peeled off its marble exterior in favour of energy-efficient glass panels. Brookfield Properties, owners of the building, embarked on the $100 million project when marble panels started to fall from its upper floors. Since then, it's been fascinating to track the crew's progress as they replace floor after floor of the old material.
As work on the re-cladding nears completion, FCP's been given a new vibrancy that's pretty grand if you're into nerding out over skyscrapers. So, by way of paying tribute to its new look, I thought it'd be fun to take a look back at the origins of the Canada's tallest skyscraper.
Built between 1972 and 1975, FCP ultimately took the place of the Old Toronto Star Building, a beautiful art-deco structure that would be even more sorely missed today if it didn't get such a worthy replacement. When it was completed, FCP was one of the 10 tallest buildings in the world. Its white marble exterior and distinctive corners make it quite similar in appearance to the Aon Center in Chicago, save for the difference in window orientation on each building (horizontal vs. vertical) and the fact that re-cladding efforts at the AC in the 1990s used white granite.
Here's a brief history of First Canadian Place in photos:
Old Toronto Star Building, Toronto Archives — ca. 1961
The future site of FCP, Charles Dobie — 1972
Ditto, Charles Dobie — 1972
Under construction in 1974Wikipedia — 1974
Brand new in 1975, Brookfield Properties — 1975
The original lobby, Brookflield Properties — 1975
Towering above Toronto in 1976, B+H / Panda Associates — 1976
Old logo, and pre-radio antennae, Via B+H / Panda Associates — 1976
Toronto skyline, 1980sToronto Archives — Ellis Wiley Fonds, 1980s
The Carrara marble shows its ageKevin Lam — 2006
Peeking above the TD Centre, Derek Flack — 2008
Work begins on re-cladding, Matthew Harris — 2009
Sample panels, Matthew Harris — 2009
The new facade is revealed, Derek Flack — 2010
Close-up of re-cladding efforts, Brookfield Properties — 2010
Construction continues, Danielle Scott — 2010
Nearing completion, Sam Javanrouh — 2011
The view from the top, Tommms — 2011
All shiny and new again, IdealistDreamer — 2011