First Canadian Place

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:

20101112-TorontoStarBuildingBTR.jpg

Old Toronto Star Building, Toronto Archives — ca. 1961

2011104-USE-toronto-fcp--1972-17.jpg

The future site of FCP, Charles Dobie — 1972

2011104-USE-better-toronto-fcp-st-1972-18.jpg

Ditto, Charles Dobie — 1972

2011104-First_Canadian_Place_under_construction-3.jpg

Under construction in 1974Wikipedia — 1974

2011104-fcp-king-bay-1975.jpg

Brand new in 1975, Brookfield Properties — 1975

2011104-fcp-1975-lobby.jpg

The original lobby, Brookflield Properties — 1975

2011104-fresh-B+H_FCP-Panda-Associates.jpg

Towering above Toronto in 1976, B+H / Panda Associates — 1976

2011104-fcp-architects-fresh.jpg

Old logo, and pre-radio antennae, Via B+H / Panda Associates — 1976

Toronto Skyline

Toronto skyline, 1980sToronto Archives — Ellis Wiley Fonds, 1980s

2011104-fcp-scotia-kevin-la.jpg

The Carrara marble shows its ageKevin Lam — 2006

2011916-aerial-fcp-2008.jpg

Peeking above the TD Centre, Derek Flack — 2008

20100605 FCP Tower From Base.jpg

Work begins on re-cladding, Matthew Harris — 2009

20100605 FCP Sample Panels.jpg

Sample panels, Matthew Harris — 2009

20101004-First-Canadian-Place-Construction.jpg

The new facade is revealed, Derek Flack — 2010

2011104-fcp-re-clad.jpg

Close-up of re-cladding efforts, Brookfield Properties — 2010

2011104-fcp-danielle-scott-.jpg

Construction continues, Danielle Scott — 2010

2011104-fcp-wvs.jpg

Nearing completion, Sam Javanrouh — 2011

First Canadian Place

The view from the top, Tommms — 2011

2011104-fcp-idealist-dreamer.jpg

All shiny and new again, IdealistDreamer — 2011


Latest Videos



Latest Videos


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

Traffic in Liberty Village is so bad and it's only getting worse

Ex-employees crushed by Global News layoffs and 'Corus's vandalism'

Here's where you can get free sunscreen in Toronto this summer

Toronto fails to make any of the best cities lists in prestigious new ranking

Another Bank of Canada rate cut is expected next week and here's how it could affect you

Canadians should check their bank accounts for larger Canada Child Benefit payments

These Canadian banks have been affected by the global IT outage

New report says Canadian carbon tax did not cause hike in gas prices or inflation