TD Centre toronto

The 54th floor of the TD Centre is a 1960's Toronto time capsule

The Toronto-Dominion Centre may be one of Toronto’s most recognizable landmarks, but its 54th floor is a well-preserved mid-century modern marvel that is rarely accessible to the public.

The towering TD Centre is a testament to Toronto’s evolution as a financial capital, serving as the global headquarters for Toronto-Dominion Bank since 1968. Over the years, the building has seen a lot of change, but its carefully maintained 54th floor has remained a piece of history, unchanged since opening day.

The area is open to the public just once a year during Doors Open, and the long line-up to get a glimpse of this enigmatic space is proof of its ongoing allure. 

TD Centre torontoDesigned by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a German-American architect and furniture designer, the TD Centre and its executive 54th floor are reflective of Mies’ minimalist approach. 

His desire to establish visual harmony with clean lines is evident in the structure of this floor. Mies was particular about everything from the floor plan to the design of the furniture.

TD Centre torontoAt first glance, the immaculate 54th floor resembles any high-flying corporate office. As you begin exploring it, it slowly reveals itself to be a significant part of the city’s history that continues to remain relevant.TD Centre 54th FloorThe Boardroom reception area is the first thing you see as you enter. The views from this height are breathtaking. You’ll see a sea of skyscrapers in front of you and the city revealing itself just beyond them. 

TD Centre torontoThe artwork in the reception area includes Inuit art and offers a welcome splash of colour in an otherwise largely monochrome space. 

TD’s admirable art collection includes works such as Composition by Jean-Paul Riopelle, Playing Around with A Gong by Claude Toussignant and Long Voyage vers La Nuit by Jean Paul Lemieux.

TD Centre torontoThe chairs in this area are original Barcelona chairs, an example of Modern design classics.

They were first designed in 1929 by Mies and German Modernist designer, Lilly Reich. They were initially crafted for the German Pavilion at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain.

All these years later, even as interior design has evolved, the 54th floor’s Barcelona chairs manage to remain remarkably contemporary. 

TD Centre torontoThe Boardroom area also features wooden paneling and a long boardroom table with several Brno chairs that were also designed by Mies and Reich.

TD Centre torontoAgain, despite being relics from decades ago, these chairs also seamlessly blend into our modern aesthetic. 

TD Centre torontoThe table, a marvel in itself, is made with five sections of solid English brown oak sourced from the Broadlands Estate in Hampshire, England.

Given how large and difficult to handle the panels were, they had to be brought up to the 54th floor on a crane before the windows were installed. 

TD Centre torontoThe entire floor here is made with a single piece of travertine marble imported all the way from Italy.

TD Centre torontoThe Chairman’s Lounge was intentionally designed to have the most spectacular, uninterrupted views of the city. 

It was once the office of TD Chairman, Allen Lambert, but he switched to a lower floor eventually, after growing tired of the long elevator rides.

The uninterrupted views from the office didn’t last long either, especially since the very construction of the TD Centre ignited a skyscraper battle of sorts. 

TD Centre torontoAll the big banks in the city wanted a stately building to call their own as they competed with the TD Centre’s towering structure. 

Soon, CIBC commissioned architect I. M. Pei to design Commerce Court West, which opened in 1972, standing 26 feet taller than the TD Centre.

TD Centre torontoThe Bank of Montreal and ScotiaBank followed suit, erecting their own mammoth structures in an attempt to eclipse the TD Centre. 

TD Centre torontoWhile the views from the 54th floor were slightly hindered, the TD Centre’s charisma is arguably still unmatched. The 54th floor holds within itself a grace and elegance that’s hard to top, and remains one of the best time capsules of 1960s Toronto anywhere.

TD Centre 54th Floor

Photos by

Fareen Karim

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