20 queen street west toronto

Toronto's Eaton Centre complex will soon look a whole lot different

A major component of the CF Eaton Centre complex in Toronto could soon look a whole lot different.

According to a permit application filed with the City at the end of April, one of the office towers sprouting from the busy downtown shopping centre is about to get a fresh new look.

The April 30 application proposes to replace all of the exterior glazing on the office tower and podium areas of 20 Queen Street West.

20 queen street west toronto

City of Toronto

The 1981-built Cadillac Fairview Tower at 20 Queen West rises 36 storeys above the mall, known for its distinct curved facades clad in mirrored glass and punctuated by a gridded frame of white mullions.

A frequent background building in views from Nathan Phillips Square, the tower's exterior has aged noticeably in its 43 years since opening.

20 queen street west toronto

Looking east across Nathan Phillips Square to 20 Queen Street West (right). Photo by A Great Capture.

Though there are no newly introduced plans to further renovate the mall associated with this building permit application, the application signals another upcoming visible change in the property's constantly evolving identity.

blogTO reached out to Cadillac Fairview seeking images of the replacement exterior, though representatives of the company confirmed that there were no renderings of the planned facelift that could be shared at this time.

Re-cladding of older buildings has become something of a sensitive topic among the city's architectural circles.

Some projects, like the re-cladding of First Canadian Place, completed in 2012, were applauded for deferring to the original architect's vision. Others have been met with less of a warm embrace, like a recent re-clad of an office building in Toronto's Financial District that one prominent architecture critic compared to a "crime."

While not associated with either of those projects, Cadillac Fairview's own renovation project just across the street from the Eaton Centre, at 401 Bay Street, was met with harsh criticism a few years back.

Here's hoping the team has opted for more of a crowd-pleasing refresh this time around.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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