Toronto is hoping that a new commercial building, christened last week on long-dormant, city-owned land, opens the door to new and higher-end jobs in creative industries along the waterfront.
Dubbed Corus Quay, the gleaming glass-clad building sits on 2.5 acres at the edge of Lake Ontario next to Redpath Sugar, which still processes a popular basic - sugar from the Caribbean.
At the eight-storey headquarters for Corus Entertainment, however, the product will be a modern basic - radio and TV programming. Popular channels such as YTV, Treehouse, TELETOON and Discovery Kids will have a new home.
Corus will consolidate 10 existing locations and more than 1,200 employees into the $150-million site. The new 500,000-square-foot office and broadcast centre was designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, and will seek to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold designation of the green building rating system.
In addition, the building will boast several green roof areas, a massive five-storey green living wall as well as public art installations created by the British artists Troika.
"Corus Quay is the kind of development that Build Toronto will be looking at in the future as we focus on adding value to underutilized properties, stimulate the creation of desirable jobs, and incorporate sustainable development practices in our projects," said J. Lorne Braithwaite, CEO of Build Toronto.
Created in 2008, Build Toronto aims to attract business to surplus lands and rehabilitate neighbourhoods and polluted areas.
Toronto Mayor David Miller praised Corus for having "the courage and foresight to be the first" new building in the district.
Corus Quay fast facts
Location: On the waterfront in downtown Toronto. South of Queen's Quay just east of Lower Jarvis Street across from Redpath Sugar.
Address: Temporary construction address 125 Queens Quay East. New street in front of Corus Quay still to be named.
Name: Official building name is Corus Quay.
Size: 500,000 square feet, eight-storey building.
Construction: AECON Buildings Architects: Diamond and Schmitt Architects.
Project cost: $150-million.
Completion: Scheduled completion December 2009 - full occupancy spring 2010.
Tenant: Corus Entertainment Inc.
Architects: Tenant interior space Quadrangle Architects Limited.
Retail space: One café by north lobby, one waterfront restaurant by south lobby.
Owner/developer: City of Toronto Economic Development Corp. (TEDCO), Toronto's former economic development corporation.
Co-developer and project manager: Morguard Investments Limited.
Site servicing and landscaping: Waterfront Toronto.
Jobs created: Approximately 400 construction jobs created for this project.
Build Toronto: Toronto's new economic development corporation.
Environmental: Development seeking to achieve LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation.
Public Art: Artistic team of Troika from Britain commissioned to create public art for the building thereby contributing to the City of Toronto's public art program