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200 University Avenue


A new Opera House began the process of regeneration of University Avenue, which the city has designated as the AVENUE OF THE ARTS.

200 University is a historic office building designed during the mid-century modernist movement in Toronto by its esteemed architect, John Parkin.  

Elias + was hired to rejuvenate the adjacent city sidewalk and entry platform sequence into the building that had underground parking below. The slab needed repair due to salt damage.  

The Miesian entry steps designed by Parkin had deteriorated. Elias+ rebuilt the concrete and steel cantilevered steps using Parkin drawings.  

As part of the regeneration of the avenue and deteriorating parking slab, a sculpture plaza was proposed.  

New granite pavers defined a platform for art, and enriched the plaza materially. The paving pattern created a dynamic perspective visually lengthening the plaza. A linear row of native red maples and stainless steel salt tolerant planters created the edges and boundaries of the plaza. They enlivened the space and added colour and texture to the minimal modern aluminum building. Refinished seating steps generated social interaction and invited community participation.

To increase this participation, we suggested that city art schools contribute to a revolving display of student public art pieces.