Toronto’s most famous mall is getting a little work done. 

Today, parent company Cadillac Fairview announced a $60-million refurbishment of the CF Toronto Eaton Centre's galleria skylight roof. 

The shopping centre’s existing glass roof will be replaced with the latest materials and technologies to improve energy efficiency while maintaining its classic design aesthetic, says Cadillac Fairview.

The project will be carried out in two phases, starting with the south end of the mall (Queen Street to Centre Court) in mid-January 2022 and work on the north end commencing in March 2023. (So, in other words, we can expect more construction-related closures on Queen Street in the near future...but that's another story).

Project an Extension of Eberhard Zeidler's Legacy

The refurbishment will involve Zeidler Architecture Inc. and Read Jones Christoffersen consulting engineers, with construction overseen by EllisDon Corporation. The news of the roof revamp comes days after the passing of the Eaton Centre's original architect, the celebrated Eberhard Zeidler. With his firm Zeidler Architecture front and centre to the mall's design yet again, his legacy will live on with the new look.

Tec galleria image1 1 822x1024Images provided on behalf of Zeidler Architecture Inc. (CNW Group/Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited)

"At Cadillac Fairview we are proud to continually invest in our properties to deliver a world-class shopping experience," said Wayne Barwise, Executive Vice President, Development, Cadillac Fairview. "The galleria's original design was inspired by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Italy and has served as a distinguishing feature of the mall since the centre's opening in 1977.  As custodians of this unique architectural element, our priority is to ensure the integrity of its design as we significantly enhance its functional performance." 

Many Toronto residents may actually be blissfully unaware of the Eaton Centre’s Italian influences when caught up in the shopping experience in the ever-evolving mall -- the largest urban shopping centre in North America (another fun fact). 

"As the original architects of the galleria, we're honoured to play a continuing role in one of the city's most iconic buildings. This revitalization will ensure the skylight roof is fit-for-purpose and sustainable in the long term, all while retaining its original architectural splendor," said David Collins, Partner at Zeidler Architecture Inc.

Famous Geese to Migrate to Temporary Storage

The Eaton Centre's beloved "Flight Stop" art installation, which soars above the shopping centre and depicts sixty Canada geese mid-flight and has come to serve as a visual identity for the centre, will be temporarily removed by an art restoration company for professional maintenance and placed in safe storage until re-installation.

Cadillac Fairview will also be investing $17 million to improve shoppers' movement and accessibility with the addition of three new staircases in the South Court and Urban Eatery, improvements to elevators, and the installation of a larger cab in an existing elevator to better accommodate strollers and mobility scooters 

The enhancements will facilitate convenient connections, while creating a more welcoming environment throughout the property, says Cadillac Fairview.  

Since 2010 Cadillac Fairview has invested more than $1.6 billion in CF Toronto Eaton Centre, including the redevelopment of the famous Queen Street pedestrian bridge, the purchase of the Hudson Bay Centre block and 401 Bay Street; the buyback of the Sears space and its redevelopment to accommodate Nordstrom, as well as the creation of the BMO Urban Campus opening in 2022, to name only a few of the revitalization projects undertaken.

Hopefully, its most recent renovation will contribute to the post-pandemic return of shoppers and dollars to the beloved shopping mall.