Historic market building set for major makeover

The St. Lawrence Market north building is set to undergo major renovations this year, starting with a demolition of the historic site.

Tom Davidson, constituency assistant to Coun. Pam McConnell, said once demolished, the site will be entirely rebuilt.

“The funding for the building has been confirmed in the city’s capital budget and once that is done, they’ll finalize the design,” he said. “We’ll first have to construct the temporary market in the south of the south market. Then they’ll demolish the building and reconstruct a new one. “

The new design started from a competition among architects in November 2009. The strategy for the redevelopment was published on the City of Toronto website and it was to replace the existing building with “a new multi-storey, multi-purpose building.”

The winners – Adamson Associates Architects and Rogers Stirk Harbour – designed a four-storey structure with a glass exterior, creating an open, indoor market that resembles an outdoor setting.

The winners were announced last June but the construction start date is yet to be determined.

City staff is still negotiating a contract to finish the final detailed design.

“The start time hasn’t been finalized,” Davidson said. “(There’s) still months to the end of this year until that happens.”

Originally built in 1803 as a market block, the St. Lawrence Market has undergone some renovation over the years, but never received a facelift of this magnitude.

Heritage Toronto communications director Rebecca Carson approves the new design.

“We have no concern over the demolishment, and we are very excited about the new building which design respects the rich history of the neighbourhood,” Carson said.

The expected date of the final completion remains in 2014.