222 Jarvis Street Sustainable Building Renewal

Toronto, Ontario
Ontario Realty Corporation
50,000 m2 | 540,000 ft2
Scope of Service:
Full Architectural Services


Zero Footprint Re-Skinning Award, Finalist Large Commercial Category, 2010

This comprehensive revitalization project transformed an imposing example of 1970s brutalist architecture, formerly known as the Sears Building, into a sustainable, light-filled workplace for Ontario government staff. The project has become a flagship for government planning initiatives to transform downtown buildings into sustainable office buildings, while also acting as a catalyst for revitalization of its Jarvis Street neighbourhood.

The extensive renovations included removal of parts of the building to create a new four-storey feature lobby. A new entrance canopy includes a dramatic five-storey glass wall that is suspended from the upper building. Defining the street edge, the wall, complete with a fritted pattern super-graphic of the street address, complements the original architecture while creating a contemporary and iconic image for the facility. WZMH achieved an improved working environment by introducing a skylight above centrally located escalators to provide a significant increase in natural light deep into the interior of the building’s large floors. Interconnected, open-concept floors foster a sense of workplace community and interdepartmental collaboration. In addition to mechanical and electrical upgrades, energy-efficient glazing further contributes to the building’s transformation into LEED Gold, Class A office space.