Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Canada

Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects and HOK Sports
Date Built
Opened 1999
40 Bay Street
Toronto’s Air Canada Centre is a multi-use facility built to replace the aging Maple Leaf Gardens.  It is home to the NBA Toronto Raptors and the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs.  It is also the home venue for Toronto’s professional lacrosse team and arena football team.  In addition the building is capable of hosting concerts, theatrical events and conventions.  The arena has a seating capacity of 19,800 for basketball and concerts and 18,800 for hockey. The building also contains themed concession stands, unique restaurants and kiosks, as well as an in-house brewery.  Since 2008 it has also had an $8-million, 17-screen high-definition video scoreboard, measuring 10 feet high by 17 feet wide.  The facility is capable of converting itself from an ice rink into a basketball court in 4 to 6 hours.

This state of the art sporting facility was built on the site of the former Toronto Postal Delivery Building built in 1941 adjacent to Union Station.  It was designed by Charles B, Dolphin, the chief draftsman of a number of Toronto’s iconic buildings including Union Station, the Royal York Hotel, and Maple Leaf Gardens.  The Art Deco building that he designed had a steel and concrete structure clad in Queenston limestone on a plinth of black granite.  To make way for the Air Canada Centre the Postal Delivery Building was demolished leaving only the south and east facades, which were protected structures (see below).

It was decorated with a series of bas-relief sculptures by Louis Temporale that depicted the history of communication and transportation in Canada.  The limestone panels remain although they have suffered  from road salt and air pollution over the years.



The building also has a sculpted frieze on the old facade featuring beavers and maple leaves.