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Building/Project Details

Building/Project NameToronto Dominion Centre, Ernst and Yonge Tower Construction / refurbishment date12/01/2017 Building/Project Size451630
Building/Project Typecommercial Address 222 Bay Street, Toronto, M5J 2W4 Toronto M5J 2W4 Region americas

Performance Details

Health and Wellbeing

Existing buildings or developments that demonstrate outstanding performance in improving the health, equity and/or resilience of people in local communities.

Achieved Certification Scheme: FITWEL

Tell us your story

The Ernst and Yonge Tower located at 222 Bay Street is a vital part of the Toronto Dominion Center community. With 31 storeys and over 480,000 sq.ft. of office space, this landmark tower was built in 1992 and has been awarded the BOMA Best Green Certification and LEED Platinum EB: O&M Certification. 222 Bay Street Tower’s elegant lobby is connected to the PATH system below with over 75 shops and steps to Union Station and the Subway system. The lobby is also connected to the Design Exchange which inhabits the original art deco stock exchange. Although 222 Bay Street Tower is not designed by Mies van der Rohe himself as other buildings in the TD Centre are, the design pays tribute to his aesthetic of “Less is More”. Our built environment is meant to be lived in. Mies’ buildings, beyond merely affecting our lives, endow them with greater significance and beauty. His buildings radiate the confidence, rationality, and elegance of their creator and, free of ornamentation and excess, confess the essential elements of our lives. In our time, where there is no limit to excess, Mies’ reductionist approach is as pertinent as ever. As we reduce the distractions and focus on the essential elements of our environment and ourselves, we find they are great, intricate, and beautiful. Less is more. A key part of promoting health and wellness within the building and achieving our certifications was the integration of biophilia in the design. Biophilic design recognizes the inherent human need for nature together with sustainable and universal design strategies to create environments that truly enhance life. Based upon research in multiple disciplines revealing that interaction with nature provides a variety of physical, psychological and cognitive benefits rarely found in built environments. Biophilic design attributes include: dynamic natural light, natural ventilation, access to open spaces, spontaneous action with nature, sensory connections to nature, complexity and order, mystery, prospect and refuge, fundamental natural forms, and natural materials. Emerging science is catching up to what our bodies have been telling us all along – that connection to nature and maintaining alignment with its rhythms, including natural light cycles that regulate our circadian system are vital to maintain good health. We now know that light in particular has an important role to play. Blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors has been one of the key tenets of modern architecture as demonstrated in the Toronto Dominion Centre and 222 Bay Street Tower. The large expanse of windows both at ground level and typical office floor brings in the natural lighting so important to the building users. The open exposure of the tower brings in natural lighting throughout the passage of the day and change in angle. This brings with it a dynamic and variable visual experience and stimulation in the brain. The artificial lighting in the TDC is of high quality that helps the user with concentration and creativity. Free-flowing movement between indoor and outdoor spaces is enhanced by multiple transition areas such as covered canopies, plazas, natural stone pavers that flows seamlessly between exterior and interior and stone veneer on interior walls that is seen from outside that visually and physically extends the livable space into the natural environment. The seamless continuity of the tower’s 5 foot vertical module along the entire façade transforms into the horizontal grid pattern of the granite pavers of the plaza. From each of the towers which transforms into a natural 5’x5’ grid that connects all the elements together into the warp and weft of a delicate tapestry incorporating approximately 30 different sized planters, trees and shrubs with solid granite benches connecting all elements as in a story line.

Submitter's Details

OrganisationB+H Architects Member of GBCCaGBC

“To develop a WELL Certified design within an existing building added layers of complexity to this project. We had to examine what conditions were already in place, and find creative solutions to make them work for WELL. While this can seem like a daunting task, 222 Bay Street serves as proof that it is possible to achieve these high standards even when doing a renovation. Additionally, 222 Bay St shows that when landscape planning and architecture are designed hand in hand, complimentary spaces are created. The natural environment is brought inside and the user engages with the landscape in a playful interaction. The landscape in the Plaza forms a mosaic of interior and exterior spaces that act as a refuge and oasis in the midst of the busy city. The interior and exterior spaces are woven together into a tapestry, forming a seamless mosaic of internal and external.”