Minimizing a Megaproject’s Urban Impact

Metro Toronto Convention Centre – South Building

Project Photos

Completed in 1997, the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre doubled the complex’s exhibit space by consolidating most of the additional area on three underground levels. Linked to the original facility (the North Building) by a tunnel and a bridge across a railway corridor, the South Building incorporates a light-filled, drum-shaped convenient new entrance for visitors. A large, elliptical skylight provides natural light to the subterranean floors and frames a dramatic view of the CN Tower from the Registration Level.

The South Building contains four exhibit halls, providing 260,000 square feet of space in total, and 34 meeting rooms. Facilitating efficient flows of people and materials throughout the expanded convention complex was a key driver of the South Building’s design. This fully accessible building was in the vanguard of sustainability at the time of its construction: it incorporated a district heating and cooling plant that utilizes cooling from Lake Ontario, and it met stringent requirements for energy and water efficiency, air quality, and storm water management.


As part of the project, the historic CPR (Canadian Pacific Railroad) John Street Roundhouse, water tower and sand/coal tower were moved to permit the underground expansion. They were reassembled to become part of Roundhouse Park, a 17-acre public space.

Additional work on the existing convention centre subsequently awarded to B+H included ground and lower-level refurbishment, a redesign of the Constitution Ballroom, new entrance and access connections to the expansion, and new elevator cores.