St Lawrence Market North

St Lawrence Market North

The new St Lawrence Market North will bring together courtrooms, offices and a large market hall as part of the St Lawrence complex.  Home to a successful farmers market and Sunday antiques market; the design aims to create a unified piece of the urban fabric.
A glass spine runs the length of the five-storey market building, designed by RSHP, forming a bright, glass-ceilinged atrium. This covered street runs through the centre of the site and opens up views and pedestrian routes from the South Market, through the new building and into St Lawrence Hall to reunify the complex. The market area is maximised to create a flexible, permeable space with glass doors to the ground floor that, when opened, effectively turn the building into an arcade allowing the market to spill out onto the neighbouring streets.  A mezzanine floor provides space for a gallery, a café and support functions as well as providing flexibility for additional market space, concerts, receptions and other events. A direct entrance to St Lawrence Hall allows the buildings to work together as a single facility.

On the upper floors, support accommodation is located on the second and third floors and the court rooms on the fifth floor, beneath the roof. The court rooms are accessed by the public from a wide balcony along the covered street and a separate entrance is provided for judges from their chambers on the floor below, avoiding the possibility of confrontation. The intention was to make the courts a tranquil space, through ample natural north light, generous volumes and views to the sky which together prevent the spaces from feeling claustrophobic and create a calm environment.

There has been a permanent market on the site since 1803 and the precedent for a civic use/market combination was set in 1831 when a new market building was constructed, incorporating an assembly hall at first floor level. In 1850, St Lawrence Hall was built to the north and the complex became the social centre of the city, hosting public meetings, concerts, lectures and exhibitions. The St Lawrence market quarter continues to have a rich street life and is popular with city residents and visitors alike.

Ivan Harbour describes the environmental strategy “The building will be low-energy. Its simple form makes for a straightforward energy system that will exceed the latest city codes for environmental design: the nature of the spaces is that they are designed for mixed-mode environmental conditioning and make the most of natural light and ventilation. Green roofs will minimise the heat island effect, and solar water heating panels will supply the potable hot water needs of the building.

The marketplace itself is essentially a covered outdoor space which can be enclosed or screened to allow other activities and functions and work with the seasons.”

Location Toronto, Canada
Type Mixed Use
Dates 2010 -
Total Area 20,000m² (Market 4,000m², Offices 4,000m², Courts 3,000m²)
Client City of Toronto
Executive Architect Adamson Associates
Design Architect Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Ivan Harbour, Lennart Grut, Ann Miller, Tosan Popo, Tadashi Arai

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