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How Downtown Decorates for the Season

There’s no place like King and Bay for the holidays

Photography by Eric Mutrie

With their marble-clad lobbies and cushy furniture, the Financial District’s soaring office towers sparkle and shine all year round. But bank buildings such as the Toronto-Dominion Centre and First Canadian Place are at their most enchanting in December, when poinsettias and artificial snowflakes aplenty transform the downtown landmarks into spectacular winter wonderlands.

Below, we tour the well-decorated plazas of 6 skyscraper complexes to see how they are celebrating the holidays in style. Click through the slideshow above to see even more festive office decor.

Shown above: a trio of golden Christmas trees dazzle outside of the Toronto-Dominion Centre.

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Marshmallow World
While we seem on track for a green Christmas this year, the pure white plaza at First Canadian Place (100 King St W) makes a decent stand-in for an idyllic winter landscape. The building’s gleaming retail space is filled with modern snowflake chandeliers hung from swooping green ribbons. Designed by the Christmas decor specialists at Studio Artefact, the ice crystal lights are joined by a massive Christmas tree displayed in the front lobby.

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Rest Ye Merry Gentleman
When it comes to Christmas decorations, the Toronto-Dominion Centre (66 Wellington St W) keeps with the “Less is more” philosophy preached by its architect, modernist Mies van der Rohe. Clusters of simply-decorated trees are exhibited in the lobbies of each of the complex’s office towers, while an understated wreath holds court above a row of van der Rohe-designed Barcelona chairs in the centre’s banking pavilion.

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Oh, Christmas Trees
Rockin’ contemporary takes on the trad Yuletide evergreen abound at the Sun Life Centre. Covered in oversized metallic baubles, the palatial tree installed at 200 King St W nods to the building’s golden elevators and orb-shaped pendants. A wreath made of similarly shiny ornaments hangs against a nearby marble wall. Across the street at 150 King St W, a tree bling-ed out with lustrous icicle and snowflake-shaped decorations takes cues from the silver finish of that lobby’s lava lamp-esque lighting fixture.

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Let It Snow
With Snowfall, Toronto duo Studio F Minus brings oversized, LED-lit snowflakes to Brookfield Place (181 Bay St). A six-metre-high sculpture is joined by sixty-odd flakes of various sizes hung throughout the building’s lobby. The designs take inspiration from the Y-shaped buttresses that support the Allen Lambert Galleria’s Santiago Calatrava-designed ceiling. A tree suspended above Sam Pollock Square’s central fountain is another striking attraction, comprised of five floating rings each decked with glittering icicles.

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Hung With Care
Giant ornaments dangle above the covered outdoor squares at either end of Scotia Plaza (40 King St W). A pair of moose light sculptures stationed at the King Street entrance brings some rustic Canadian character to the heart of downtown.

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Merry X-Mas
While located a few blocks west of the Financial District, Queen Richmond Centre West (134 Peter St) proves to be just as impressively-decorated as downtown’s office buildings. In the glass atrium, the Sweeny &Co-designed development’s dramatic X-shaped steel delta frames are joined for the season by oversized baubles wrapped in swirling strings of lights, created by Display Arts of Toronto.

Happy holidays from all of us at Designlines!


Categories: Urban Update
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