Big things are in the works for architecture and design in Toronto with a new courthouse approved for construction over the next several years.

Developer EllisDon Capital has confirmed that Renzo Piano Building Workshop will complete its first project in Canada, a courthouse which is elevated on columns, exposing tall glazed walls and a 20 metre high atrium. Long overdue, the current courthouse was built in 1967, and the new one will be close by.

The purpose behind the new structure and its grandiosity is to combine several legal facilities, currently scattered across the city, into one place.  This will help streamline courthouse services and make it a more effective and efficient experience for those involved, as well as free up other space around the city, currently occupied by said law courts.

Piano, an Italian architect who recently completed a similar project in Paris, and has completed such recognizable works as The New York Times Building, has been commissioned to complete the large tower block. In partnership with EllisDon Design Build, the contract is valued at over $950 million.  The construction is expected to start early this year and be completed by 2022.

This project comes on the precipice of several other development partnerships which the city is working to uphold as it seeks to generate large-scale city development projects.  Hariri Pontarini and Pinnacle, and Foster + Partners, are also reported to have projects in the works, while Sidewalk Labs has been commissioned by the city to design a high-tech smart city for its downtown core.

Whether you are waiting on a smart city, a new courthouse, or just a new look to the aging city features, it seems Toronto is stepping up to the challenge.  Combined with its plans for a high-speed rail and continued condo development, the city is progressing to world-stage caliber one structure at a time.

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