Terri Meyer Boake BES BArch MArch LEED AP
Associate Professor :: Associate Director :: School of Architecture :: University of Waterloo

National Trade Centre /
Ricoh Centre

O&Y/SMG Canada

Toronto, Ontario


Project Information:

The National Trade Centre is Canada's largest tradeshow facility, with over one million square feet of connected usable space. The National Trade Centre opened in April 1997 and was funded through the Canada/Ontario infrastructure works program. The National Trade Centre is owned by the City of Toronto and managed by O&Y/SMG Canada.

The National Trade Centre continues a tradition started in 1858 with the construction of the Crystal Palace, the first permanent trade and exhibition hall on the grounds of present-day Exhibition Place. With more than 90,000 sq.-metres (1 million sq.-feet) of connected usable space, the $180 million project, owned by the City of Toronto, combines the old with the new. The centre incorporates Exhibit Hall and three other new exhibition spaces with a renovated Coliseum Complex, the Industry Building and an underground tunnel to the revamped Automotive Building. Facilities include the 6,200-seat Coliseum, a 100-seat presentation theatre, 24 dividable meeting rooms and four enormous halls, capable of holding the largest trade and consumer shows in the world. Above-ground parking is available for 6,900 vehicles and underground parking can accommodate another 1,300. Its location on Lakeshore Boulevard puts it close to 120 hotels and public transit, and not far from Pearson International Airport.

2004 -- Ontario Regional CISC Awards :: Honourable Mention Engineering Category
Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto
Owner: Board of Governors of Exhibition Place
Owner: Borealis Capital Corporation
Owner: Coliseum Renovation Corporation
Architects: Zeidler/Dunlop
Structural Engineer: Yolles Partnership Inc.
General Contractor: PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
CISC Fabricator: The Canam Manam Group Inc.
CISC Erector: Spark Steel Erectors Limited

Project Images:

View up exterior of glass towers at entry points.
View into the glass towers showing the exposed steel structure.

The project uses a combination of standard steel shapes, HSS and curved sections.
View into the specialty curved structure atop each of the glass towers.

The linear space that connects the entry points is roofed by a curved arcade.
The curved steel memebers are paired C channels separated by a central spacer.
An alternate entrance provides separate access to Ricoh Coliseum..
View up into the steel structure that covers the main trade centre exhibition space.
A steel framed roof bridges the space between the National Trade Centre exhibition hall and the Ricoh Centre.
The steel roof is partially held away from the historic facade of the Ricoh Centre by a skylight strip that also serves to naturally light/highlight the facade.
The steel structure that forms this gently curved roof is created with HSS pipe members that create a truss like structure (that appears almost like a space frame).
Close up detail of one of the truss connections.
The Ricoh Centre (rink space) underwent a massive renovation in 2003/4, resulting in a completely new roof structure.
Finished view of the Centre during the Royal Winter Fair.


These images are for educational use only and may not be reproduced commercially without written permission. tboake@sympatico.ca

Updated January 14, 2008