First Canadian Place

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First Canadian Place
Toronto - ON - First Canadian Place.jpg
First Canadian Place prior to exterior re-cladding
Former names First Bank Building
Alternative names FCP
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 100 King Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates 43°38′55″N 79°22′54″W / 43.648611°N 79.381667°W / 43.648611; -79.381667Coordinates: 43°38′55″N 79°22′54″W / 43.648611°N 79.381667°W / 43.648611; -79.381667
Completed 5 June 1975
Owner Brookfield Office Properties
Management Brookfield Office Properties
Architectural 298.1 m (978 ft)
Tip 355 m (1,165 ft)
Top floor 289.9 m (951 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 72
4 below ground
Floor area 250,849 m2 (2,700,120 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 61
Design and construction
Architect Bregman + Hamann Architects
Edward Durell Stone & Associates
Developer Olympia and York
Main contractor EllisDon Corporation

First Canadian Place is a skyscraper in the the financial district of Toronto, Ontario, at the northwest corner of King and Bay streets, and is the location of the Toronto operational head office of the Bank of Montreal. At 298 m (978 ft), it is Canada's tallest skyscraper and the 15th tallest building in North America to structural top (spires) and 9th highest to the roof top, and the 95th tallest in the world.[1] It is the third tallest free-standing structure in Canada, after CN Tower, also in Toronto, and the Inco Superstack in Sudbury, Ontario. The building is owned by Brookfield Office Properties, putting it in co-ownership with the neighbouring Exchange Tower and Bay Adelaide Centre as well as various other office spaces across Downtown Toronto.

History and architecture[edit]

First Canadian Place is named for Canada's first bank, the Bank of Montreal. Designed by Bregman + Hamann Architects with Edward Durell Stone as design consultant, First Canadian Place was constructed in 1975 (originally named First Bank Building), on the site of the Old Toronto Star Building and the Old Globe and Mail Building. The site was the last of corners of King and Bay to be redeveloped in the 1960s and 1970s, and a major bidding war began over the property. The then little known firm of Olympia and York eventually obtained nearly the whole city block, though the election of reformist mayor David Crombie led to new rules banning skyscrapers and it took three years of lobbying before permission for First Canadian Place was granted. When completed, the building was nearly identical in appearance to Stone's Aon Center in Chicago, Illinois;[6] completed two years previous as the Standard Oil Building, the Chicago tower is of the same floor plan and clad in the same marble,[7] the only overtly visible difference being the vertical orientation of the windows, as opposed to the horizontal run of those on First Canadian Place.

First Canadian Place was the 6th tallest building in the world to structural top (currently 103rd) and the tallest building overall outside of Chicago and New York when built in 1975. It was also the tallest building in the Commonwealth of Nations until the completion of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1998. The Bank of Montreal "M-bar" logo at the top of the building was the highest sign in the world from 1975 until overtaken by the sign atop CITIC Plaza in 1997. The roof is still the location of a number of antennas used for radio and television broadcasting. The structure contains 29 elevators, and is one of only a few buildings in the world that uses the double-decked variety, and is connected to the underground PATH system.


The same white Carrara marble used on Aon Center was employed as an exterior cladding and interior finish for First Canadian Place, with approximately 45,000 marble panels weighing around 200 to 300 lb (91 to 136 kg) each. Foreshadowing what would take place with First Canadian Place in 2007, one of the marble slabs of Aon Center, when it was named the Standard Oil Building, detached in 1974, falling and penetrating the roof of a neighbouring building, resulting in an eventual recladding of the entire Aon Center in white granite between 1992 and 1994. This problem would surface at First Canadian Place as well, during an intense storm on the evening of 15 May 2007, a 1 by 1.2 m (3 ft 3 in by 3 ft 11 in), 140 kg (310 lb) white marble panel fell from the 60th storey of the tower's southern face onto the 3rd floor mezzanine roof below, causing authorities to close surrounding streets as a precaution.[8][9]

In late 2009, owner Brookfield Properties announced it would follow the example of Aon Center and replace, over three years, the tower's 45,000 marble panels with new ones in glass (not granite like Aon Center), those on the main expanses with a white ceramic frit and the corners in a bronze tint.[10][11] Brookfield and the co-owners also launched a multi-faceted rejuvenation program that will include "upgrades to the building's mechanical, electrical, and lighting systems that will redefine the standard for enhanced performance, comfort, and greening". FCP's common areas including upper and lower level entrance and elevator lobbies, the retail concourse and Market Place will also undergo renovation. Natural stone flooring, fritted glass accents, brushed metal handrails, new landscaping, and unique water features will produce an inspired and contemporary new environment. The rejuvenation program design architects are Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects, and Bregman + Hamann Architects are the Architects of Record.[11] The entire project cost is in excess of CA$100 million which will be paid by the owners. This extensive capital improvement project will provide a dramatic new exterior for FCP and eliminate the maintenance costs associated with marble upkeep.



The following Toronto-area broadcasters have their transmitters atop First Canadian Place:[13]

FM stations[edit]

# backup transmitter; main transmitter on CN Tower
+ synchronous transmitter; provides supplementary coverage to primary transmitter in Ajax

Amateur Radio[edit]

  • VE3NIB 443.500+ MHz 103.5 Hz PL (IRLP Enabled Amateur Radio Repeater)

TV stations[edit]

  • CKXT-DT (Sun News Network) UHF channel 52
  • CJMT-DT (Omni.2) UHF channel 69

Shopping Mall[edit]

According to the First Canadian Place website,[14] the lower floors of the building feature:

  • 120 stores in three floors of Carrara marble
  • 6 restaurants
  • over 30 eateries
  • medical centre, featuring an optometrist`s office and dental clinics
  • spas, beauty salons, and a barber shop
  • banking and financial planning services from the Bank of Montreal
  • dry cleaning and shoe repair
  • post office
  • FedEx and UPS dropbox
  • a parkette on King Street, between the FCP and the Exchange Tower


First Canadian Place under construction in 1975 
The new cladding being installed (from the top downwards) in 2011 
First Canadian Place's recladding project, nearly complete in November 2011 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b First Canadian Place at CTBUH Skyscraper Database
  2. ^ First Canadian Place at Emporis
  3. ^ First Canadian Place at Glass Steel and Stone
  4. ^ First Canadian Place at SkyscraperPage
  5. ^ First Canadian Place at Structurae
  6. ^ McMillan, Greg (12 June 2007). "Two buildings, two cities, one problem". The Globe and Mail. p. B10. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  7. ^ "First Canadian Place". The Skyscraper Museum. Retrieved 24 September 2009. 
  8. ^ Doolittle, Robyn (16 May 2007). "King St. to stay closed". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  9. ^ "Commuters Dread Second Day Of Gridlock As King St. Stays Closed". CityNews. 16 May 2007. 
  10. ^ Yang, Jennifer (2009-09-25). "Bay St. landmark to lose its marble". Toronto Star. Retrieved 25 September 2009. 
  11. ^ a b "Brookfield Properties Announces Recladding of First Canadian Place in Toronto" (Press release). Brookfield Properties. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  12. ^ Offices | Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
  13. ^ "Tower Site of the Week: First Canadian Place, Toronto". 12 August 2006. Retrieved 2014-05-02. 
  14. ^ "About Us". First Canadian Place. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 

External links[edit]