Maple Leaf Square
|Maple Leaf Square|
Maple Leaf Square's North Tower
|Type||Public square, Hotel, Condominium, Office, Retail|
|Address||15 York St.|
|Town or city||Toronto, Ontario|
|Construction started||January 2007|
|Roof||186 m (610 ft)|
|Floor count||54 (topped out)|
|Floor area||1,800,000 sq ft (170,000 m2)|
|Grounds||2.1 acres (0.85 ha)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects with Page & Steele Architects (Architect of Record)|
|Main contractor||PCL Construction|
|Number of units||872|
Maple Leaf Square is a multi-use complex and public square located in the South Core neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is located to the west of the Scotiabank Arena on the former Railway Lands. The $500 million development was jointly developed by Cadillac Fairview, Lanterra and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), who own the nearby Scotiabank Arena. The complex has 1,800,000 square feet (170,000 m2) of usable space covering 2.1 acres (0.85 ha) on one city block.
Maple Leaf Square is named after Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, both of which play in Scotiabank Arena next to the square. During the 2014 postseason for the Raptors, the public square was nicknamed by fans as Jurassic Park (in reference to the film from which the Raptors team name originated). The square is now colloquially referred to as Jurassic Park in addition to the real name.
On September 25, 2014, it was reported that the official name of the square would be changed to Ford Square from Maple Leaf Square, after the Ford Motor Company of Canada's purchase of naming rights to the square. After public uproar to the rename, five days later, MLSE said that those reports were "premature and unfounded" and that they would not get rid of the name. Instead, they announced that the square would be rebranded as the Ford Fan Zone at Maple Leaf Square due to a five-year sponsorship deal with Ford Canada.
Construction on the project began in January 2007.
The two glass and precast concrete towers are 65 storeys, containing 872 residential units, a 167-room Hotel LeGermain Boutique Hotel, 230,000 square feet (21,000 m2) of office space, 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of retail space, a 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) daycare centre, a high-definition theatre that broadcasts Leafs Nation Network and NBA TV Canada 24-hours a day, and four levels of underground parking with nearly 900 spaces.
The retail complex includes a Longo's grocery, a 24,000-square-foot (2,200 m2) sports bar called Real Sports Bar and Grill, a sports retail store called Real Sports Apparel, a fine dining restaurant called E11even, and a branch of the Toronto Dominion Bank. For residents, there is a rooftop garden and swimming pool. The development was designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver status for the project's environmental sustainability.
The building partly served as inspiration for HarborCenter, a multi-use building built near KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York by Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills owner Terrence Pegula's Pegula Sports and Entertainment. The similarity is most noticeable in the design of the restaurant: HarborCenter's 716 Food and Sport was largely based on Maple Leaf Square's Real Sports Bar and Grill.
|Maple Leaf Square|
Fans watching the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Boston Bruins in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs
|Owner||City of Toronto|
|Location||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
The public square has a capacity of 5,000 people, which hosts pre-game gatherings and other sports-related events.
In conjunction with the project, the Scotiabank Arena itself on the side of Maple Leaf Square was renovated. The renovations included a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) atrium addition to the west side of the arena which abuts the plaza. The outside wall of the atrium features a 50 by 80-foot (24 m) video screen overlooking the plaza which was inspired by similar plazas at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, and Victory Park in Dallas. Games going on inside the arena are often displayed live on the outdoor screen.
The square was the first such plaza in Canada. It has been since repeated in Edmonton with a plaza in the Ice District by Daryl Katz, owner of the Edmonton Oilers and in Winnipeg with True North Square by True North Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Winnipeg Jets.
"Jurassic Park" and other public viewings
The public square holds special outdoor viewings of significant games like season openers and playoffs for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. During Raptors games, the public viewing area is known as "Jurassic Park." Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, who owns both franchises, puts concession and merchandise stands on the square during such occasions. These viewings happen regardless of if the team is playing at home or on the road. Popularity of this fan experience has risen over the years and has required heightened security and traffic control. Interest in attendance reached a new level on May 25, 2019 to watch the Raptors win Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals for the first time. Following the Raptors' historic win in the NBA Finals, the City of Toronto renamed a portion of Bremner Boulevard from York Street to Lake Shore Boulevard to Raptors Way.
- - Construction Update Archived July 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
- Maple Leaf Square Update | June 9, 2008 Archived September 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Toronto Raptors fans pack Maple Leaf Square for Game 7 against Brooklyn Nets Archived September 28, 2014, at Archive.today, National Post, May 4, 2014
- Levinson-King, Robin. "Why Jurassic Park is ground zero for Raptors fans". Toronto Star.
- "Toronto's Jurassic Park adds college vibe to NBA Finals". The Oklahoman. Associated Press. May 29, 2019. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
Officially, it's called 'Raptors Tailgate in Maple Leaf Square,' but it's better known as Jurassic Park.
- "maple leaf square gets renamed" (Sep 25, 2014). Global News. September 25, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- Maple Leaf Square will live on, MLSE says, Toronto Star, September 30, 2014
- Never mind what MLSE wants, the square's name stays the same, September 26, Toronto Star
- Maple Leaf Square will not be renamed Ford Square, CityNews Toronto, September 30
- Maple Leaf Square will not be renamed Ford Square after all, Global News, September 30, 2014
- Shoalts, David (September 10, 2008). "ACC could look better than Leafs this season". Globe & Mail. Retrieved September 12, 2008.[dead link]
- Blum, Benjamin (May 6, 2016). "Welcome, Raptors fans, to Jurassic* Park". CBC Sports.
- "Thousands gather to watch Raptors at Jurassic Park". 680 News. May 25, 2019.
- McQuigge, Michelle; Rizza, Alanna (May 25, 2019). "Raptors fans overload Toronto's Jurassic Park for Game 6, spill onto street". Global News.
- Stevenson, Jane (May 25, 2019). "Raptors fans gather at Jurassic Park 'to be part of history'". Toronto Sun.
- "The Raptors are getting their very own street in downtown Toronto". cbc.ca. June 19, 2019.