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Gehry unveils Canadian arts district concept

Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry has revealed details of a mixed-use scheme to boost the Canadian city’s arts district

The multi-year, multi-phase project will include new cultural, residential and retail spaces on a site next to the city’s historic Royal Alexandra Theatre. 

It is the vision of David Mirvish, founder of Mirvish Productions, which was set up in 1986 to produce shows at the neighbouring theatre.

The scheme will include a 5,500m² Mirvish Collection museum and a multi-floor facility for OCAD University.

Conceptual design consists of two six-storey stepped podiums, topped by three residential towers, ranging 80 to 85 storeys. 

Gehry said: ‘It is very special for me to be able to work in Toronto where I was born and to engage the neighbourhoods where I grew up. 

‘It’s especially interesting that this project involves the arts. That is always meaningful to me.  With this project, I wanted to create buildings that were good neighbours to the surrounding buildings and that respected the rich and diverse history of the area. 

‘I also wanted to make nice places for the people who live in and visit the buildings. David has an exciting vision, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.’

The site occupies the block between John Street and Ed Mirvish Way and a portion of the block between Ed Mirvish Way and the Royal Alexandra Theatre. It consists of six properties owned by the Mirvish family. 

As part of the plan, the Princess of Wales Theatre, owned and operated by Mirvish Productions, will be replaced along with adjacent warehouses. 


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