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Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) have selected the EllisDon Infrastructure consortium as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance and maintain the new Toronto courthouse project. The Request for Proposals was launched in October 2016.
The consortium includes:
The new Toronto courthouse will be located downtown at 10 Armoury Street, bordered by Centre Avenue and Chestnut Street, a very short distance from City Hall. The 6,600m2 site will house five existing provincial criminal courts operating across the city, replacing buildings unfit for purpose, subject to a great number of complaints and prone to delays.
This amalgamation will cost more than CAD1 billion (US$0.8 billion). The city has granted zoning permission for the courthouse to have a maximum height of 135m, with as many as 24 storeys and more than 70,000m2 of floor space.
Only the existing provincial court building at Finch Avenue West and Highway 400 will remain open once the downtown courthouse is completed. The Ontario government claim that it will save CAD700 million (US$562.9 million) in lease payments over the next three decades.
IO and MAG expect construction to begin in spring 2018, meaning that commercial and financial close should be secured in the coming weeks. The authorities will not announce the value of the contract until after financial close.
A Planning, Design and Compliance contract for the project was awarded to Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects Inc. and Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. (in a joint venture) in March 2017.
The design and construction phase of the project will include the provision of barrier-free access and installation of video conferencing, closed-circuit television and courtroom video/audio systems. The building will have a single point of entry with magnetometers, baggage scanners, continuous video surveillance, and separate corridors to ensure the security of all users.
Furthermore, EllisDon Infrastructure will improve the surrounding public and green spaces, and incorporate the unique heritage and history of the site into the design.
The project is the sixth courthouse construction to be overseen by Infrastructure Ontario, but by far more complex than its predecessors. The authority claim that amalgamating several courts into one state-of-the-art facility will reduce costs, make operations more efficient and effective, provide for equal access to services, and ensure the province's real estate portfolio is sustainable, accessible and efficient.