Multinational stadium designer Populous has revealed the designs for a $500 million convention, entertainment, and esports center in downtown Toronto.
The venue is still unnamed but will sit on 4.5 acres of the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) grounds, a waterfront site on the northern edge of Lakeshore Boulevard that would also see a hotel tower rise at the project’s rear.
OverActive Media (OAM), an international media and entertainment company that owns both of Toronto’s pro esports teams (the Toronto Defiant of the Overwatch League and the Toronto Ultra of the Call of Duty League, which would call the new stadium home), is serving as the project’s developer.
“The design of the theatre was neither conceived as a sports arena nor an opera house, rather, a new typology that straddles the two— a state-of-the-art performance venue. The theatre architecture creates a merger of the old and the new. The old channeling the rhythmic repetition of historic landmark theatres, and the new, integrating the progressive forms of avant-garde twenty-first-century design. In combination, a symbiotic balance delivers a one-of-a-kind theatre experience, unique to Toronto and the world,” Jonathan Mallie, senior principal and lead designer for Populous, said.
The project’s centerpiece will be the multipurpose performance space, which Populous is promoting as being flexible enough to double as an esports arena and concert hall. OAM says it is aiming to host up to 200 events a year at the building once complete.