MaRS Phase 2 is on the rise

Those of you in and around Toronto have likely noticed a large and very busy construction site beside the current MaRS building—the future home of MaRS Phase 2. As the project coordinator for this massive undertaking, it’s my job to stay current with the latest progress on the site, not quite down to the last rivet, but almost!

Geoff Matus and Shalana Morton

This is the first blog in a series designed to keep you informed as the building reaches skyward. In future blogs, the Phase 2 team will tell you about its interesting features (design elements, environmental considerations, etc.). Today, I’d like to give you a snapshot of where we stand currently.

Since the announcement of the Phase 2 re-start in July 2011, the construction team has been working in full force. We’re already at the sixth floor!

Here I am with MaRS board member Geoff Matus getting a close-up view of the progress on site.







MaRS Phase 2 will contain 20 storeys of office and lab space. Floors five to 20 are all similar in floorplate, making them easier to form and, therefore, faster to build. We will now be completing one floor every 10 days, working toward a projected occupancy date of the fall 2013.

Site on February 2, 2012


Phase 2 will use an Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling system, which uses the icy waters of Lake Ontario to cool buildings during the hot summer months. This system reduces the electrical demand for our cooling system and is more environmentally conscious.

This progress photo shows our Enwave connection coming into the basement of the building, along with the associated heat exchange equipment:

Enwave cooling system








The future Queen's Park subway station



Subway station

Public transit users will be interested to hear about the new Queen’s Park subway entrance. While the street entrance will reopen later this year, the connection from the lower concourse will not be available until the building opens in 2013.




What’s to come

In addition to the rising concrete superstructure, we’ll see the Heritage Building restoration unveiled later this winter. Work on the building envelope will begin this summer.