With Rogers’ plan to move Citytv, OMNI Television, and the Fan 590 to the southeast corner of Dundas Square, those familiar with the current streetfront studios on Queen Street have wondered if the former Olympic Spirit building will be opened up in a similar way.
Though merely an preliminary concept rendering, Rogers and Quadrangle Architects seem to have grand designs for the space, currently dubbed Rogers Television City, as evident in this image supplementing a February City Council report [PDF]. Multiple studios would be visible on the ground level and on the roof, with a ticker-style pixelboard banding the exterior. It seems that the rarely-used short-turn streetcar tracks running through the building must remain intact, though we wonder how the TTC will handle the inevitable crowds at such close proximity to the Dundas streetcar line. The tower mockup is also wrapped with a benign, multicultural “welcome” theme, but this is Dundas Square, so let’s not kid ourselves: it’ll likely be choked with ads.
When the doomed Olympic Spirit museum was built on the site, the “torch” tower was meant to generate revenue from third-party signage rights, some of which the City would share in (this net revenue never materialized). Built for $42 million, the building closed after only two years despite its select location.
Quadrangle is no stranger to television studio construction—they were responsible for the famed CHUM City building renovation, as well as facilities operated by TVO, CBC, and Corus. The Dundas Square renovation is slated to begin construction this spring, with a first-quarter 2009 completion date.
Thanks to Rami Tabello for the tip, via Jonathan Goldsbie.