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Canada Life London: Barrier-Free Upgrades to the North Entry

Canada Life London: Barrier-Free Upgrades to the North Entry

The landmark Canada Life Building in London, Ontario occupies a prominent city block to the south of Victoria Park. The site is bounded by the busy streets of Dufferin Avenue to the north, Wellington Street to the east, Queens Avenue to the south, and Clarence Street to the west.

Architectural details, in Beaux Arts style, decorate the historic principal façades, showcasing the work of visionary London Architect John M. Moore. The building design employs a balance of symmetry and a hierarchical layout of spaces. At the main north entrance, users transition from the public realm into the building’s grand lobby, through a series of steps.

In prior years, an accessible entrance was installed on the rear side of the property, along Queens Avenue. However, Canada Life was committed to preserving the building’s heritage and promoting the principle of equitable use.

ERA was engaged to lead the design and renovation of the historic main entrance. An outdoor ramp and an indoor lift were installed. ERA employed matching and contrasting materials and details, where appropriate. The new limestone and metalwork were sourced with the objective of closely matching the colour, texture and finish of the existing. Contemporary materials, including glass and stainless-steel, were also provided where appropriate. The team also went above and beyond code requirements, by incorporating sensor lighting and heated exterior pathways.

Heritage and accessibility come into play as the new features enhance both the architectural value of the building and the experience of its users. Finally, the building’s landmark entrance in Central London welcomes all.

Location
London, Ontario
Client
Canada Life and GWL Realty Advisors
Consultants
Bronnenco Construction Ltd. (Contractor), Chorley + Bisset Consulting Engineers (Mechanical & Electrical), VanBoxmeer & Stranges Engineering Ltd. (Structural)
Date
2022–2023
Expertise
Staff
Michael McClelland/Andrew Pruss/Daniel Lewis/Marwan Sinno/Diana Roldan/Marie-Eve Beaudette/Kiera Hughston

Awards

  • London Heritage: Compatible Design Award, 2024

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