Architectural Credit: Page + Steele Inc., with Peter Dickinson as lead designer
Completed in 1956 as the Women’s Building and renamed in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Elizabeth Building was designed by the architectural firm Page + Steele Inc., with Peter Dickinson as its lead designer. Dickinson played a prominent role developing modernist architecture in Toronto during the 1950’s, completing some of the city’s most celebrated mid-century Modern buildings like the O’Keefe Centre (now Sony Centre for the Performing Arts). The Queen Elizabeth Building was one of the seven major structures added to Exhibition Place between 1948 and 1962 which exemplified the Modernist architecture movement in Toronto.
The building is composed of three sections: a two-storey administration building, the 1,300 seat Queen Elizabeth Theatre with a glass-walled foyer and sculptural spiral staircase, and a one-storey exhibition hall. It’s most striking feature is the folded plate concrete roof that enables the long spans required for the theatre and the exhibition hall. Punctuating the exhibition hall are spire-like structural towers which soar above the low lying hall.
The exhibition hall continues to play an important role during the Canadian National Exhibition as home to the arts, crafts, and hobbies displays.
To view a floor plan of the Queen Elizabeth Building, please click here