No More Buildups To Greenbuild; It's Here


The buildup is over; Greenbuild has opened in Toronto. I will be heading out to tweet and report from the Convention Centre for the next three days, and round up my buildup posts herein.

green roofs

A tour of Toronto's best green roofs: Buildup To Greenbuild: The Green Roofs of Toronto


Rob and Doug Ford, the Mayor and his brother, propose dumping a decade's planning on the waterfront for a new vision of ferris wheels and monorails. Fortunately they gave up on this one pretty quickly. Buildup to Greenbuild: A New Vision For The Toronto Waterfront

falling glass

A batch of bad contaminated tempered glass starts spontaneously exploding, showering the streets. Building Up To Greenbuild: Bring Your Hardhat And Watch Out For Raining Panes


A history of Toronto's waterfront, and how the convention centre got to be where it is, how it is. Buildup To Greenbuild: A Waterfront Of Broken Dreams

Here is a little more detail on the convention centre that never got into a post:

Why is the convention centre so ridiculous?

It is complicated. When they proposed the first half of it, the north half in the eighties, it was very controversial. The original architects designed a blank box and everyone was upset; the local Toronto Society of Architects objected to the design and you don't want to know what pressure was applied, what happened to the TSA president at the time, but he never got a good job again and died young. Then because of the uproar, Eb Zeidler was brought in to jazz it up with a glass facade, a dramatic improvement. It was never designed for expansion, and had a parking garage constructed up against the railway tracks to the south. The railways are very powerful in Canada, and have entrenched legal rights.

When the Convention centre outgrew its north building, the only place to go was south of the tracks, in land that was designated for parkland. So they went down, and proposed burying the convention centre underneath the park. I cannot find any record of what this must of cost, but it has to have been extraordinary. But the result is, to get from the original North convention centre to the south, you have to go up escalators to get high enough to get over the parking garage and the rail corridor, and then go down, down, forever down to the underground convention centre to the south. If you think it is bad as a visitor, imagine what it is like as an exhibitor, waiting endless hours for your turn at the elevator. I did it in winter when I sold prefabs and it is hell.

As I said in my earlier post on the development of Toronto, the convention centre encapsulates the history of development of Toronto's waterfront, how entrenched interests and architectural compromises create really lousy results, and you will feel it every time you get on an escalator.


A guide to the important websites you need to know to find your way around Toronto's restaurants, bars, and politics. Buildup To Greenbuild: Sites To See


Buildings worth seeing that I have shown in TreeHugger. Buildup To Greenbuild: Green Buildings From TreeHugger Archives

paul raff

One of a number of interviews I did with interesting Toronto Architects. Buildup to Greenbuild: A Conversation with Paul Raff (Video)

urban design awards

The Toronto Urban Design awards are a good tour of great new things to see. Buildup To Greenbuild: See The Winners of the Toronto Urban Design Awards

levitt goodman

Oops! When I did my roundup of TreeHugger posts on Toronto architects, I forgot one of the best. Buildup To Greenbuild: Levitt Goodman Architects From The Archives


I interview a former teacher at architecture school on the porch of Jane Jacobs' house. Buildup to Greenbuild: A Conversation with Terry Montgomery (Video)


I preview a booth that is hanging around Toronto between IIDEX Neocon and Greenbuild. At IIDEX Neocon: A Sneak Peek At DIRTT's Terrific Transformer Wall


My recommendations for tech in Toronto: get an international plan. Check Your Tech Before You Come To Greenbuild


In interview one of Toronto's hot young architects. Buildup To Greenbuild: A Conversation with superk├╝l Meg Graham

dave leblanc

Dave LeBlanc, the Architourist at the Globe and Mail, talks to four architects and me. Buildup To Greenbuild: The Architourist and 5 Views of a Green Toronto


Greensource Magazine asks and I answer: Buildup to Greenbuild: How Green Is Toronto?

Finally, my map of Toronto with all of the places discussed in these posts:

View Lloyd Alter's Picks For Greenbuild 2011 in a larger map

See you at Greenbuild!

Follow me on Twitter and Friend me on Facebook

No More Buildups To Greenbuild; It's Here
The buildup is over; Greenbuild has opened in Toronto. I will be heading out to tweet and report from the Convention Centre for the next three days, and round up my buildup posts herein.

Related Content on