Toronto Life Square just about ready to light up

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The Globe and Mail, Canada’s largest national newspaper, has a piece in its Arts section looking at the impending opening of what was called Metropolis and is now Torontol Life Square, a retail and media wall complex at at the corner of Yonge and Dundas in Toronto.

The whole thing is an effort to turn the intersection into a scaled-back version of Times Square, and with this latest addition of strcutures, it actually is starting to look a little like it.

Once the promised panoply of signage is installed, however, the square’s concentrated, one-two combination of advertising and retail will be stupefying. When complete (a phased rollout will see the entire facility open in spring ’08), the square will boast an astounding 20,000 square feet of outdoor signage (including Canada’s largest outdoor high-definition video screen), 30 interior screens ranging in height from one to two metres, as well as shops (a 12,000-square-foot Shoppers Drug Mart) and restaurants (a 7,500-square-foot Jack Astor’s) of a size rarely seen outside of suburban power centres. Fifty separate tenants will occupy both retail and office space. Adjoining Ryerson University will use the AMC movie theatre – a 24-theatre multiplex is scheduled to open next April – as classrooms.the arguments

Leger Xavier, vice-president of leasing and marketing at PenEquity Management, points out that high-profile tenants, such as the Adidas flagship store, will have the unique opportunity to “leverage bricks-and-mortar with media in an environment that the consumer can engage in.”

In other words, retailers can market and sell their products all in one strategically placed fell swoop. PenEquity’s website bills the complex as an “advertiser’s dream.”

The guys over at Alchemy have been working with PenEquity on content while Bell is the technical lead, working with guyts like Barco and Capital Networks.

The wall of media will add to an intersection that already has at least a half-dozen (probably double that, but I live about 60 kilometres away so I can’t stick my head out the window and look) LED boards — some of them crappy, some of them really bright and brilliant.

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