Entro Retrospective: Air Canada Centre

May 10, 2017


The Air Canada Centre (ACC) in Toronto is a premiere, 20,000 seat venue hosting resident sports teams the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and the NBA’s Toronto Raptors. In the late 1990’s, G+A Toronto worked with the owner’s representatives to design an initial sponsorship package to create the vision for a new arena in Toronto’s downtown core. When Air Canada, the building’s sponsor, won the bid to put its name on the facility, Entro incorporated their brand in the space through wayfinding and environmental graphics.

Entro’s design solution drew inspiration from Art Moderne architecture and the simple horizontal lines of the original Postal Delivery Building (PDB) that was partially retained in the design of the stadium. Fluted stainless-steel panels in major signs were picked up from an original application in the PDB’s marble column bases; and the building’s stone bas-relief sculptures inspired the application of rondelle forms throughout the signage program.

A major challenge was timing, as we were required to pause our work while MLSE decided how to integrate a dual-purpose hockey/basketball arena instead of the originally planned basketball-only facility. That left only nine months to redesign, fabricate and install the complete program prior to the ACC’s grand opening. It all came together thanks to our long working relationship with a dedicated signage supplier, and the trust and support of a great client.

The Air Canada Centre is one of many projects featured in our book Cultivating a Design Legacy: The First 50 Years, to be released soon. Email toronto@entro.com to reserve a copy.