STAFF WRITER – The GTA Construction Report
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of the Attorney General have issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a consortium to design, build, finance and maintain a new Toronto courthouse.
Located steps from St. Patrick subway station, directly north of the courthouse at 361 University Ave., the new courthouse will bring together many of Toronto’s Ontario Court of Justice criminal courts operating across the city. Amalgamation of justice programs and services will reduce operational and facilities costs, make court administration more efficient, and better serve the community.
IO says in a news release that “the new courthouse’s design will be modern and ac-cessible” with features such as:
• video conferencing to allow witnesses to appear from remote locations and in-custody individuals to appear from jail;
• closed circuit television to enable children and other vulnerable individuals to appear before the court from a private room;
• courtroom video/audio systems to allow counsel to display video evidence recorded in various formats and for the simultaneous viewing of evidence;
• a single point of entry with magnetometers, baggage scanners, continuous video surveillance, and separate corridors for judiciary, members of the public and the accused for security reasons; and
• barrier free access to all courtrooms.
The RFQ is the first step in the process to select a team to deliver the project. Submissions will be reviewed to shortlist project teams with the design and construction experience, as well as the financial capacity to deliver a project of this size and complexity. Shortlisted teams will then be invited to respond to a request for proposals (RFP), expected to be released in the fall.
IO’s recent archaeological excavation of the new Toronto courthouse site recovered thousands of artifacts, mainly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The new courthouse will be located at 11 Centre Ave., bordered by Chestnut and Armoury streets.
IO will be installing artwork on construction fencing for the new Toronto courthouse to help commemorate the downtown site’s rich cultural history.
The courthouse will be designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard with a focus on energy efficiency, healthy indoor environments and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.