Interior Design / Hospitality/Commercial Design / Contemporary Stone & Tile Design Magazine

Toronto shopping center gets tiled makeover

January 8, 2013

Stretching two full city blocks north and one city block west, Toronto Eaton Centre in Ontario is among Canada’s most recognizable landmarks, and one of the country’s best-known retail shopping destinations. With over 235 retailers, restaurants and services in the heart of downtown, Toronto Eaton Centre is the city’s premier urban destination. So when the time came for a renovation of the Centre, the job was a big one — a two-year long project to overhaul and update the look of the fashion center.

Queens Quay Architect, Ltd. served as the architect for the renovation. PCL was selected as the general contractor for the 200,000-square-foot project. York Marble of Toronto and Maple Group of Bolton, Ontario, formed a joint venture to provide sufficient manpower to set the tiles for such an enormous project.

The project consisted of tiling floors, walls and columns in the food court on the lower level, as well as the galleria for the retail shops on the street level and three upper levels. All of the setting products were from Mapei. The floors on the lower level, where the food court is located, were leveled with Primer L and Ultraplan 1 Plus. Topcem Premix and Planicrete AC were used as a screed to prepare the floor for tile setting. The walls in the restrooms in the food court were tiled with agglomerated quartz tile. This type of tile can only be set with the Granirapid mortar system. The tiles were grouted with Keracolor S. Ultraflex RS mortar was used to set the floor tiles in the food court.

The tri-color floor in the heart of the mall (main level and level 2) was installed using Mapecem Quickpatch for patching, Mapeguard 2 for crack isolation and soundproofing, the Granirapid mortar system for setting the tiles and Ultracolor Plus for grouting the joints. These same products were used for setting the floors on the main and upper levels of the mall. Granirapid was the best choice for the suspended floors on the upper levels due to its excellent deformability (S2). In addition, the installers renovated railings on the north side of the second and third upper levels, removing old paver tiles and leaving an area 8 inches wide and 4 inches deep. The crew re-leveled these areas with Planibond EBA and Mapecem Premix mixed with Planicrete AC.

Toronto Eaton Centre 
Job conditions
• Renovation of 200,000-square-foot shopping center
• Heavy-traffic areas to be renovated
• Installing over existing tile
• Uneven floor surfaces
• Water element installed — moisture protection required for installation
Products used (all from Mapei):
• Primer L
• Ultraplan 1 Plus
• Planicrete AC
• Granirapid
• Keracolor S
• Ultraflex RS
• Mapecem Quickpatch
• Mapeguard 2
• Ultracolor Plus
• Planibond EBA
• Mapecem Premix
• Kerapoxy 
Architect: Queens Quay Architect, Ltd., Toronto, Canada
Installers: York Maple of Toronto, Canada and Maple Group of Bolton, Ontario

An alcove-type space holds stairs between the levels. The former tiles were lead tiles with lead paint, and the replacement tiles were set using Granirapid. The white-tiled columns that run the length of the mall, and support the upper levels were also set with Granirapid. A water element occupies a large space on the main floor, and the owners had concerns about moisture in this area. To meet this challenge, the crews first applied Planiseal VS as a moisture barrier. Then they set all tiles in this renovated space with Granirapid mortar and grouted with Kerapoxy 100% solids epoxy grout.

Cadillac Fairview elected to put together a “Design Team” that would oversee the project from start to finish. Gaspare Clemenzi and Jeff McCoppen of Mapei played a critical role in making the initial proposal, providing installation recommendations and supporting with written weekly jobsite reports.

The renovation of the floors, walls, and support columns in the Toronto Eaton Centre gave the mall an attractive new look that has continued to attract shoppers to the best-performing shopping centre in Canada today in terms of sales per square foot.  

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