The building was designed by architectural firms Guernsey Architects and Baldwin & Franklin. This two-storey 68,000-square-foot facility houses the team’s front office as well as two full size basketball courts, locker rooms, training and medical facilities, and a player lounge with a full service kitchen and dining room.
Another feature of the BioSteel Centre is a “technologically advanced cognitive operations centre” powered by IBM Watson. Through interactive screens and mobile devices, Raptors management and operations professionals get a comprehensive view of all pertinent data, such as player information, team and league statistics, trade simulation and contract management. The data and associated insights are visualized through an interactive conference table-top and curved wall of dynamic touch screens within the BioSteel Centre and also on mobile devices.
The facility is named the BioSteel Centre after the corporate sponsor BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc. The BioSteel logo is featured on the top right corner of the team’s practice jersey, the first time a partner has appeared there.
In addition to the Raptors use of the BioSteel Centre, the facility is also used by community groups as well as featuring their own programming. The Welcome Toronto tournament is an invitational that is open exclusively to top tier Ontario Basketball Association teams. The event is an immersive brand experience that focuses on art, community and basketball.
An artwork installation on the exterior northeast corner of BioSteel Centre features five Abstract basketball hoops fabricated from bent steel pipe and rolled steel sheet coated in polyurethane in orange by artist Niall McClelland. McClelland explains his vision for the artwork: “The thinking behind the sculptures is create an impression of post-game detritus where a team of powerful players (ie. actual Raptors) tore through the court with the dominating strength of their play, leaving the court a twisted, snapped and wrangled ruin in their wake. The resulting effects of the sculptures will be eye catching, dynamic and interactive.”
For more information on the BioSteel Centre visit: NBA/Raptors
Sources: Wikipedia and NBA/Raptors
George W. Gouinlock (1861-1932) was born in Paris, Ontario. Gouinlock began his career in Toronto with the architectural firm of Kennedy and Holland in 1886. In 1888, he set up a practice with G.W. King, but from 1901 until 1921 Gouinlock practised alone.
In the early 1900s, Gouinlock was approached by Toronto City Council to redesign the west end of the Toronto Industrial Exhibition (later known as the Canadian National Exhibition). Many of the buildings on the site at the time were wooden structures that were not meant to be permanent. Between 1902 and 1912 Gouinlock transformed the western end of the exhibition grounds with fifteen new structures set amidst broad boulevards and an open plaza. Gouinlock’s architectural plan was heavily influenced by the Beaux-Arts classical design he had encountered at Chicago’s World’s Columbia Exposition in 1893.
Unlike other Exhibition Place buildings by George W. Gouinlock, the Fire Hall and Police Station was not designed in the Beaux-Arts style. Instead, it has an eclectic architectural design featuring a clock tower, polychrome brick banding and a shallow pitched copper roof. The Fire Hall and Police Station has Arts and Crafts design elements. Its red brick exterior is designed in contrasting colours and textures and includes Tudor style detailing executed in wood and stucco. The building was also designed with wide entranceways, allowing easy access to the building for people and vehicles.
Although the Fire Hall and Police Station has undergone several planned alterations, such as one major restoration in 1981 to bring the building to Ontario Building Code standards as well as having modern, roll-up doors installed, the structure's basic character remains intact.
The Fire Hall and Police Station is divided into two sections. A detachment of the Toronto Police Services occupied a portion of the Fire Hall and Police Station year-round for a period of time from 2004 to 2013. In 2012, a detachment of Toronto Fire Services began to occupy the Fire Hall on a full time year round basis. Prior to 2012, Toronto Fire Services were only on site during the CNE. During the CNE Toronto Fire Services provide educational programming to visitors. In 2016, a detachment of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation division took up residence in a portion of the Fire Hall for use as administrative services.
The Clock Tower of the Fire Hall and Police Station is currently undergoing restoration.