Storm Water Facility


Situated in Toronto, the Storm Water Quality Facility (SWQF) will treat urban run–off from the new West Don Lands development. While the project represents state–of–the–art handlingand treatment of stormwater, the design for the facility enclosure and site also elevates the spatial role of the infrastructure, evoking other historic infrastructural works—the R.C. Harris Treatment Plant, the Bloor Street Viaduct, and the Hearn Power Station—whose architectural character has helped define Toronto’s identity. The site, on the northeast corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and Cherry Street, will house a facility comprised of four major elements. The first is the stormwater reservoir, a 20-metre diameter shaft covered by a radial steel grate that acts as an inverted siphon and receives untreated storm water from the surrounding development. Directly above is a discrete pump building perched on the edge of the reservoir. 


Finally, the most prominent elements of the facility are the stormwater treatment plant itself and the surrounding ground plane of stone paving that provides vehicular access. The design for SWQF takes these constituent parts and unifies them into a whole that renders the infrastructural function legible, didactic and aesthetically compelling. SWQF is thus part of a new face of Toronto, in which leading environmental performance, award-winning urban development, and world-class design operate together.


Clients: Waterfront Toronto, RV Anderson

Location: Toronto ON

Completion: in progress

Architects and Landscape Architects: gh3

Consultants: RV Anderson (structural, mechanical, electrical, civil)



2011 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence


gh3 Team: Pat Hanson, Raymond Chow, Joel Di Giacomo, Byron White, Jeffrey Deng, Andrew Lee, DaeHee Kim, Bernard Jin, Bryce Gracey