In 2012, the City of Toronto commissioned SBA for several interconnected projects at the Alumnae Theatre at 70 Berkeley Street. The original building was constructed as a fire hall in 1905 and converted into a theatre in 1972. Initially, SBA was engaged to prepare a feasibility study to explore accessibility options for the theatre. The study examined the existing entrances, circulation paths and facilities of all four floors of the building and provided recommendations for upgrades.
The City approved the recommendations and subsequently engaged SBA to prepare a Heritage Impact Statement and oversee the implementation of the accessibility upgrades. Throughout the process, SBA and the City of Toronto, met with the Alumnae Building Committee on a regular basis to ensure the impact of the proposed alternations would respect the building’s heritage value.
Phase 1 of construction included the reconfiguration of the stage, new accessible washrooms and adjacent circulation. Phase 2 included the alteration of the lobby and main entrance (lowering of lobby floor by five feet) to create an accessible entrance for all theatre patrons attending the main auditorium. Site modifications were completed to create an accessible entrance from adjacent exterior courtyard and street.