2020 UDAD 🏆 Awards

Runner-Up: CN Tower Retail Shop | II BY IV DESIGN

The CN Tower Gift Shop is located in the base of one of the world’s tallest free-standing structures, and hosts over 2 million visitors each year. Guests are invited to explore a multi-sensory environment infused with Canada’s most notable cultural and geographic iconography. From first approach up the entrance ramp and beyond the ticket booths, the dynamic ‘Northern Lights-inspired’ LED-lighting display captures guests’ excitement and imagination with a burst of colour transitioning across a suspended linear metal 3D-grid formation. The installation is ever-changing and thematically programmable in-house, reflecting the capabilities of the exterior lighting of the tower.

Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2020

CN Tower Retail Shop
Interior Design Built


Keith Rushbrook 

Design Team
Keith Rushbrook and Dan Menchions



©David Whittaker

As visitors continue to move around the mezzanine level, open to the grade level below, their gaze is directed down into the retail space through video monitors strategically placed, flush-mount atop vertical ‘Iceberg’ display formations on the periphery, and the voluminous ‘City Grid’ constructed through the centre of the space.

The City Grid display structure is the central feature in the retail space, filled with speciality products produced by Canadian artisans from coast to coast that pays homage to the nationally recognized iconography. The black metallic 3D-grid assembly, made entirely from scratch proof resistant recycled metal, includes red transparent plexi-glass panels and solid white plexi-glass light boxes that highlight informative attraction facts and statistics. The structure extends upwards from a base made up of display shelving, conjoining with the Northern Lights installation and framing a large mosaic of the Canadian flag. This design is made up of a variety of inlayed faceted tiles with a vertical triband of red surrounded by a white ceramic-tile boarder inlayed into the oak floor, all in a tribute to Canada’s preeminent national symbol that represents unity, tolerance and peace.

One of the most important aspects of the overall project was to create a design that reflected the reality of an everchanging world. Incorporating sustainable features with socially responsible practices was an essential part of the design process. Thoughtful materials and finishes (such as anti-bacterial choices for high touchpoint features) were selected to help with maintenance and operations to create a clean and safe environment. Bringing in natural light, conceiving smart use of spaces, and establishing a sense of security and calm to make the most of the interior environment are all features that were incorporated into this project.

The CN Tower Gift Shop has received significant praise by international and local visitors, who enjoy the improved authentic details and products that proudly celebrate Canadian heritage. The firm has created an experience that successfully embodies the uniqueness and excitement of the nation within the base of the CN Tower. A new retail legacy is born, with enduring benefits worthy of the increasing global reputation and stature of Toronto, Canada.

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