Other photos were scanned and printed for insertion below the glass tabletops, forming collages. Meanwhile, temporary heritage boards were installed throughout the store, with permanent plaques expected later this year.
Outside, the existing brickwork of the building’s art deco façade was cleaned and restored. A new marquee recreates old globe fixtures.
“There wasn’t a lot left,” says Landini. “The marquee isn’t the original, but a restoration of an earlier version.”
“There have been several marquees on Maple Leaf Gardens,” says Fatica. “We went with the 1940s and ‘50s version.”
The 7,567-m2 (81,450-sf) Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens opened on November 30, 2011, almost exactly 80 years after the building had originally opened. Customers lined up for hours to see the reworked interior.
“I was there at 4 a.m. the day it opened and there was already a long queue!” says Landini. “The first guy in line had been there all night. I’ve never had a queue like that to see our work before. It has really been embraced by the public.”
“We are honoured to have had the opportunity to breathe new life into this iconic Canadian landmark,” said Galen G. Weston, executive chair of Loblaw Companies, at the grand opening. “This building and its community inspired us to create an innovative store concept that captures the spirit of its original four walls.”