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Royal Bank Plaza photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

Royal Bank Plaza photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

Royal Bank Plaza photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

Royal Bank Plaza photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

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Royal Bank Plaza

Built: 1976-1977
Designed by: Boris Zerafa
Type: Skyscraper
Maximum Height: 590 feet / 180 meters
Location: 200 Bay Street, Toronto, Canada
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T his skyscraper is one of the great visual spectacles in the Toronto skyline. It has the ability to bend, refract, reflect, and play with light in a way that other buildings aren't prepared to. That's because its exterior is covered in gold leaf. Its visage has been compared to a huge ingot of Spanish bullion, though New Spain never extended this far north. It's not just the façade that helps with this dance of light. The Royal Bank Plaza is composed of two triangular towers (one 41-stories, the other 26-stories) that help take advantage of the sun's low angle at this northern latitude and bounce the light around at unusual angles. Incidentally, the sun is the reason there is gold on this building in the first place. The skyscraper has 14,000 windows and because of that, incredibly high heating and cooling bills. Having 2,500 ounces of 24-carat gold baked into the glass helps insulate the building and makes up for the installation cost, though the bank got the original gold for less than CAN$100.00 an ounce. No one has ever stolen one of the windows even though each contains about CAN$70.00 worth of gold. That is because the process that puts the gold into the glass makes it worthless at the same time. It is not possible to separate one material from the other.

  • The Royal Bank claims there is more glass in this skyscraper than any other in the world.
  • There is enough gold on the surface of the building to mint 50,000 Maple Leaf coins.

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Quotations
"A palette of color and texture as well as mass."

-Boris Zerafa

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Pat McCaughey
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 @ 7:13am
Rating: Five stars.
There should be some comment about the building origionally going down to the level of the subway with a tropical garden and waterfall at the base.The building had an open center, an atrium. Offices were located around this large open area. The ceiling above the banking floor was more than 200 feet.In the early days there was a small handout describing the structure. It is a shame the interior was filled in. The building is still magnificent, but it was more so.

Marco Peron
Saturday, February 11th, 2006 @ 6:17pm
Rating: Five stars.
bellissima! Toronto e una citta piu bello nell tutto il mondo.


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