Canada Life Building

Infobox Skyscraper
building_name = Canada Life Building

| built = 1929-1931
use = office
location = 330 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario CAN
roof = 285 feet 87.0 m
top_floor =
antenna_spire = 321 feet 97.8 m
floor_count = 15
floor_area =
architect = Sprott & Rolph; Kuwabara Payne McKenna| skyscraperpage_id = |

The Canada Life Building is an historic office building in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The fifteen-floor Beaux Arts building was built by Sprott & Rolph and stands at 285 feet (87.0 m), 321 feet (97.8m) with weather beacon).

It is located at University and Queen Street in the city's downtown. Work on the new headquarters of the Canada Life Assurance Company began in 1929 and it opened in 1931. It was the fourth building to serve as the headquarters of Canada Life, Canada's oldest and at the time largest insurance company. Previously it had been housed in offices at Bay and King.

The Beaux Arts structure was the first of a series of planned structures along University Avenue, but the Depression halted these plans. When it was completed it was one of the tallest buildings in Toronto. It remains one of the largest office buildings in Toronto with windows that can be opened by the occupants.

Weather beacon

The building is perhaps best known for its weather beacon, installed on August 9, 1951. The beacon shines red for rain, white for snow, and lights running up or down it indicate a change in temperature.

The beacon's colour-coded translations of weather information provide onlookers with "predictions at a glance". The information is updated four times daily, seven days a week, by Environment Canada's Weather Centre at Pearson International Airport.

The device uses a simple two-signal approach to illustrate the city's weather forecast. A colourful beacon light located at the top of the tower forecasts approaching weather systems, while the second signal, displayed by the lights that are affixed to the support tower, indicates variations in temperature.

The beacon was the first of its kind to appear in Canada and was built at a cost of $25,000. The top of the beacon tower stands 321 feet (98 m) above University Avenue and, upon completion, measured third only to the Royal York Hotel and the 476-foot, 34-storey Canadian Bank of Commerce (the tallest building in the British Commonwealth until 1962) as the tallest building peak in Toronto. []

* Updated 4 times daily
* Steady green = fair weather
* Red = cloudy skies
* White flashes = snow
* Red flashes = rain
* Lights running up = rising temperatures
* Lights running down = falling temperatures
* Steady lights = steady temperature


Canada Life Tower is an addition to the building, built directly west of the original. It connects to the original building through an enclosed, elevated walkway; it totals 16 floors and was built by Kuwabara Payne McKenna. It was completed in 2005.

External links

* [ Virtual tour]
* [ Canada Life on]
* [ Canada Life Tower on]

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