TORONTO—The skyline around Toronto’s Exhibition Place grounds was transformed recently as the roof of BMO Field’s south concourse was raised, in what is being described as a feat of engineering. On Feb. 21, the south canopy, a massive structure weighing over 490 tonnes, or 980,000 pounds, was lifted in tandem by two cranes during a critical lift.
The two lattice boom crawler cranes have a combined lifting capacity of 1,000 tonnes, explains a release from PCL Constructor’s Canada Inc. (Toronto), and were able to simultaneously lift and then crawl the 377 by 68 foot canopy from the foot of the south concourse. It will now be incorporated into the roof structure that will cover the east, west and south stands.
"A critical lift such as the one we performed to raise the roof on BMO Field is an orchestration of precision and patience to ensure that every element goes exactly as planned," says PCL Toronto senior project manager Neil Barrows in a statement. "We have been methodically planning for this moment for over two years in co-ordination with our partners to ensure it’s done right for the safety of all workers and the enjoyment of fans."
Following the Toronto FC’s 2015 season, PCL was on site in mid-October to complete the second phase of the two-year project that has seen 8,400 seats added to the east grandstand, a continuous concourse level, kitchen and enhancements to washrooms, concessions, and executive VIP spaces, the release reads. The second phase of the project has mainly focused on creation of the canopy roof. The east and west canopies were built on-site in 100 by 40 foot sections and lifted into place from the stadium’s exterior to prevent damaging the field, PCL explains.
Canam Heavy has provided a broad range of services on Phase Two of the expansion, the company explains, including design-assist, detailing and project management services, building information modeling (BIM), as well as the fabrication of 3,600 tons of steel roof components.
The steel erection is also being handled by one of Canam’s steel erection companies, Central Steel Erectors. They have teamed up with Local 721 Ironworkers throughout the BMO Field project for the erection of various structural steel components.
The steel is being fabricated at Canam’s St. Gédéon de Beauce location in Quebec along with some of Canam’s partners.
"The two-year renovation of BMO Field is a tremendous project for our teams, our fans and for the entire city of Toronto," said Bob Hunter, chief project development officer form Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. "The next few months will be exciting for us all, to see the roof raised after years of planning, and it will be a very proud moment in May to see TFC take the field in front of a brand new, and sold out, BMO Field."