The Allen Lambert Galleria, sometimes described as the “crystal cathedral of commerce”, is an atrium designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava which connects Bay Street with Heritage Square. The six storey high pedestrian thoroughfare is structured by eight freestanding supports on each side of the Galleria, which branch out into parabolic shapes evoking a forest canopy or a tree-lined avenue because of the presence of building facades along the sides of the structure.
The Galleria was the result of an international competition and was incorporated into the development in order to satisfy the City of Toronto’s public artrequirements. It is a frequently photographed space, and is heavily featured as a backdrop for news reports, as well as TV and film productions.
The parabolic, arched roof that Santiago Calatrava created for the assembly hall of the Wohlen High School in Switzerland is generally considered to be a precursor of the vaulted, parabolic ceiling in the Galleria.