Bar Centrale di Terroni

Train Cars, Tracks, and Platforms

Located just south of the restored North Toronto CPR Station originally built in 1916 at Yonge & Summerhill, Bar Centrale occupies a long, narrow street front space reminiscent of a train platform. The concept is built around an extraordinary collection of wines and itself belongs to the collection of GPA designed Terroni Restaurants in Toronto. The ground floor space becomes a kind of salon or anteroom to the elevated experience of the main restaurant, the latest Terroni that rather unconventionally occupies the second and third floors above.

CPR North Station 1916 (Summerhill LCBO)

The intimate dining experience of Bar Centrale is tightly carved out between a robust, long wine bar and a folding glass convertible storefront, much like a compact train car pulled up to a station platform. Along the platform, one is surrounded by elements that evoke nostalgia for train stations of the past; the abstracted wood train car behind the bar carrying refrigerators of wine and deli goods, and the re-imagined ‘box car’ transporting wine along two steel rails held above the stair.

Striated reclaimed wood flooring of Queens Warf Hemlock salvaged from the historic Bathurst Street pier, sets the platform for the train car of elevated banquettes complete with overhead luggage racks. Blackened steel plates are inserted here in the herringbone-patterned wood floor and suggest a sudden shift of seemingly fixed objects along the would-be platform. The ‘departure board’ is re-conceptualized and reinstated as two prominent elements within the space. A flap board by Small Design is located above the doors leading to the exterior patio and features the new arrivals of the wine bar. The feature ceiling composed of rotating, triangulated ceiling panels flips independently like a destinations flip board that turns to set the mood over the course of the day.

Each face of the triangular sections is treated with one of four colours or white oak and can be rotated individually so that together and apart, they transform the spirit of the room as they change along the length of the space. The heavy zinc top of the CNC sculpted marble bar is now scaled for comfortable eating from early morning to late night. Entering the bar from the west end of the long, linear space, one gets the sense of being on a binario or train platform that plays on the emotional anticipation of departing or arriving.

Project Facts

  • Client

    Terroni Restaurants

  • Location

    Toronto, Ontario

  • Size

    13,938 sq.ft.

  • Status


  • Sub-Consultant Team

    Structural — Atkins + Van Groll

    Mechanical & Electrical — BK Consulting

    Code — Larden Muniak Consulting

  • General Contractor

    D’Andrea Consulting

  • Photography

    Terroni Restaurants

  • Artist / Graphics

    Graphic Design – Small Project Studio