KESKUS International Estonian Centre (Open 2022)


Welcome! Teretulemast!

KESKUS Internatinoal Estonian Centre (Open 2022)

     Welcome to the new International Estonian Centre, KESKIS located at 9 and 11 Madison Avenue in downtown Toronto. The Center will consolidate the largest Estonian community in Canada.

     Southern Ontario is home to one of the largest community of Estonians in the world outside of Estonia. Contributing to Canada’s cultural diversity and economic diversity for more than 60 years Estonians worked hard to build a new life for their families. What was once a carbon copy of life in Estonia has evolved over the decades and generations to reflect a diverse community of those with Estonian heritage that actively engages with multicultural Toronto.

We Need a New Home:

Toronto’s existing Estonian House was created in the early 1960s by Estonian immigrants. These visionaries renovated and expanded a former schoolhouse to create a beloved gathering place where children could learn the language, culture and history of Estonia and where the community could gather. We owe these past generations a huge debt of gratitude for their sacrifice and tenacity.

After 60 years, the Estonian House has come to the end of its life. Expert consultation reports show that major capital repairs and extensive renovations are needed. In fact, over the last decade, community meetings and outside experts have delivered a consistent message—that the status quo is not a sustainable option for our community. Leveraging the value of the land is the only realistic option toward developing a long-term, sustainable solution.


Bring the Centre to life:

Award-winning, Estonian-Canadian architect Alar Kongats has developed a bold and modern design for the Centre. It integrates Toronto’s cosmopolitan flair with a distinct Nordic aesthetic. His is a modern, clean approach that uses space both beautifully and wisely. Natural, sustainable materials figure prominently in the design.


Estonians celebrate nature, so green space is an integral part of the design. This includes public outdoor space that can be enjoyed by the community and passers-by, and a charming green roof will be ideal for private events.

Building for the Future:

Early this year, Harbridge + Cross was appointed Construction Manager for the KESKUS project. Vice-President Bill Waters in charge of overseeing the project including show drawing, tenders, health and safety and the delivery of the project on time, within scope and on budget.

“I’m at the stage of my career that I enjoy complex projects the most and KESKUS is just that.”


A comparable H+C project to the KESKUS project is the Fort York Visitor Centre for the City of Toronto completed in 2015 which had multiple stakeholders, a tight site and innovated architecture, with a similar budget and timeline.