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Toronto South Detention Centre

The Toronto South Detention Centre (TSDC) is being built to replace the Don Jail, which is located on the south portion of the Mimico Correctional Centre property in Etobicoke.

EllisDon awarded this approximate $12,000,000 complete precast structure project to The Prestressed Group on January 20, 2010.


The planning, design, and detailing processes for the three precast towers of TSDC were an inclusive joint effort of Stephenson Engineering Ltd., Toronto, Zeidler Partnership Architects, Toronto, and The Prestressed Group, Windsor. A structural solution for three towers began to develop through regular meetings beginning on February 1, 2010 in Stephenson Engineering’s offices in Toronto. The connection details, component sizes, and finishes were developed through these regular engineering co-ordination meetings. The use of architectural precast concrete for the exterior of the towers, gymnasium, and secure area was explored during the evaluation and development of precast structural details.

Following the setting of the structural parameters, the architect continued to work on the final design of the interior spaces and the detailed design session continued to address the fine structural details and overall character of the building. One competitive benefit of precast over other structural materials was the cost effectiveness of selecting a system that would provide an architectural precast concrete finish on the non-load and load-bearing panels, which were integral to the structural system.


The owner wanted hidden connections between precast elements for the maximum-security detention centre as much as possible due to nature of the facility. During the engineering design process, The Prestressed Group and Stephenson Engineering developed many concealed and hidden types of connections.

This project features an extremely wide and interesting range of precast/prestressed concrete components integrated into a complete precast structure. The speed, flexibility, and high quality of precast components all contributed to successful completion of the project. No other material or solution could have provided such a high quality structure on a very tight schedule. The solution utilizes all of precast concrete’s abilities to shorten a schedule.


The precast concrete floors were framed with 10” deep, 48” wide prestressed hollowcore slabs/solid slabs and a two- to three-inch field-applied concrete topping slab. The design allowed for an efficient and shallow seven-floor structure, including three mezzanine levels. The structure was framed with precast walls, beams, wall beams, shear walls, columns, architectural insulated panels, and architectural spandrels.

The TSDC is a male maximum-security remand facility (two years less a day) and will include:
•1,650 beds for adult inmates
•320 bed intermittent centre
•Food preparation area
•Laundry facilities


The Prestressed Group supplied and installed 257,825 square feet of four-, eight-, ten-, and twelve-inch hollowcore and/or solid slabs, to be produced at Prestressed Systems Inc. in Windsor, Ontario, and 418 beams, 144 columns, and 734 wall panels (architectural and structural), to be produced at International Precast Solutions, LLC in River Rouge, Michigan.

PRECASTER: Prestressed Systems Inc.
ENGINEER: Stephenson Engineering

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