An escalator that spans a full three levels is impressive. But when this escalator is also a free-standing, one-lane escalator, it becomes impressive and terrifying.
The elevator in question is the longest in a trio of elevator banks at Empress Walk, a mall in the North York Centre area of Toronto. The escalator is supported only at its ends and the sides are made of plexiglass so that passengers can see its inner workings. It is the second-longest freestanding elevator in North America, with the escalator in the atrium of the CNN building in Atlanta taking first place. Page + Steele, a part of IBI Group, handled Empress Walk’s design. A representative from the company recently told blogTO that the design was partially hand-drawn.
In addition to its escalators, Empress Walk is home to two condo towers atop a four-story retail complex containing a concourse and grocery store on its ground floor, three levels of shopping and a 10-screen Cineplex theater on its top floor. For those who feel uncomfortable riding the sky-high escalator, the mall also has an elevator and stairs.