Holt Renfrew



General Contractor

Govan Brown & Associates


Stadia Industries

Glass Supplier


Holt Renfrew – Flagship Store Toronto


In 2019 the revitalization of the iconic Holt Renfrew Flagship Store on Bloor street began. Holt Renfrew, the quintessential Canadian luxury department store founded in 1837 by William S. Henderson, is owned by Selfridges Group with 7 locations across Canada. As a leader in personal service experiences with a desire to inspire, their vision aligned perfectly with AGNORA. Both companies strive to deliver exceptional experiences and products with impeccable quality.

The project merged five different buildings into one large 190,000 square-foot complex highlighting the grandeur and luxury of the store’s offerings. At the heart of the building’s 250’ façade are AGNORA’s 20’ high glass windows, overlooking the street and showcasing the Holt Renfrew sign.

Complex Architectural Glass Makeups

Working with oversized architectural glass can come with preconceived challenges. Looking beyond limitations, the team at AGNORA dove into the details to better realize the vision of the architect, Gensler. In collaboration with Stadia Glass & Door, AGNORA suggested solutions to optimize the glazing and creative potential of the project while tuning into Holt Renfrew’s desire to inspire.

The project consisted of immense insulated glass units (IGU’s) with the following makeup:

- Exterior, 6mm Pilkington Optiwhite low iron glass married to 6mm Saint Gobain Cool-lite SKN 076 II lowE coated glass with a Kuraray SentryGlas interlayer
- Interior, a two-ply laminate of 6mm Optiwhite low iron glass also with SentryGlas structural interlayer.

The sealed IG units provide exceptional clarity, low deflection, resilience against break-in, and great thermal performance for oversize windows.

Nupress Fittings for Signage

To support the raised signage lettering on the face of the sealed units, AGNORA embedded Nupress threaded stainless-steel fittings (pucks) into the insulated glass units’ outboard laminate. A method pioneered by AGNORA, this technique was previously used on the H&M flaghip store’s sign on 5Th avenue NYC. This application was also a fit for this project. Reverse countersunk holes are CNC fabricated into lite one, and in the lamination process, fittings are placed within the countersunk holes as lite two sandwiched on top. The fittings are secured in place after the lamination process is complete.

Approximately 50 Nupress fittings were installed using this method. This process solution provides a clean aesthetic and increases time efficiencies during the installation process due to the precise pre-aligned fixtures.

The Logistics Element

AGNORA’s proximity to jobsites offers logistical wins for customers across North America and particularly Toronto. Same day shipping to Holt Renfrew allowed real time installation. Stadia installed the glass directly off the truck as the building became ready. This solved storage issues and allowed for more installation flexibility.

“An exciting project, involving logistical creativity and innovative implementation. This was not a project true to the original spec’. This was AGNORA doing what we do best, seeing opportunities to push the norms and create best outcomes for our customers.” – Kevin Nash, Senior Project Manager at AGNORA

This project was truly a collaboration of efforts, helping redefine a Bloor Street Icon, with AGNORA’s BIG thinking. And the results are dramatic. The signage seemingly floats over 24 long narrow lites each measuring 24”x228”.