We report the unprecedented observation and unequivocal crystallographic characterization of the meta-stable ligand loss intermediate solvento complex trans-[Ru(bpy)(κ2-btz)(κ1-btz)(NCMe)]2+ (1 a) that contains a monodentate chelate ligand. This and analogous complexes can be observed during the photolysis reactions of a family of complexes of the form [Ru(equation image)(btz)2]2+ (1 a–d: btz=1,1′-dibenzyl-4,4′-bi-1,2,3-triazolyl; equation image=a) 2,2′-bipyridyl (bpy), b) 4,4′-dimethyl-2,2′-bipyridyl (dmbpy), c) 4,4′-dimethoxy-2,2′-bipyridyl (dmeobpy), d) 1,10-phenanthroline (phen)). In acetonitrile solutions, 1 a–d eventually convert to the bis-solvento complexes trans-[Ru(equation image)(btz)(NCMe)2]2+ (3 a–d) along with one equivalent of free btz, in a process in which the remaining coordinated bidentate ligands undergo a new rearrangement such that they become coplanar. X-ray crystal structure of 3 a and 3 d confirmed the co-planar arrangement of the equation image and btz ligands and the trans coordination of two solvent molecules. These conversions proceed via the observed intermediate complexes 2 a–d, which are formed quantitatively from 1 a–d in a matter of minutes and to which they slowly revert back on being left to stand in the dark over several days. The remarkably long lifetime of the intermediate complexes (>12 h at 40 °C) allowed the isolation of 2 a in the solid state, and the complex to be crystallographically characterized. Similarly to the structures adopted by complexes 3 a and d, the bpy and κ2-btz ligands in 2 a coordinate in a square-planar fashion with the second monodentate btz ligand coordinated trans to an acetonitrile ligand.