Keeping tabs on … Couture Condos

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Couture Condos

Couture Condos underground levels taking shape on January 24 2011


Frosty foundation: Their work keeps getting covered with snow, but contractors keep carrying on constructing Couture Condos at 28 Ted Rogers Way (the northernmost block of Jarvis Street between Charles and Bloor that was renamed in late 2009 in honour of the deceased media mogul; the Rogers Communications headquarters sit directly across the road). Designed by Graziani + Corrazza Architects Inc. and developed by Monarch Group, Couture will be a 44-storey glass tower wedged between a 30-year-old, 27-storey beige concrete apartment building and the new, recently-occupied black glass and steel X Condominium tower, itself 44 floors tall. Contrary to what the highrise development listing on the Monarch website has indicated for months, the Couture location is NOT in Etobicoke; I wish someone from Monarch would get around to correcting that glaring geographical mistake. What’s not mistakable is that Monarch picked a hot, in-demand downtown neighbourhood for its building. Besides X Condos, there are three other new condo towers within two blocks of Couture: Casa Condominium, Bloor Street Neighbourhood, and James Cooper Mansion Condos. And just a stone’s throw south, construction is set to start on the  X2 condo tower. With even more condo projects proposed for the immediate vicinity, Couture will certainly stand in good company when it’s finished. While I’m not thrilled with the building’s boxy design, I’m convinced it will significantly liven up and greatly improve the streetscape — the site used to be a parking lot, and the whole Jarvis/Charles area has a rather uncomfortable and “dead” feel at night. That will definitely change with hundreds of residents going to and from Couture. But I’m more concerned about the tower’s potential wind tunnel impact on this part of Jarvis Street, which I walk at least once a week. Since X Condos has been built, I have noticed that winds blowing down upper Jarvis Street have become more powerful — there are more of those sudden, strong gusts that suck the air out of your lungs, or wrench your umbrella from your grip on rainy days, than I recall from the days before X.  Once Couture is up, along with X2 half a block away, upper Jarvis Street might look great, but the canyon created by all the highrises could make it far from friendly to pedestrians. Below are renderings of Couture from the developer and architect websites, along with photos I’ve snapped showing recent progress on foundation construction.

Couture Condos

Couture condo tower rendering from the developer’s website


Couture Condos

Couture Condos foundation work on January 9 after a light snowfall


Couture Condos

Couture Condos foundation work on January 9 after a light snowfall


Couture Condos

Couture Condos foundation work on January 10


Couture Condos

Couture Condos foundation work on January 10


Couture Condos

Couture Condos foundation work on January 10


Couture Condos

Construction crane on Couture Condos building site January 24 2011


Couture Condos

Construction crane on Couture Condos building site January 24 2011


Couture Condos

Couture Condos construction progress viewed through a safety fence along the rear grounds of X Condos on January 24 2011


Couture Condos

Couture Condos construction progress on January 24 2011


Couture Condos

No workers on site January 24 because of the bitter cold temperatures


Couture Condos

Couture Condos construction progress on January 24 2011


Couture Condos

Couture Condos tower renderings from the building architects’ website



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