Category Archives: Bloor-Yonge neighbourhood

Condo tower building sites squeezing traffic on construction-weary Charles Street East

Construction hoarding outside 42 & 45 Charles Street East  Toronto

September 1 2012 : One-way Charles Street squeezes into a single narrow lane while hoarding and security fences cramp the already-narrow sidewalks along the facing condo construction sites for ChazYorkville, left, and Casa 2 right

 

45 Charles Street East Toronto

September 1 2012: Hoarding has surrounded the ChazYorkville site at 45 Charles East since last fall, when demolition started on a 45-year-old, 8-storey Modernist-style office building that formerly occupied the property  …

 

ChazYorkville condo tower excavation

… now the site of a large excavation that gets deeper each day

 

 42 Charles Street East Toronto

August 31 2012: Hoarding was installed on the north sidewalk, along the front of the office building at 42 Charles, in late August …

 

42 Charles Street East Toronto

… where the 9-storey brick building, once administrative offices for the YMCA, will be demolished to make room for the 56-storey Casa 2 Condominiums

 

Near 42 and 45 Charles Street East Toronto

August 31 2012: Cars try to squeeze past a dump truck waiting its turn to enter the ChazYorkville site and pick up a load of soil from the excavation

 

Charles Street East Toronto

August 31 2012: Motorists and pedestrians alike will face disruption and traffic congestion on this block of Charles Street for at least the next three to four years …

 

Charles Street postal station February 26 2012

… and possibly much longer, if Canada Post sells Postal Station F at 50 Charles East, right next door to the Casa 2 site, for residential highrise redevelopment

 

Tight squeeze: Residents on and near the block of Charles Street between Church & Yonge Streets have reluctantly resigned themselves to at least four more years of dirt, dust, noise and traffic congestion, courtesy of two condo tower construction sites practically within whispering distance of each other on opposite sides of the street.

Construction of the 47-storey ChazYorkville condo tower commenced last fall when demolition crews destroyed a Modernist-style office building that had occupied 45 Charles for more than four decades. Foundation shoring and drilling work started in the spring, and excavation activity has been underway since May. 

The same process is set to repeat itself directly across the street where hoarding was installed in late August along the public sidewalk in front of 42 Charles. Demolition of the 9-storey brick office building that presently stands on the site will start this fall, followed by shoring and excavation for the 56-floor Casa 2 Condominiums tower.

 

 

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Pit stop: The One Bloor condo tower excavation

One Bloor condos

 September 1 2012: A new month starts with major excavation work remaining in the southwest third of the One Bloor condo tower construction site

 

Still digging: People frequently ask me if foundation building work has started yet on the 75-storey One Bloor condo tower. The short answer, “not yet,” clearly seems to surprise most, who typically ask in response: “What’s taking so long?” I suppose Torontonians are anxious to see a tower finally rise from the site since it has been exactly four years since the retail and restaurant buildings that formerly occupied the block were demolished. People don’t seem to like seeing a big empty space at one of the city’s prime downtown intersections.

The mixed-use condo and retail building is a project of Great Gulf Homes, and was designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects.

My most recent One Bloor construction update post was published on June 16 2012.

Below is a tower rendering that appears on the One Bloor project website, followed by several more pics I shot of the excavation during the Labour Day Weekend.

 

One Bloor condo tower website rendering

This illustration of the Hariri Pontarini-designed tower appears on the One Bloor website

 

1 Bloor

September 1 2012

 

1 Bloor

September 1 2012

 

1 Bloor September 1 2012

September 1 2012

 

1 Bloor

September 1 2012

 

1 Bloor

September 1 2012

 

1 Bloor

September 1 2012

 

 

Pit stop: Nicholas Residences condo site

Nicholas Residences

September 1 2012: Walls are taking shape at the bottom of the excavation for the Nicholas Residences condo tower, seen here from the southwest corner of the construction site

 

Nicholas Residences September 1 2012

A view of the irregularly-shaped southeast side of the property

 

Building walls: When I last checked in on the Nicholas Residences construction site, in my May 1 2012 post, excavation crews were only halfway through their digging task. Although a few more truckloads of soil still remain to be removed from the pit, construction of the building’s bottom underground level is progressing nicely. As of the Labour Day weekend, walls were taking shape  on the southern half of the site.

 

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Through another lens: the One Bloor excavation

One Bloor condo tower construction

May 12 2012: Excavation activity at the One Bloor condo site. Photo by Doug Lewis Images.

 

Condo sandbox: Nobody has figured out how to turn back time yet, but this week some Toronto construction photos by Doug Lewis Images managed to instantly take me back to a summer during my childhood. The images — real photos made to look miniature — captured excavation activity during May and June at the One Bloor condo tower construction site. The second I saw them, I remembered playing “construction” with other kids in my neighbourhood, moving dirt around a sandbox with our die-cast Dinky® and Corgi® toy backhoes and dumptrucks.

Although I can’t remember what my buddies and I may have been trying to build way back then, it could well have been skyscrapers. But they would have been office buildings, not condo towers with 70-plus stories, like One Bloor. Those didn’t exist yet; in fact, neither did the CN Tower, the Toronto-Dominion Centre or Toronto’s new City Hall, for that matter.

Below are three more photos showing Doug Lewis’s unique miniature perspective of excavation work at the One Bloor site on June 1. (See the post below for a separate update on the One Bloor condo tower project.)

If you have photos of Toronto-area buildings and construction activity you’d like me to consider publishing in my new “Through another lens” feature, drop me a line. My email is: torontoblogeditor@gmail.com.

 

One Bloor condo excavation

June 1 2012: One Bloor condo tower excavation activity viewed from Bloor Street to the north. Photo by Doug Lewis Images.

 

One Bloor condo tower excavation

June 1 2012: An excavator works near the northeast corner of the excavation site, below the Xerox building at 33 Bloor St. East. Photo by Doug Lewis Images.

 

One Bloor condo tower excavation

June 1 2012: The pit’s southeast corner below Hayden Street. Photo by Doug Lewis Images.

 

Developer gets city’s approval to raise One Bloor condo tower height from 70 to 75 storeys

One Bloor condo tower construction

June 13 2012: Excavation work continues at the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor Streets where Great Gulf Homes is building its One Bloor condo tower

 

Five more floors: One Bloor, the landmark condo tower under construction at the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor Streets, will be climbing five floors higher as a result of a Committee of Adjustment hearing at City Hall this week.

In an application to the committee, the project developer had requested a zoning bylaw variance that would allow it to raise the tower’s height from 70 to 75 storeys, as well as increase the building’s gross floor area from 55,910 square meters to 68,634 square meters.  The application was item number 26 on the Committee of Adjustment’s June 13 meeting agenda.

 

 

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Looking in on 3 big digs along north Yonge Street: One Bloor, Nicholas Residences & FIVE Condos

One Bloor condo tower excavation Toronto

April 27 2012: The excavation for the One Bloor condo at Yonge & Bloor Streets keeps getting deeper along the site’s north and west sides …

 

Nicholas Residences excavation Toronto

… while three blocks south at St Mary & St Nicholas Streets, the excavation is deepest at the east and south ends of the Nicholas Residences condo tower site  …

 

FIVE Condos Toronto

… ande just two blocks farther south at Yonge & St Joseph Streets, the excavation for FIVE Condos is deepest at the northeast corner of the property

 

Digging deeper: Excavation work is continuing apace for three condo tower projects that will substantially change the look and height of Yonge Street between Bloor and Wellesley Streets. Below are photos showing how excavations have progressed in recent months at the One Bloor, Nicholas Residences and FIVE Condos construction sites.

 

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Snow day! Photos of some downtown construction sites after a light morning snowfall dusts Toronto

West Don Lands Community Toronto

The vast construction zone for the new West Don Lands Community is seen in this image taken by a Waterfront Toronto webcam this afternoon. The 80-acre site was blanketed with light snow this morning, less than 24 hours after Waterfront Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario announced that long-awaited construction is finally commencing on the new mixed-use residential community a short distance east of the downtown business district. The highrise under construction at upper left is the 40-storey Clear Spirit condo tower in the nearby Distillery District.

 

Aura at College Park Condos Toronto

Construction progress on the 75-storey Aura at College Park condo tower is seen in this image captured from a webcam on the Aura website.

 

Nicholas Residences condo construction Toronto

Excavation activity at the Nicholas Residences condo site near Yonge & Bloor

 

FIVE Condos site Toronto

Shoring work continues on the FIVE Condos site at Yonge & St Joseph Streets

 

FIVE Condos site Toronto

Snow-covered steel I-beams and construction equipment on the FIVE Condos site

 

ETFO office building Toronto

A worker directs traffic past the ETFO office building site on Isabella Street

 

ETFO office building Toronto

Another view of progress on the 4-storey ETFO office headquarters

 

X2 Condos Toronto

Overlooking the long, rectangular excavation for the 49-storey X2 Condos tower under construction at the southwest corner of Jarvis & Charles Streets

 

X2 Condos Toronto

Crews have nearly completed digging the deep excavaton for the X2 Condos tower. The construction crane is expected to be installed soon

 

45 Charles Street East Toronto

Interior demolition work continues on the eight-storey office building at 45 Charles Street East, future site of the Chaz.Yorkville condo tower.

 

45 Charles Street East Toronto

Despite the light snow cover, a drilling rig (rear right) was busy jackhammering a concrete pad at the northwest corner of the Chaz.Yorkville site

 

Burano Condos and Women's College Hospital Toronto

Two major construction projects at the southwest corner of Bay & Grosvenor Streets: Burano Condos, left, and the Women’s College Hospital redevelopment.

 

Womens College Hospital Toronto

The new Women’s College Hospital building has risen five floors so far on what was formerly the site of the hospital’s multi-level parking garage

 

Burano Condos on Bay Street Toronto

The soaring glass atrium on the north (Grosvenor Street) side of Burano Condos

 

Burano Condos Toronto

A view of the atrium from the north side of Grosvenor Street

 

Burano Condos Toronto

A publicly-accessible piazza, designed by landscape architects Janet Rosenberg + Associates, will be constructed next to the atrium

 

Burano Condos Toronto

The sharply angled glass panels of the atrium provide a striking contrast to the condo tower that soars 50 storeys straight up above it

 

Harbourfront Centre York Quay parking garage construction

A Harbourfront Centre webcam image of progress on the new underground parking garage for York Quay Centre. Concrete floor slabs have been poured for the 3 below-grade levels, and work will start soon on the ground-level roof over the structure. New outdoor public spaces will be created on top.

 

 

Earth moving at Yonge & Bloor as excavation crews keep digging deeper on One Bloor condo tower site

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: Excavation has progressed to roughly one level below grade at the One Bloor condo site, a dramatic change from exactly one year ago …

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

… when the property was still just a snow-covered empty lot. This is a view of the southern third of the One Bloor site, looking west from the Yonge-Bloor TTC subway entrance at the adjacent Xerox tower on January 10 2011 …

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

… while this is a view of the northern two-thirds of the property, also taken from the west side of the Xerox building on January 10 last year

 

Digging deeper: Exactly one year ago, the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor Streets was just a large, empty, snow-covered lot, bisected by a pedestrian entrance to the Yonge-Bloor subway station. Now it’s a bustling construction site where an enormous excavation is taking shape for the 70-storey One Bloor condo tower.  So far crews have dug deeper than one level below grade, making steady progress on moving earth out of what will ultimately become a five-level underground parking garage. One Bloor is a project of Great Gulf Homes. The tower was designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, with interior design by Cecconi Simone Inc. Below are photos I have shot of One Bloor’s excavation progress in the past two weeks. Renderings and illustrations of the tower can be viewed on the One Bloor East project page of the Hariri Pontarini website.

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

December 30 2011: Looking to the northwest across the construction site

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

December 30 2011: Digging still hasn’t started at the southwest corner

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

December 30 2011: Excavation at the north side of the site, along Bloor Street

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

December 30 2011: Construction equipment near the northwest corner

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

 December 30 2011: Idle excavating machines on the south end of the lot

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: An excavating machine digs near the southwest corner of the lot, as seen here from the west side of Yonge Street

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: The One Bloor excavation, viewed from the southeast corner of Yonge & Hayden Streets

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: Looking from Hayden Street toward The Bay’s 44 Bloor Street East department store at the Hudson’s Bay Centre

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: Overlooking excavation activity from the southeast

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

 January 11 2012: Two red dump trucks stand by for loads of dirt

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: Excavation progress near the northeast corner along Bloor

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: Excavation crews working near the northeast corner

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: Construction entrance ramp off Bloor Street

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: Excavation appears to be deepest at the northwest corner

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: An excavating machine digs near the southwest corner

 

One Bloor condos Toronto

January 11 2012: In less than two weeks, several feet of soil has been excavated from virtually the entire site

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Corner Glass: Casa condos catch the morning sun

Casa condominium Toronto

January 9 2012: Morning sunshine glints off windows on the southeast corner of the Casa Condominium near Yonge & Bloor Streets. The 46-storey tower at 33 Charles Street East was designed by architectsAlliance and built by Cresford.

 

Casa condominium Toronto

Demolition underway at Chaz.Yorkville condo site

Chaz on Charles condo site

December 8 2011: An excavator loads a dumpster with rubble collected from inside the entrance to 45 Charles Street East. The mid-1960s-era office building is being demolished to make way for construction of the Chaz.Yorkville condo tower

 

Chaz condo site Toronto

December 8 2011: Sections of windows and concrete walls have been removed from the north side of the office building

 

Coming down: Demolition crews have begun dismantling a distinctive Modernist office building on Charles Street East to make way for a sleek glass condo tower — the third new skyscraper to rise on the block between Church and Yonge Streets in the past several years.

The angular concrete building at 45 Charles East was designed by architect Macy Dubois, who died in 2007 at age 77. The 8-storey office complex, which was built 45 years ago, will be replaced by a condo that could be anywhere from 39 to 47 storeys tall.  I say “could” because the final height is literally still up in the air. The project developers, 45 Charles Ltd. and Edenshaw Homes Limited, initially obtained city approval to build a 33-storey condo. Two years ago, City Council approved a request for permission to add six more floors, for a total of 39. In July, the developer sought approval to construct 8 more storeys, for a total of 47. As I reported in a November 8 2011 post, Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC) ordered city planners to hold a community consultation meeting last month to get public feedback about the proposal. The planners are expected to report back to TEYCC early in 2012.

The final floor tally for the tower isn’t the only part of the project that has changed — so has its name. Initially marketed as Chaz on Charles, the condo is now being sold as Chaz.Yorkville, reflecting its proximity to the tony Yorkville neighbourhood just two blocks to the north. The Chaz sales centre also has changed, recently moving from 45 Charles to 101 Yorkville Avenue.

Chaz.Yorkville was designed by Sol Wassermuhl of Page + Steele IBI Group Architects. The tower, however tall it winds up, will be built by PCL Constructors Inc., the developers revealed in a November 28 2011 annoucement.

Below are some building illustrations from the revamped Chaz.Yorkville website, along with several photos I shot this afternoon of demolition activity at 45 Charles.

 

Chaz condo site

December 8 2011: A portable crane stands outside 45 Charles, where crews have begun interior demolition work

 

Chaz condo site Toronto

December 8 2011: Another view of the crane and sections of the building where windows have been removed

 

Chaz condo site Toronto

  December 8 2011: The Chaz condo sales centre has been relocated from this building to 101 Yorkville Avenue

 

Chaz condo site Toronto

 December 8 2011: An excavating machine enters the former front door of the building to collect another load of rubble

 

45 Charles Street East Toronto

This was how the building entrance, seen here on February 28 2011, used to look

 

Chaz condo site Toronto

December 8 2011: A closer view of one of the floors where demolition crews have begun dismantling the building

 

Chaz.Yorkville condo Toronto

This rendering of the tower’s 5-storey, limestone-clad podium appears on the recently-revamped Chaz.Yorkville website

 

Chaz.Yorkville condo rendering

This rendering, also from the Chaz.Yorkville website, depicts the 2-storey Residents’ Private Chaz Clubon the 36th and 37th levels of the tower’s south side

 

Chaz.Yorkville condo tower rendering

Also from the Chaz.Yorkville project website is this illustration of the condo tower, which was designed by Sol Wassermuhl of Page + Steele IBI Group Architects.

 

Public meeting tonight for proposal to boost Chaz condo tower height from 39 to 47 storeys

Rendering of Chaz on Charles condominium tower

From the Chaz on Charles website, a rendering of the condominium tower and its signature 2-storey Chaz Club on the 36th & 37th floors

 

Taller tower: The city’s planning department is holding a community consultation meeting this evening to get feedback on a developer’s proposal to add eight floors to the Chaz on Charles condominium tower — the second height increase since the project was approved by City Council two years ago.

A venture of 45 Charles Ltd. and Edenshaw Homes Limited, Chaz on Charles will rise on a site presently occupied by an eight-storey concrete and glass office building constructed in 1966.

 

33 to 39 to 47?

In their original 2008 application to build the condo, the developers proposed a 33-storey tower with 325 units. City Council approved the project in a site-specific zoning bylaw, but the developers subsequently obtained Committee of Adjustment approval to increase the tower’s height to 39 storeys with 417 residential units. In July, the developer proposed adding 8 more storeys with 94 units to the middle of the tower — ultimately resulting in a 151.4-meter, 47-floor building with 511 suites. City planners and local Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam expressed concerns about the extra density and whether neighbouring roads could handle increased traffic, so they sought direction from Toronto and East York Community Council (TEYCC). At its November 2 meeting, TEYCC asked the planners to hold a public meeting to get community feedback.

An October 5 2011 background report by the city planning department describes the history of the tower project proposal, and identifies eight planning issues that must be resolved, including the proposed height in the context of the Bloor-Yorkville/North Downtown Planning Framework area; shadow, overlook and privacy impacts on adjacent properties; parking and amenity space.

City planners expect to issue a final report on the project, for TEYCC consideration, in the second quarter of 2012.

The community consultation meeting is being held at 7 pm in the auditorium at the Grosvenor Street YMCA.

Chaz on Charles was designed by Sol Wassermuhl of Page + Steele IBI Group Architects.

Below are some building illustrations that appear on the Chaz on Charles website, along with some photos and a videoclip I took recently of the 45 Charles Street East office building that will be demolished to make way for condo construction. Additional photos can be viewed in my March 1 2011 and  January 30 2011 posts about the project.

 

Chaz on Charles condo tower

From the Chaz on Charles website, a rendering of the two-storey Chaz Club, a private social club on the 36th and 37th floors

 

Chaz on Charles condo tower

Another website image of the south-facing Chaz Club

 

Chaz on Charles condo tower

Another website image of the tower and its glass exterior

 

45 Charles Street East Toronto

November 5 2011: The 8-storey office building that currently stands on the Chaz on Charles site was constructed in 1966.

 

45 Charles East Toronto

November 5 2011: The west side of the 45-year-old office building

 

45 Charles East Toronto

 November 5 2011: Triangular terraces on upper floors

 

45 Charles East Toronto

 November 5 2011: Rows of windows on the building’s east wall

 

45 Charles East Toronto

November 5 2011: Rear laneway view of the building’s south side

 

45 Charles East Toronto

November 5 2011: The angled east wall

 

Casa Condominium and 45 Charles East Toronto

 November 5 2011: The 46-storey Casa Condominium looms high above the Chaz on Charles site. But if the city approves the proposed height increase, Chaz will soar 151 metres — 13 meters higher than Casa. Residents on the east side of Casa are probably peeved by the prospect of losing their views.

 

apartments on Isabella Street Toronto

Chaz will soar above these Isabella Street apartment buildings

 

40-42 Isabella Street Toronto

Built in 1931, the Brownley apartments at 40-42 Isabella Street sit directly south of the Chaz site.

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A look at the One Bloor condo construction site

One Bloor Toronto condo construction site

November 6 2011: Looking north from Hayden Street across the One Bloor condo construction site at the SE corner of Yonge & Bloor

 

One Bloor Toronto condo construction site

November 6 2011: Looking northeast across the site from Hayden Street

 

Site preparation: Drilling and shoring work continues at the construction site for the One Bloor condo tower at the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor Streets. The work, which prepares the site for excavation, has been underway for over four months now.

A project of Great Gulf Homes, One Bloor was designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto. Information about the building site and design, along with a selection of tower renderings and illustrations, is available at the One Bloor East profile page on the Hariri Pontarini website.

Below is an illustration of the 70-storey tower that appears on the One Bloor website, along with some of my recent photos of the construction site. Earlier photos can be viewed in my posts on August 13 2011, July 15 2011 and January 10 2011.

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower rendering

From the One Bloor website, an illustration of the 70-storey tower designed by Toronto’s Hariri Pontarini Architects.

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

November 6 2011: North view of the One Bloor site and towers at Yonge & Bloor

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

November 6 2011: Hoarding protects the Yonge Street sidewalk at the west end of the One Bloor construction site

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

November 6 2011: A shoring rig on the south edge of the property

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

November 6 2011: Hayden Street view of the One Bloor site and its office building neighbour to the east, the Xerox Centre at 33 Bloor Street East

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

November 6 2011: An idle excavating machine near Hayden Street

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: Looking south across the One Bloor site. The tower will soar above the 46-storey Casa condominium at rear left.

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: Another view of the One Bloor site from the north side of Bloor Street, outside the RBC bank branch

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: Drilling rigs and concrete trucks on the building site

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: Site viewed from the corner of Yonge & Hayden Streets

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: Crews working near the site’s northeast corner

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: Overlooking the One Bloor site from the southeast

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: View toward the southwest corner of the site at the intersection of Yonge & Hayden Streets

 

One Bloor East Toronto condo construction site

September 27 2011: Drilling rigs and concrete trucks in the center of the site

 



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In Photos: Summer construction activity in north downtown and the Bloor-Yorkville area (Part 1)

77 Charles West condo Toronto

August 13 2011: Newly-installed glass curtain wall cladding on the 77 Charles West luxury condo building, seen (above and below) from St Thomas Street

 

77 Charles West condo Toronto

 

 

77 Charles West condos reaches 12 floors; cladding installation begins

 

Going green: Construction on the 77 Charles West luxury condo midrise could be topping off later this month, now that 12 of the building’s 13 floors have been built. Meanwhile, down at street level, the facade is beginning to reflect some of its nearby condo neighbours as its striking green-hued curtain wall cladding gradually gets installed.

I was surprised when I saw some of the first panels being put in place five days ago because the glass is turquoise green rather than blue, as renderings on the project website suggested it would be. Nevertheless, I like how it looks — and think it makes 77’s neighbours look good, too. Depending upon where I stood while looking at the new windows this morning, I saw sharp reflections of the One St Thomas Residences condo tower across the street, the Residences of the Windsor Arms at 22 St Thomas Street one block north, and other buildings in the Bloor-Yorkville area.

So far, the cladding encloses just three storeys around what will be the Charles Street entrance to the condominium homes (the 13 floors of luxury condos rise above Kintore College and Cultural Centre, a three-storey residence and educational facility for female Catholic students attending University of Toronto). I’m anxious to see how the cladding will look on the rest of the floors, especially on the curved south side of the building.

77 Charles West is a project of Aspen Ridge Homes, and was designed by Yann Weymouth of HOK.

Below are more photos of the new cladding and recent construction progress. Previous construction updates can be found in blog posts on July 5 2011, April 7 2011, and February 15 2011 —  my first report on the 77 Charles West project.

 

77 Charles West condos

August 6 2011: 77 Charles West condo construction viewed from St Thomas Street

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 6 2011: New promotional signage on the building’s north side

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 6 2011: Floors on the northwest corner of the building

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 6 2011: St Mary Street view of the building’s curved southwest corner

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

 August 8 2011: Crews install the first 3-storey section of glass cladding

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

 August 8 2011: Workers put the green-hued glass curtain wall panels in place

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 8 2011: A closer look at the cladding over the second and third storeys

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: New cladding viewed from Charles Street, looking west

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: Cladding above the entrance that faces north up St Thomas Street

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: The cladding reflects several nearby buildings including the Residences at the Windsor Arms, the One St Thomas Residences, 155 Cumberland Street condos, and The Colonnade apartment building on Bloor Street

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: Street-level view of the cladding’s neighbourhood reflection

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 16 2011: Reflection of the nearby Residences of the Windsor Arms

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: One of the construction entrances on Charles Street

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: A closer look at a corner section of the glass curtain wall

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: New cladding viewed from the west end of the building

 

77 Charles West condos Toronto

August 13 2011: Cladding reflects the One St Thomas Residences across the street

 

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Enormous excavation for U Condominiums keeps getting deeper & wider

 

U Condos Toronto

August 6 2011: Excavation progress along the Bay Street side of the U Condos site, where the 50-storey east tower will rise


Digging down:  Whenever I checked out excavation activity at the U Condominiums site back in the spring, it always seemed like the earth was moving at a snail’s pace. I thought it might take until the end of the year before the digging would reach anywhere near the 15-metre depth required for construction of the foundation for the project’s two condo towers, which will rise 45 and 50 storeys tall.  Excavation work appeared to be moving well along the east, south and west perimeters of the property, but a  vast amount of earth remained in the center and along the north perimeter.  Since June, however, the excavation has progressed at an amazing pace, and the big hole in the ground at Bay and St Mary Streets is now more than two levels deep across most of the property.

U Condos is a project by The Pemberton Group. Its two condo towers, along with 3-storey townhouses that will flank the north, east and south sides of the development, were designed by Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance.

Below are photos showing summer excavation progress at the U Condos location.  Earlier construction photos can be viewed in my blog posts on May 7 2011, April 2 2011, March 18 2011, and February 4 2011 — my first report on the U Condos project.

 

U Condos Toronto

June 21 2011: Looking southeast toward Bay Street from the U Condos construction entrance off  St Mary Street

 

U Condos Toronto

 June 21 2011:  Looking towards the eastern side of the site along Bay Street

 

U Condos Toronto

June 21 2011: A construction supervisor watches excavation activity about 20 feet below. Bay Street is on the other side of the hoarding behind him.

 

U Condos Toronto

 June 21 2011: The southeastern corner where the 50-storey condo tower will rise

 

U Condos Toronto

June 21 2011: Excavation on the south side of the site next to St Basil’s Church

 

U Condos Toronto

July 3 2011: Excavation progress at the location for the east condo tower

 

U Condos Toronto

July 3 2011: Excavation equipment and machines near the ramp off Bay Street

 

U Condos Toronto

July 3 2011: An excavator on the south side of the site near St Basil’s Church. A row of 3-storey townhouses will be built along that edge of the U Condos property.

 

U Condos Toronto

July 3 2011: The southwest corner of the U Condos property near Brennan Hall on the University of Toronto campus

 

U Condos Toronto

July 24 2011: A substantially wider and deeper area has been excavated at the southwest corner in the past three weeks

 

U Condos Toronto

July 24 2011: An excavator sits roughly where the east tower will be constructed

 

U Condos Toronto

July 24 2011:  Another view of the excavator from the St Mary Street entrance

 

U Condos Toronto

July 24 2011: Looking toward the southeast corner of the property from a security fence along St Mary Street

 

U Condos Toronto

August 6 2011: Significant excavation progress on the eastern third of the site

 

U Condos Toronto

August 6 2011: Looking toward St Basil’s Church across the center of the site

 

U Condos Toronto

August 6 2011: The 45-storey west tower will be built at this location

 

 

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Foundation work begins on north section of the One Bloor site

 

One Bloor condo tower Toronto

August 6 2011: Foundation drilling equipment on the One Bloor condo tower site

 

Drilling starts: One of Toronto’s biggest construction events took place in the middle of July when the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the much-awaited One Bloor condo tower at the southeast corner of the city’s premier Yonge & Bloor intersection. Drilling equipment had arrived on the site weeks earlier, but it wasn’t until July 15 that executive shovels turned soil to officially kick off construction of the 70-storey tower.

A project of Great Gulf Homes, One Bloor was designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto.  My previous coverage of this condo project includes posts on July 15 2011, May 4 2011, and January 10 2011 — my first report on One Bloor.

Below are several recent photos of construction equipment on the One Bloor property. Numerous tower renderings and a full architectural description of the building can be viewed at this page on the Hariri Pontarini website.

 

One Bloor condo tower Toronto

 July 13 2011: Pedestrians walk on Yonge Street south of Bloor Street, passing foundation drilling machines on the One Bloor site

 

One Bloor condo tower Toronto

 July 13 2011: Yonge Street view of the One Bloor site, looking east toward the Xerox Tower at 33 Bloor Street East

 

One Bloor condo tower Toronto

July 13 2011: A man walks along the temporary subway station access path next to the north side of the One Bloor condo tower location

 

One Bloor condo tower Toronto

August 6 2011: Foundation building equipment on the One Bloor site

 

One Bloor condo tower Toronto

August 6 2011: A ground level view of the north half of the tower site

 

 

At last! Great Gulf breaking ground today for its 70-storey One Bloor condo tower at Yonge & Bloor

One Bloor Toronto condo tower construction site

July 13 2011:  Construction equipment rises above the One Bloor condo tower construction site, viewed here from the west side of Yonge Street

 

Shovels ready: It only felt like it was taking forever, but it’s finally going to happen: According to a July 14 2011 article posted on the Toronto Star website, Great Gulf Homes will break ground tomorrow to officially launch construction of its 70-storey One Bloor condo tower at the southeast corner of at Yonge and Bloor Streets.

Frankly, it’s about time. Seven months ago — in a January 10 2011 post, to be exact — I publicly wondered when Great Gulf was going to get shovels in the ground and start building the One Bloor tower on what is often referred to as the “premier” piece of real estate in Canada. During the months that followed, heavy machines rolled on and off of the One Bloor site, hinting that a construction start was imminent. But they didn’t stay for long, and nothing appeared to change on the property. But after foundation building equipment arrived on the site in June, it seemed clear that preliminary construction work for the tower was set to start.

Initially, One Bloor was slated to be a 65-storey condo building with two floors of retail space fronting on the prestigious Yonge & Bloor intersection. However, thanks to strong buyer demand (the Star says 85% of the units in the 732-suite tower have been sold), One Bloor will now soar five storeys taller — topping off at 70 floors. Construction is expected to cost $450 million and last until the end of 2014.

Below are several One Bloor website renderings that suggest how the skyscraper, designed by Toronto’s Hariri Pontarini Architects, will look, along with photos I’ve taken of the project site in recent months.

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower

Condo tower rendering from the One Bloor project website

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower podium rendering

Condo tower podium rendering from the One Bloor project website   

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower

Another tower rendering seen in this screen capture from the One Bloor website


One Bloor condo tower Toronto

May 1 2011: Trailers on the otherwise vacant south side of the One Bloor condo tower construction site, viewed from the west side of the Xerox Tower

 

One Bloor condo tower Toronto

May 1 2011: Looking west across the vacant One Bloor site

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower site

May 1 2011: Looking northwest toward the corner of Yonge & Bloor

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower construction site

June 22 2011: A shoring rig on the northern half of the One Bloor site

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower site

June 22 2011: Yonge Street view of the shoring rig on the One Bloor property

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower construction site

June 22 2011: Bloor Street view of the shoring rig

One Bloor Toronto condo tower construction site

July 6 2011: Two shoring rigs ready for action on the building site

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower construction site

July 6 2011: A closer look at the two rigs sitting idle on the site

 

One Bloor Toronto condo tower construction site

July 13 2011: More construction equipment and a tent have been brought in for the groundbreaking ceremony

 

Skyscrapers at Yonge & Bloor Streets in Toronto

July 14 2011: My balcony view at sunset of skyscrapers near Yonge & Bloor Streets. The 45-storey Casa condominium tower (center) currently dominates the skyline; however, in three or four years’ time, One Bloor — which will rise just to the right rear of Casa — will be the tallest building in the area