August 17 2013: Above-ground construction is still in relatively early stages, but the U Condos condo tower and luxury townhouse complex …
… has already drastically transformed the southwest corner of Bay and St Mary Streets, seen here on September 26 2008 when a surface parking lot still occupied part of the development site
Strong presence: Construction of the U Condominiums complex is really beginning to turn heads on Bay Street now that one of its two towers is climbing steadily higher above its 3-storey podium and the concrete shells for luxurious townhouses that will wrap around three sides of the property.
Although passersby have been able to see above-ground construction activity since January, it has been only in recent weeks that the huge scale of the project — and the tremendous visual impact it will have on the neighbourhood — have become apparent.
The project’s townhouse component has noticeably changed the pedestrian experience on Bay Street, while the west tower — which has climbed more than six storeys on its way to 45 — already hints at how drastically it and the even taller east tower will change the neighbourhood skyline. (Construction of the east tower has so far reached only as high as the townhouses.)
This artistic illustration, from an online promotional brochure that had been available on the U Condos website, shows how the completed towers will look when viewed from the same perspective as the two photos above.
September 11 2012: Iron framework for the SkyBridge span has been installed atop the two condo highrises on the eastern half of the Residences of Pier 27 construction site
This artistic rendering, which appears on a marketing billboard outside the Pier 27 condo construction site, shows how the SkyBridge will appear when complete
September 11 201: SkyBridge construction viewed from the public sidewalk along Queen’s Quay Blvd. on the north side of the building site
Bridge building: Construction activity at The Residences of Pier 27 has become considerably more fascinating to passersby now that a signature SkyBridge span is fast taking form atop the B1 and B2 buildings on the east half of the condo site.
The first time I noticed that SkyBridge construction had commenced was when I passed the site on August 22, and saw several beams jutting into the air from the west wall of one of the buildings. I couldn’t get back down to the area to take another look until September 3, by which point it appeared that work on the frame was complete.
August 31 2012: The 55-storey Four Seasons Toronto hotel and condo tower viewed from the corner of Hazelton Avenue and Scollard Street
Light & airy: Every time I have looked up at the new Four Seasons Hotel and condo tower in Yorkville, I’ve been amazed that it doesn’t appear to soar 55 storeys high. It does look and feel very tall, of course, but it doesn’t have a hulking, looming or even overwhelming presence like many towers just half its height. I never understood why — until I read “A tower that aims to ‘blend into the sky” in the August 31 Globe and Mail.
Clewes explains how the skyscraper was designed to be “light on its feet,” achieving “a kind of fading of the tower where it meets the sky.” Different types of glass cladding were extensively researched and tested to see how they would relate to the sky; ultimately, an American-made high-performance glass with no tint was selected.
“We wanted something …. that would take on the character of the sky without being hyper-reflective,” Clewes said, adding that the glass helps the tower “just blend into the sky.”
June 13 2012: The Burano condo tower, viewed from the north on Bay Street, has long been in public view as the construction climbed 50 floors above the ground …
… and the 3-storey glass atrium at the north side of the Burano condo site is finally in full view, too, now that hoarding has been removed from Grosvenor Street
June 13 2012: Landscaping and construction of an Italian-style piazza is underway next to the atrium on the Grosvenor Street flank of the condo complex
June 13 201: Most of the rebuilt Bay Street facade of the historic Addison automotive building is now visible as construction hoarding is gradually removed from the sidewalk
June 13 2012: The new Women’s College Hospital building (left) rises behind the Burano condo complex, viewed here from the southeast corner of Bay and Grenville Streets
Better views: Construction progress on the Burano Condominium on Bay Street has been clearly visible for many months as the tower climbed 50 storeys into the sky, but now passersby are getting to see how downtown’s newest skyscraper looks at street level.
With exterior work on the Burano tower nearly complete, crews have been able to begin removing the wooden hoarding and the chainlink security fences that have obscured street-level views of the building, including its signature glass atrium on Grosvenor Street and the rebuilt brick facade of the historic Addison on Bay automotive showroom and garage along Bay Street and Grenville Street.
March 7 2012: A construction worker gazes at downtown Toronto from the curved west building of the 2-tower ÏCE Condos complex currently under construction at the southwest corner of York Street and Bremner Boulevard. Construction of the oval-shaped tower has reached more than 11 levels so far, on its way to 57 storeys. A project of Lanterra Developments, ÏCE Condos was designed by Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance.
March 7 2012: Looking south from Bremner Boulevard towards the ÏCE Condos construction site. At left, construction of the 67-storey east tower has reached 3 levels while its sibling, center, has already climbed 11 levels on its way to 57. A 31-storey office building will eventually be constructed on the parking lots site in the foreground. The building under construction to the right is the Infinity3 condo tower, which has risen 9 floors on its way to 34. Infinity3 is a project of The Conservatory Group, and was designed by E.I. Richmond Architects Ltd.
March 10 2012: Charles Street is blocked to traffic while a portable crane installs the fixed-position construction crane that will build X2 Condos
March 10 2012: The crane is being installed in the northwest corner of the 5-level-deep excavation for the 49-storey condo tower
March 10 2012: The blue lower half of the crane rises from the deep excavation only meters from the south side of Charles Street
Assembly day: Another construction crane is rising on the city skyline today, joining dozens of other cranes already working on major condo, office and other building projects throughout the downtown core. The new crane will soar skyward above Jarvis and Charles Streets, where it will help construct the X2 Condos tower for developer Great Gulf Homes.
X2 Condos will be a 49-storey tower designed by Toronto’s Rudy Wallman Architects Inc. It will be a “sister” skyscraper to Great Gulf’s highly popular X Condos, a 44-storey tower which opened for occupancy in the summer of 2010 just a stone’s throw away on the north side of Charles Street. (X Condos was designed by a different architectural firm, Peter Clewes and his team at architectsAlliance of Toronto.)
March 2 2012: A construction crane base pad is being assembled on the site where the 45-storey U Condos west tower will rise
March 2 2012: A closer view of the crane pad
Crane coming: A construction crane will soon soar above the University of Toronto campus from the vast excavation for the two-tower U Condos development at Bay and St Mary Streets.
Late last week, crews began building a crane base on the site of the project’s 45-storey west tower, between St Mary Street to the north, University of Toronto’s Elmsley Hall and Brennan Hall to the west, and historic St Basil’s Church to the south. At least one more crane will be installed at some point to help build the 50-storey east tower, which will rise just to the northeast of the church, along Bay Street. Besides the two towers, the U Condos development will include multi-level townhouses on the north, east and south sides of the property, along with courtyards, pedestrian passageways, and a park extending south toward St Joseph Street.
February 9 2012: The south side of Burano Condos, viewed from Grenville Street
Progress updates: I had the opportunity to pass through the Bay & College area on my way to some recent appointments, so I brought along my camera to catch up on construction progress in the neighbourhood. My “winter photo walk” series will show you what I’ve been seeing:
One of the development proposal signs that has been posted on each side of the 501 block of Yonge Street since last spring
November 6 2011: The 501 Yonge Street block seen from the southwest
November 6 2011: The 501 Yonge Street block viewed from the northwest
Glass wall: Toronto residents get their chance tonight to tell city planners what they think of a controversial proposal to build two 58-storey condo point towers atop a 7-storey rectangular glass podium on the east side of Yonge Street, between Alexander and Maitland Streets.
The community consultation is the second meeting city officials scheduled for this week to get public input on a major condo tower development plan by Lanterra Developments, a 10-year-old Canadian company that boasts sales of more than 6,000 condo units in downtown Toronto.
At the first, held two nights ago, Lanterra and architect Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance were on the hot seat during a community consultation over Lanterra’s ambitious plans for a massive 4-tower condo complex that would revitalize three blocks of long-neglected property along Bloor and Howard Streets in North St James Town. During that meeting (which I’m planning to report soon in TheTorontoBlog), at least 30 people stood up to speak their mind with overwhelmingly negative comments and observations. Tonight, city planners and Lanterra’s team face Toronto residents again at a session that many people expect will be equally raucous and critical.
Tonight’s community consultation was requested by Toronto and East York Community Council, one of four groups of city councillors that make recommendations and decisions about local planning and development, as well as neighbourhood-specific issues within their jurisdiction. The session will give city residents an opportunity to review, ask questions about and express their opinions on Lanterra’s application to redevelop the low-rise 501 block of Yonge Street with a condo project that is vastly taller and denser than present zoning bylaws permit.
As noted in a May 30 2011 background report by city planners, Lanterra wants to build two 58-storey residential towers that would rise from one 7-storey podium. The podium would include two levels of retail space with five floors of parking above them (parking must be built above grade because the Yonge subway line runs diagonally beneath the entire 501 Yonge site). Each tower would contain 480 condo units and have its own lobby entrance; the north tower’s would be off Maitland Street, while the south tower lobby would be accessed from Alexander Street. The towers would soar 192 meters (including mechanical penthouse) and would be constructed in two phases, with the podium and south tower being built first.
Under current zoning regulations for the 501 Yonge site, the maximum permitted density is 3 times the lot area, with 2 times the lot area for commercial uses and 3 times the lot area for residential uses,” the city planners’ report notes. “The maximum height permitted is 18 metres.” However, Lanterra’s proposed condo complex would be 20 times the permitted density, with the height “significantly” exceeding what is presently allowed.
The size and height of the project horrifies many area residents, who fear that the podium’s enormous glass wall and the soaring towers above it will ruin the historic low-rise character of north Yonge Street (the section between College and Bloor Streets), destroy the pedestrian ambience on the street, and wreck what they consider to be “gateways” to the nearby Church-Wellesley Village neighbourhood — the tree-shaded outdoor dining and bar patios on the Alexander and Maitland ends of the block.
The consultation starts at 6.30 pm in the 2nd-floor auditorium at the Grosvenor Street YMCA.
Below are drawings, from the city planners’ report, that show the proposed elevations for the 501 Yonge complex, along with some photos and a video I have taken of the project site.
This illustration, from city planning documents, depicts a west elevation for the proposed two-tower complex
From the city planners’ report, this drawing depicts a south elevation for the rectangular 7-storey podium and 58-storey point towers
A view of Yonge Street looking north from Alexander Street on June 30 2011. Many neighbourhood residents fear the Lanterra project would overwhelm and destroy the historic low-rise character of Yonge Street.
From a City of Toronto planning department background report, this illustration outlines the various parcels of land that Lanterra Developments is proposing to redevelop into a condo complex featuring four tall towers
Feedback forum: A daring proposal to dramatically redevelop the scruffy North St James Town neighbourhood with four new condo skyscrapers, several low-rise buildings and seven restored heritage houses is headed for a showdown with the public tonight at a community consultation meeting being held by Toronto’s City Planning Division.
The meeting, the second to be held this year, will give the public an opportunity to hear revised plans for the massive condo project that Lanterra Developments has proposed for three blocks of a long wedge-shaped area bounded by Bloor, Parliament, Howard and Sherbourne Streets. In a rezoning application filed with the City on August 25 2010, Lanterra outlined bold development plans that would revitalize three separate blocks of land at the northern perimeter of the St James Town district with four towers designed by Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance.
Block 1: Northeast corner of Sherbourne and Howard Streets
For this area, the developer proposed a 390-unit condo complex featuring a 50-storey tower, 7-storey podium and 5 levels of underground parking with 288 spaces. The tower would rise next to the Anson Jones House, a Queen Anne-style heritage building designed by Edmund Burke that sits on the corner of Sherbourne and Howard at 603 Sherbourne. The podium would include retail space along Sherbourne Street, while a 3-story mixed use building located along Howard Street would be linked to the complex. The plan would require the demolition of three heritage properties: two semidetached houses at 605 and 607 Sherbourne, next to the Anson House, along with a standalone house at 4 Howard Street. Vehicular access to the complex would be off Red Rocket Lane, which runs north-south between Howard and Bloor Streets one block east of Sherbourne.
Block 2: Glen Road between Howard and Bloor Streets
The west side of this leafy one-block-long section of Glen Road is noteworthy for six semidetached brick houses which have been boarded and bricked up for decades. Under Lanterra’s proposal, these homes would be restored for residential use, though rear portions of the buildings would be demolished to allow for construction of a 5-storey apartment building with 41 units along with 15 above-ground parking spots and 17 below-ground spaces.
Block 3: From Edgedale Road to Parliament Street
This long stretch of land between Howard and Bloor Streets would feature three condo towers on the eastern end of the property along with a 2-storey amenity and service building at the site’s southwest corner at Edgedale and Howard. The west tower would be 56 storeys tall with 630 units; the middle tower would be 46 floors with 425 units, and the east tower would rise 53 stories and contain 348 units. The complex would have 5 levels of underground parking with 869 spaces. A heritage building at 76 Howard Street would have to be demolished to make way for the three skyscrapers.
Public consultation and working group meetings
In a December 8 2010 background report, city planners said they could not support Lanterra’s proposal “in its current form.” They wrote: “Of considerable concern to staff is the appropriateness of the proposed land use redesignation, along with the proposal’s significant scale, density, massing and transition towards the existing adjacent Neighbourhoods in the centre of the North St. James Town neighbourhood and Apartment Neighbourhoods to the south, as well as the provision of open space.” They also identified 26 specific planning issues that would have to be considered and addressed before they could give their blessing to the condo plan.
As mentioned previously, city planners then held a public community consultation session to gather feedback about Lanterra’s proposal. The first meeting, attended by more than 150 people on April 5, drew sharp and overwhelmingly negative criticism from the audience, which objected to the proposed project’s height and density in particular, as well as to the impact that 1,840 new condo units could have on the heavily-populated low-income St James Town neighbourhood to the south.
The proposal was subsequently considered during an April 19 meeting of the city’s Design Review Panel, and during a series of working group meetings that city planners organized between neighbourhood representatives, professional advisors for the developer, and staff from the city’s planning and transportation departments. (Draft minutes from the meetings held on May 24, May 31, June 7 and October 5 can be viewed online at the links provided from the community group-run Smart Development in North St James Town website.)
Tonight’s meeting, from 7 to 9 pm at St Simon-the-Apostle Anglican Church on Bloor Street, is being held to update the public on the status of the rezoning application, and give the community a change to review and ask questions about revised project plans.
Below are some of my photos showing how the three development sites currently look, along with three videoclips showing each of the three blocks proposed for development and revitalization. (Note: The photo captions describe the original development proposal, not the revised plans which will be unveiled at tonight’s meeting.)
The 50-storey tower proposed for Block 1 would rise to the right of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Sherbourne Street
From left: 607, 605 and 603 Sherbourne Street. The two buildings on the left would be demolished and only the corner building, the Anson Jones House, would be kept and incorporated into the new tower project.
607 and 605 Sherbourne Street, which would be destroyed to make room for the proposed 50-storey condo tower
The Anson Jones House at 603 Sherbourne Street, which would be restored and incorporated into the condo development
The Anson Jones House at 603 Sherbourne viewed from Howard Street
This heritage building at 4 Howard Street would be demolished and replaced with a 3-storey mixed-use building
The east side of 4 Howard Street, viewed from Red Rocket Lane
Looking northwest from Bleecker Street to the site for which a 50-storey condo tower had been proposed. The Filipono food store building visible at right is not part of the redevelopment plan.
The proposed tower site is less than a minute’s walking distance from Bloor Street and the Sherbourne subway station
Another view of the site, off Red Rocket Lane, where the developer has proposed building a 50-storey tower
Southeasterly view down Red Rocket Lane of the site for the proposed tower
This architectsAlliance illustration of the proposed 50-storey tower for Sherbourne & Howard appears in documents filed with the city planning department
Looking north along Glen Road. The six semidetached houses that would be restored sit on the left side of the street.
The houses that would be restored at 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 Glen Road
A view of the rear of the houses at 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 Glen Road
The proposal called for part of the back of these buildings to be demolished. A 5-storey apartment building would be constructed in the area behind the houses, along with above- and below-ground parking.
Bloor Street view of Glen Road, looking south toward Howard Street
This architectsAlliance illustration of the Block 3 tower elevations appears in application documents filed with city planners. These towers would stand between Edgedale Road at the west and Parliament Street to the east.
Edgedale Road, looking north from Howard Street toward Bloor Street
Looking west along Howard Street toward Edgedale Road. The amenities and service building for the towers would be situated near this spot.
This illustration, from a planning rationale report filed with the city planning department by Bousfields Inc., shows how the view west along Howard Street could appear once the towers are constructed
This house at 76 Howard Street was built in 1887. It sits near the middle of the proposed site for the three towers, and would have to be demolished to permit construction.
Bloor Street view of the heritage house at 76 Howard Street
A view of the 3-tower site, looking east along Bloor Street toward Parliament Street from behind the house at 76 Howard.
Looking east toward the Bloor-Parliament intersection, from the field next to 76 Howard Street.Two of the towers would be built here.
View toward Bloor Street and the Rosedale ravine from the field next to 76 Howard Street
West view from Parliament Street of the development site along Howard Street
The property between Parliament Street and 76 Howard Street currently is home to trees, a grassy lawn, billboards and dozens of squirrels
Looking west toward the development site from the Bloor-Parliament intersection
Looking west along Bloor Street from the sidewalk opposite the Castle Frank subway station. If built, the four condo towers would dominate this view.
October 30 2011: Market Wharf condo tower construction viewed from the northeast corner of Jarvis Street and Lake Shore Boulevard.
From the Market Wharf website, an illustration of the floorplan for the condo’s curvaceous Market Club amenities facility
Making waves: Construction of the 25-storey Market Wharf tower is attracting more attention these days as the condo building’s distinctively curved amenities floor and wavy “curvilinear” balconies continue to take shape while the newly-opened Shoppers Drug Mart draws traffic to the northeast street-level corner of the complex’s 8-storey podium. Occupying an entire city block near the bottom of Jarvis Street, between the railway tracks and Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market, Market Wharf will keep making waves as the tower climbs more prominently into view on the skyline.
Designed by Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance, Market Wharf is a project of Context Development. The complex features a variety of suite sizes and styles, ranging from a 570-square-foot 1-bedroom 1-bath to a 1039-square-foot 2-bedroom + den + 2 baths to a 1276-square-foot 2-bedroom + 2.5 bath “duplex penthouse.” The building also boasts townhomes, in six different layouts, that have private terraces with gas barbecue hookups. Townhome prices start from $718,900, and include parking and a storage locker. The project is 70% sold to date.
Below are some of my recent photos of Market Wharf’s construction progress, along with two illustrations of the building that appear on the Market Wharf website.
Website illustration of the Market Wharf complex, viewed from the northeast along Jarvis Street, next to the St. Lawrence Market
Also from the project website, this illustration suggests how the Market Wharf complex will appear when viewed looking south along Market Street
October 30 2011: South side of the Market Wharf tower
October 30 2011: The Market Club amenities facility adds a striking curve to the tower, designed by Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance
October 30 2011: The Market Club throws an eye-catching curve above Lower Jarvis Street
October 30 2011: Another Jarvis Street view of the curved Market Club amenities floor above the building’s block-long, 8-storey podium
October 30 2011: Part of the “phasing” section between the tower and podium
August 17 2011 The curved Market Club amenities floor takes shape above the railway tracks near the foot of Jarvis Street
July 20 2011: The Market Club floor begins taking shape atop the podium
July 20 2011: The condo complex occupies an entire block on the north side of the railway tracks, just south of the St Lawrence Market
July 20 2011: The tower rises above the Jarvis Street railway underpass
July 20 2011: Round conrete support pillars atop the podium’s east side
July 20 2011: Market Wharf’s red and white construction crane
July 20 2011 To the south of Market Wharf is the Jarvis Street railway underpass (left); the CN Tower is visible to the west
July 20 2011: Jarvis Street view of the building’s southeast corner
July 20 2011: Jarvis Street view of the building’s southeast side
July 20 2011: Construction forms jutting above Jarvis Street
July 20 2011: Market Street reflects in the building’s street-level windows
July 20 2011: Trees were planted several weeks after I took these photos, further complimenting the building’s presence on Market Street
July 20 2011: Market Street view of construction progress on the tower base
July 20 2011: The tower is rising at the south end of the complex
July 20 2011: A construction worker watches activity at street level
July 20 2011: The south end of the complex, viewed from the foot of Market Street next to the railway tracks
July 20 2011: Another view of the west side of the tower base
July 20 2011: The curved Market Club takes shape atop the tower base
July 20 2011: Looking north along Market Street at the project’s ongoing Phase 2 work (right) and the completed Phase 1 in the background
August 30 2011: A Toronto Islands view of four cranes towering above the Pier 27 condo building site and sales centre (white structure at bottom middle of photo). This view of the waterfront will look markedly different by this time next year …
... once substantial progress has been made on construction of the East Bayfront condo complex’s distinctive design, seen in this artistic illustration …
Redpath’s neighbour ready to rise: Toronto’s eastern waterfront is about to get an exciting new look now that Phase 1 construction of The Residences of Pier 27 has reached grade along Queen’s Quay Boulevard East. The first condominium complex to be built on Toronto’s East Bayfront, Pier 27 will transform a prime piece of property at the foot of Yonge Street from a large dusty parking lot into a gleaming glass and steel midrise residential community with publicly-accessible waterfront green space and parkland. I’ll be thrilled to watch these condo buildings rise; their sleek modern architecture should vastly improve the appearance of what I consider to be one of downtown’s most dismal streets — a gritty stretch of landscape presently dominated by the huge, hulking Redpath Sugar Refinery.
Construction has made the most progress at the northeast corner of the Pier 27 property, right next to the refinery, where pedestrians and passing motorists can now see crews working at street level, just a few meters from the security fence running along the south side of Queen’s Quay Boulevard. In late July, you couldn’t see the workers unless you walked right up to the fence to peer into the giant excavation; at that time, the crews were still well below grade, gradually filling in the underground parking levels for the Phase 1 construction on the easterly half of the site. The Phase 2 construction zone to the west isn’t visible from the street at all, but work has been steadily progressing on the foundation there, and a fourth construction crane was erected on the site last month. According to a July 25 2011 post on the Cityzen Urban Lifestyle blog, crews had been pouring 3,000 cubic meters of concrete per month just for Phase 1 construction — that’s equivalent to the load carried by 333 concrete trucks. Once Phase 2 construction gets going full steam, the pour is expected to increase to 5,000 cubic meters (555 truckloads) per month, the Cityzen blog says.
August 19 2011: This office building at 17 Dundonald Street was built in 1956. Included on the City’s inventory of heritage properties, it is considered culturally significant as an early example of the Modern style of architecture.
Tall “cube” coming? A developer is planning a condo highrise for 17 Dundonald Street in the Yonge & Wellesley area — but the tower’s projected floor count apparently is up in the air.
People living on and near Dundonald Street say various sources — including their city councillor — have told them a new development is in the works for the property, currently the site of a 2.5-storey office building situated just a stone’s throw from the Wellesley subway station. Constructed in 1956 as the Commercial Travellers’ Association of Canada Building, the low-rise office structure was designed by the Toronto architecture firm Weir Cripps and Associates.
The building is included on the city’s inventory of heritage properties; in fact, on June 8 2010, Toronto City Council adopted an “Intention to Designate” for the property. In an April 21 2010 background report presented to city councillors and the Toronto Preservation Board, city planners stated that 17 Dundonald had “cultural heritage value” worthy of designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. “As a small-scaled office building, the Commercial Travellers’ Association of Canada Building (1956) is an early and representative example of the Modern style with design merit that through its scale supports and maintains the prevailing character of Dundonald Street as the location of low-rise buildings,” the report explained.
The report, along with a notice of intention to designate published on the City’s website, said some of 17 Dundonald’s heritage attributes include: its “scale, form and massing”; “the near-square plan under a flat roof”; “the cladding, employing concrete, turquoise-hued glazed brick, travertine, aluminium and glass”; the organization of the building’s north facade into four bays; and the placement of the building itself, with a “small landscaped forecourt” separating it from the street. (The report provides extensive interesting information about the history and design of the building; it’s well worth a read.)
At present, 17 Dundonald is surrounded by residential properties, including the Terrace Court townhouses and low-rise condominium complex on its east side, the 24-storey Continental Tower apartment building on its west flank, and 22 Condominiums, a tower rising 23-storeys to its immediate south at 22 Wellesley Street East.
Area residents say Ward 27 City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has told meetings of neighbourhood condo owners that a developer has been discussing redevelopment proposals for 17 Dundonald with city planners. Their intention, apparently, is to construct a highrise condo building in a Cubist style intended to emulate the Modernist architecture of the office building it will replace. But I’ve heard conflicting information about just how tall the building might be: 18, 19, 25 and 30 storeys are the floor counts people have mentioned. Word on the street is that a tower taller than the nearby 22 Condominiums and Continental Tower (23 and 24 storeys, respectively) doesn’t sit well with city planners, who feel too much height would be out of character for Dundonald Street. So far there has been no word on the identity of either the proposed building’s developer or the architectural firm designing it.
Below are some recent photos of 17 Dundonald and its neighbours.
July 8 2011: Looking west along Dundonald Street toward the office building at # 17. The Terrace Court condo townhomes (left) sit to the east, while the 24-storey Continental Tower, built in 1971, rises to the west.
July 8 2011: The north and east sides of the building
July 8 2011: The building’s cladding includes concrete, glass, travertine, aluminium and glazed brick with a distinctive turquoise hue
July 8 2011: Two of 17 Dundonald’s neighbours include Terrace Court, an 8-storey condo and townhouse complex at 19-29 Dundonald Street (left), and the 22 Condominiums tower behind it on Wellesley Street
July 8 2011: The building was designed by Weir Cripps & Associates Architects
July 8 2011: Looking towards 17 Dundonald from the northwest, outside the Continental Tower apartment building at 15 Dundonald Street.
July 13 2011: A walkway between the two fences at the west side of the building links Dundonald Street to Wellesley Street and the Wellesley subway station
July 13 2011: The north facade and recessed front entrance to 17 Dundonald
July 13 2011: A city planning report says the placement of the main entrance in a recessed and glazed bay, with a protective angled canopy, is one of the building’s important heritage attributes
July 13 2011: The driveway separates the office building from its Terrace Court condo and townhouse neighbours at 19 – 29 Dundonald Street
August 19 2011: The main entrance is set in one of four bays on the north facade
August 19 2011: The angled canopy above the double aluminum front doors
August 19 2011: The west wall of 17 Dundonald and the north side of 22 Condominiums, viewed from the pedestrian walkway linking Dundonald and Wellesley Streets alongside the Wellesley subway station
August 19 2011: The west wall of 17 Dundonald Street catches some evening sun and reflects the Continental Tower apartment building next door
August 19 2011: There are five bays along the building’s west elevation
August 19 2011: The south wall has turquoise-hued brick at its southwest corner. Next door is the brown brick wall of the 8-storey Terrace Court condo.
August 19 2011: 22 Condominiums rises to the south at 22 Wellesley Street East
August 19 2011: 22 Condominiums was built by Lanterra Developments in 2007
August 12 2011: Burano Condos, seen from the SE corner of Bay and College. The tower has climbed to 40 floors atop its 2-storey heritage building base.
Bay Street beauty: The Burano condo tower has become the newest member of Toronto’s steadily growing club of buildings taller than 40 storeys. On Friday, I counted 40 full floors of concrete, glass and steel rising from Burano’s two-storey base, a reconstructed heritage building that once was home to the Addison on Bay auto dealership. That means construction crews have only 10 more floors to build before Burano tops off: eight additional condominium levels, plus a two-storey mechanical penthouse.
Burano has looked impressive for months as the trapezoid-shaped tower has gradually climbed higher on the downtown skyline. With its angled south wall accenting Bay Street’s bend to the west at Grenville Street, and the striking, sharp points at its northeast and southwest corners, the Burano tower attracts attention from all directions. Its base will make an equally dramatic architectural statement once its three-storey glass lobby is installed on Grosvenor Street.
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 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.
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.
August 6 2011: 77 Charles West condo construction viewed from St Thomas Street
August 6 2011: New promotional signage on the building’s north side
August 6 2011: Floors on the northwest corner of the building
August 6 2011: St Mary Street view of the building’s curved southwest corner
August 8 2011: Crews install the first 3-storey section of glass cladding
August 8 2011: Workers put the green-hued glass curtain wall panels in place
August 8 2011: A closer look at the cladding over the second and third storeys
August 13 2011: New cladding viewed from Charles Street, looking west
August 13 2011: Cladding above the entrance that faces north up St Thomas Street
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
August 13 2011: Street-level view of the cladding’s neighbourhood reflection
August 16 2011: Reflection of the nearby Residences of the Windsor Arms
August 13 2011: One of the construction entrances on Charles Street
August 13 2011: A closer look at a corner section of the glass curtain wall
August 13 2011: New cladding viewed from the west end of the building
August 13 2011: Cladding reflects the One St Thomas Residences across the street
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.
July 3 2011: Excavation progress at the location for the east condo tower
July 3 2011: Excavation equipment and machines near the ramp off Bay Street
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.
July 3 2011: The southwest corner of the U Condos property near Brennan Hall on the University of Toronto campus
July 24 2011: A substantially wider and deeper area has been excavated at the southwest corner in the past three weeks
July 24 2011: An excavator sits roughly where the east tower will be constructed
July 24 2011: Another view of the excavator from the St Mary Street entrance
July 24 2011: Looking toward the southeast corner of the property from a security fence along St Mary Street
August 6 2011: Significant excavation progress on the eastern third of the site
August 6 2011: Looking toward St Basil’s Church across the center of the site
August 6 2011: The 45-storey west tower will be built at this location
Foundation work begins on north section of the One Bloor site
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.
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.
July 13 2011: Pedestrians walk on Yonge Street south of Bloor Street, passing foundation drilling machines on the One Bloor site
July 13 2011: Yonge Street view of the One Bloor site, looking east toward the Xerox Tower at 33 Bloor Street East
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
August 6 2011: Foundation building equipment on the One Bloor site
August 6 2011: A ground level view of the north half of the tower site