Category Archives: Hotels

Looking up at some of the new skyscrapers making their mark on the downtown Toronto skyline

RBC WaterPark Place

The new RBC WaterPark Place office tower practically blends into the clouds in this view from the west on lower York Street on September 16 2014



South Financial Core towers

while four new towers reach for the clouds above the south downtown core. At left are the Delta hotel and Bremner office tower at Southcore Financial Centre on Bremner Blvd. Soaring skyward at right are the two ÏCE Condos on York Street.



1 Bloor condos

The sensuous curves of the One Bloor condo tower are already adding interest and excitement to the once-drab Yonge & Bloor intersection in Yorkville.



Below are more photos of the towers shown above, as well as other hotel, office and condo skyscrapers that I photographed this past week.



RBC WaterPark Place office building


RBC WaterPark Place

West side of RBC WaterPark Place viewed from lower York Street



RBC WaterParkPlace

South face of RBC WaterParkPlace seen from Queen’s Quay Blvd. The tower was designed by WZMH Architects of Toronto.



RBC WaterParkPlace

Upper half of the 30-storey tower, viewed from the southwest



RBC WaterPark Place

Another view of the tower from Queen’s Quay to the southwest



Studio on Richmond condominiums


Studio on Richmond

Looking up the north side of the Studio on Richmond condo tower situated between Simcoe and Duncan Streets in the Entertainment District. It will top off at 31 storeys. Its 41-storey sister tower, Studio2, is currently under construction behind it on Nelson Street.



Studio on Richmond condo

Studio on Richmond podium and tower viewed from the north side of Richmond Street near Simcoe Street



Studio on Richmond condo

The two-tower Studio on Richmond condo complex was designed by Quadrangle Architects of Toronto.



Studio on Richmond condo

A view of the Studio on Richmond condo from the west on Richmond Street near Duncan Street. The building is a project of Aspen Ridge Homes.



 Delta Hotel and Bremner office tower at Southcore Financial Centre


Delta Hotel and Bremner office tower

The Delta Toronto hotel (left) and the Bremner office tower are nearing completion at Southcore Financial Centre on Bremner Boulevard between York Street and Simcoe Street. The buildings are seen here from Roundhouse Park, near the Toronto Railway Museum.




Delta Hotel and Bremner office tower

The 45-storey Delta Hotel tower reflects on the west wall of the 30-storey Bremner office tower in this view from the southwest corner of Lower Simcoe Street and Bremner Boulevard.



Delta Hotel

Looking up the northwest corner of the Delta Hotel. The Bremner office tower is partially visible behind it.




Delta Hotel

Upper west side of the Delta Hotel. Scheduled to open in 2015, the Delta will be a premium 4-star hotel with 567 guest rooms.



Delta Hotel

The angled south face of the Delta Hotel, seen from Bremner Boulevard




The L Tower condominium


The L Tower

Upper floors of The L Tower seen from the west on Sept 16 2014. The dramatically curved skyscraper was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind.




The L Tower

A closer view of some of the upper levels of the 58-storey L Tower, which is located at the corner of Yonge Street and The Esplanade, directly behind the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.



The L Tower

The L Tower makes an emphatic point on the downtown skyline



The L Tower

A telephoto view of the construction crane that has soared above The L Tower construction site for the past several years



The Mercer condo tower


The Mercer condo

Looking up the southeast corner of The Mercer condo building, which rises 33 storeys at the corner of Mercer and John Streets in the Entertainment District



The Mercer condo

The Mercer was designed by BBB Architects, and is a project of Graywood Developments Ltd. and Beaveerhall Homes.




Three Hundred Front Street West condominiums



300 Front Street West condos

The upper floors of the 49-storey Three Hundred Front Street West condo tower



300 Front Street West condos

Looking up the southeast corner of Tridel’s Three Hundred Front West condo. The building was designed by Toronto’s Wallman Architects.



Theatre Park condominiums


Theatre Park condo

The 47-storey Theatre Park condo tower is under construction on King Street West, right next door to Toronto’s historic Royal Alexandra Theatre. I shot this photo of Theatre Park from two blocks to the northwest.



Theatre Park condo

Theatre Park was designed by architectsAlliance of Toronto. The condo is a project of Lamb Development Corp., Niche Development and Harhay Construction Management Ltd.



Theatre Park Condos

Glass balcony panels are gradually being installed on the tower’s north side



Theatre Park Condos

Design details on the tower’s west side



ÏCE Condominiums


ICE Condos

The upper west sides of the 67- and 57-storey ÏCE Condominiums, located at 12 and 14 York Street in the south downtown core



ICE Condos

The top of the 67-floor ÏCE Condo at 14 York Street. A project of Lanterra Developments, the two skyscrapers were designed by Toronto’s architectsAlliance.




ICE Condos

 ÏCE Condo towers viewed from the southeast on Queen’s Quay Blvd.



ICE Condos

A view of the two towers from Grand Trunk Crescent to their northwest




Aura condominium


Aura condo tower

I shot this pic of the 78-storey Aura condominium tower from the podium green roof at Toronto City Hall. Aura is the tallest condominium building in Canada.




Aura condos

The upper third of Aura, viewed from several blocks to the southwest




Aura condo tower

A view of Aura from two blocks to the west on Elizabeth Street



Aura condo tower

Aura viewed from the northwest corner of College Park. A Canderel development project, the tower was designed by Graziani & Corazza Architects Inc.




Aura condos

The top of Aura, viewed from the southwest



Aura Condos

The top of Aura, viewed from the north



Nicholas Residences condominiums


Nicholas Residences

A view of 35-storey Nicholas Residences from the north on Balmuto Street. The condo is a project of Urban Capital and Alit Developments.



Nicholas Residences

Looking up the tower’s northwest corner, from the intersection of St Mary and St Nicholas Streets. The building was designed by Toronto’s Core Architects Inc.



Nicholas Residences

Nicholas viewed from the southwest on St Nicholas Street.



Nicholas Residences

West side of Nicholas, viewed from St Mary Street near Bay Street




FIVE Condominiums


FIVE Condo tower

Looking toward the 48-storey FIVE Condos tower from two blocks to the southeast, at the corner of Yonge and Maitland Streets.  To its right is the Nicholas Residences condo tower, two blocks north.




FIVE Condo tower

FIVE Condos was designed by Toronto’s Hariri Pontarini Architects



FIVE Condo tower

Looking up the south side of FIVE Condos from Wellesley Street West



FIVE Condo tower

The tower has a wonky appearance when viewed from the south, thanks to the undulating pattern of balconies on the east and west sides.



FIVE Condos S

Construction of the tower’s mechanical penthouse is underway. FIVE Condos is a project of MOD Developments Inc., Graywood Developments Ltd., Tricon and Diamondcorp.




FIVE Condos

Windows on the east side of FIVE Condos on September 5



FIVE Condos

FIVE Condos viewed from the east on the morning of September 11




FIVE Condo tower

A view of FIVE from the south on St Luke Lane, next to the Toronto Central YMCA Centre (left).  This view will change drastically in several years when Lanterra Developments builds its 60-storey 11 Wellesley on the Park condo tower on the property partly visible on the left side of St Luke Lane (presently occupied by a row of trees and a condo presentation centre behind them).




Chaz.Yorkville condominiums


ChazYorkville condos

Chaz.Yorkville Condominiums, on Charles Street between Yonge and Church Streets, is a project of 45 Charles Ltd. and Edenshaw Homes Limited.



ChazYorkville condos

A signature design element of Chaz.Yorkville is the large rectangular box that juts from the tower’s south side. It’s the Chaz Club, a 2-storey private club for exclusive use of condo residents.



ChazYorkville condos

The tower was designed by Sol Wassermuhl of Page + Steele IBI Group Architects in Toronto. It will stand 47 storeys tall when complete.



Casa Condominium and ChazYorville Condos

Chaz.Yorkville is only a few weeks away from overtaking the height of its next-door neighbour, the 46-storey Casa Condominium tower, which was built in 2010.



One Bloor Condominiums


One Bloor Condos

Although construction has climbed only one-third of the way to its ultimate 75 storeys, the One Bloor condo tower is already making a huge architectural statement at the Yonge & Bloor crossroads in Yorkville. I shot this photo from the southwest corner of Yonge & Charles Streets.



One Bloor Condos

I often hear passersby comment favourably on the delightful sweeping curves of One Bloor’s podium and tower.



One Bloor Condos

Looking up at One Bloor from the southwest corner of the Yonge & Bloor intersection. The building was designed by Toronto’s Hariri Pontarini Architects.



One Bloor Condos

A view of One Bloor from the northwest, on Yonge Street just above Bloor




U Condos


U Condos

A view of the two U Condos towers from two blocks to the south on Bay Street, at Phipps Street. The construction crane at left is building the 32-storey 1Thousand Bay condo tower at the southwest corner of Bay and St Joseph Streets.



 U Condos

The west U Condos building has topped off at 45 storeys, while the east tower continues its climb toward 55 floors. U Condos is a project of Pemberton Group, and was designed by architectsAlliance of Toronto.




X2 Condominiums


X2 Condos

Construction crews are closing in the mechanical penthouse levels of the 49-storey X2 Condominiums at the southwest corner of Jarvis & Charles Streets



X2 Condos

X2 Condos viewed from one block to the southwest on Isabella Street. The tower is a project of Lifetime Developments and Great Gulf Homes.



X2 Condos

A September 3 view from the south of X2 Condos left, and the first X Condos, right, which was constructed in 2010. X2 was designed by Wallman Architects, while X Condos was designed by architectsAlliance.



Glass balcony panel shatters on Shangri-La tower

Shangrila Toronto shattered balcony panel

A shattered glass panel is visible on a balcony at the Shangri-La Toronto hotel and condo tower on the northwest corner of Adelaide Street and University Avenue. This image is a screen capture from a video report on



More breakage: It has happened yet again — another balcony panel on the 66-storey Shangri-La Toronto hotel and condo tower has shattered, raining pieces of glass onto a major downtown street.

According to local news reports, no-one was injured when pieces of glass fell onto Adelaide Street when the balcony panel broke around 1.30 a.m. today. Police immediately closed the street to traffic so they could investigate the mishap. Adelaide Street was reopened to traffic around 10:30 a.m., the Toronto Star reported in its Sunday online edition.

Local news station CP24 posted a video of the scene on its website. The tape showed a shattered balcony panel on the Shangri-La tower’s southwest corner, about 20 storeys above Adelaide Street. The CP24 reporter noted that this marked the third time this year alone that a glass panel had shattered and fallen from the tower, which officially opened in October 2012.

The first instance occurred on a very cold day last January, at which time glass from a shattered panel fell onto Adelaide Street. The second event occurred last September. In that case, the CP24 reporter said, the falling glass injured a man on University Avenue. A Toronto Star report on the September incident said that a 53-year-old man was treated at hospital for the minor injuries he suffered when some of the glass struck his head.

Last night’s incident comes in the wake of the broadcast premier this past Thursday night of a documentary film entitled The Condo Game, which I previewed in a November 18 2013 post. That film, which examines the pitfalls and potential future problems posed by Toronto’s continuing condominium building boom, had been inspired by a series of balcony glass breakages at three downtown condo towers in the summer of 2011.

So far, there has been no word from Toronto police or City building inspectors as to what may have caused the balcony panel to break today.


Living Shangri-La Toronto hotel and condo tower

A CN Tower view of the Shangri-La Toronto hotel and condo tower on June 3 2013


Downtown skyline views from the Toronto Islands

The downtown Toronto skyline as seen from Ward's Island

A Ward’s Island view of the downtown Toronto skyline earlier this month


Pics and video: A lunchtime bikeride on the Toronto Islands earlier this month gave me a chance to check out how much the downtown skyline has changed in the one-year period since my last trip to the islands.

Although there are dozens and dozens of condo towers and several office highrises under construction in downtown Toronto, only a handful of projects have so far made a significant impact on the skyline views.

The southwest downtown core is now dominated by the two ÏCE Condominium towers which are still under construction on York Street, while the nearby Delta Hotel tower at Southcore Financial Centre on Bremner Boulevard also makes a big impact from some perspectives. 

Off to the west, the Library District Condominium tower is a noteworthy addition to the Concord CityPlace skyline; a year ago, only its construction crane was visible.

Over on the southeast side of the downtown core, The L Tower is the most eye-catching new building, with the water’s edge Residences of Pier 27 also commanding attention even though it’s only a midrise condominium project.  Much farther east, the Distillery District is easier to locate now that construction is drawing closer to completion on the Gooderham Tower.



Construction views from Roundhouse Park


Constantly changing scenery: The Rogers Centre, the CN Tower and the skyscrapers of the Financial District once dominated the north and east views from Roundhouse Park on Bremner Boulevard. But a slew of nearby construction projects is giving park visitors new views that change by the day. Above is a video I shot from the park yesterday, showing building activity at five major construction sites nearby: Infinity3, the final phase of the Infinity condo complex between Bremner and Lake Shore Boulevard; the two ICE Condos towers at York Centre on the east side of the Infinity buildings; the Delta Toronto hotel and Bremner office tower at Southcore Financial Centre; the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada approaching the end of construction at the foot of the CN Tower; and the Three Hundred Front Street West condo tower to the northwest.



South downtown skyscraper construction offers soaring backdrop for Toronto’s new aquarium

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada and tower construction projects  in Toronto's south downtown area

April 4 2013: Construction is proceeding on schedule for a summer opening of the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (foreground), located on Bremner Boulevard at the foot of the CN Tower.  The new aquarium is one of eight different buildings seen at various stages of construction in this photo shot from the pedestrian walkway on the east side of the Rogers Centre. Rising behind the aquarium are, from left, The L Tower, the Delta Toronto Hotel and Bremner Tower office building at Southcore Financial Centre, the two cylindrical ÏCE Condos skyscrapers, and the two towers of the Infinity3 Condominiums. Click on the photo to view it in a larger format.



Winter building pics: March 2013

 My March 2013 album on Flickr features more than 500 photos showing dozens of downtown construction projects and building sites. Click once on the image above to view a small-format slideshow of the pictures, or click twice to access the actual album where you can view individual full-size photos with captions.



Frozen fingers: It’s only a few days into spring and I’m still sorting through hundreds of building and construction photos I took during the winter. What has struck me the most is how gloomy and grey the city looked most of the time. Sunny, clear days were few and far between — and when they came, it was usually too bitterly cold and windy for me to risk freezing my fingers by wandering around with my camera.

I did manage a few long photo walks, though, and have been gradually posting the pics in albums on’s Flickr photostream.  Above is a link to my fourth winter photo album, March 2013.




Winter building pics: February 2013

Above is a link to my February 2013 Flickr album of building and construction photos I shot during walks in the downtown area. Click once on the image to view a small-format slideshow of the pictures, or click twice to access the album directly on Flickr and see full-size photos and captions.


Winter building pics: January 2013

Above is a link to my January 2013 Flickr album of building and construction photos I shot during walks in the downtown area. Click once on the image to view a small-format slideshow of the pictures, or click twice to access the album directly on Flickr and see full-size photos and captions.


Winter building pics: December 2012

Above is a link to my December 2012 Flickr album of building and construction photos I shot during walks in the downtown area. Click once on the image to view a small-format slideshow of the pictures, or click twice to access the album and see full-size photos and captions.


Work starts on highrise apartment/condo addition to 42-year-old rental tower on Isabella Street

66 Isabella Street

February 12 2013: A construction crew begins cutting holes where new windows and balconies  will be installed …



66 Isabella

… on the southeast side of the 26-storey apartment tower at 66 Isabella Street



66 Isabella Street and 620 Church Street

The work is just the first phase of a project in which a 23-storey addition will be built next to the rental highrise (left) in place of the trees and lawn that have provided an open space at the northwest corner of Church and Isabella Streets for more than 40 years. Meanwhile, city approval is being sought for a 3-storey walk-up condo addition to the south and west sides of the Town Inn Suites at 620 Church (right) in a separate project that would fill in the remaining greenspace on the corner property between Charles and Isabella Streets.



Apartment tower add-on: The area around Church & Isabella Streets has been buzzing — literally — with the sounds of crews preparing a 42-year-old apartment tower for construction of a highrise addition that will contain 12 condo suites and 199 new rental units.

Workers started cutting holes in the south wall of the 66 Isabella Street building this week, the first step in reconfiguring apartments on the tower’s east side before a 23-storey addition is constructed only a few feet away.

The renovation work started last month, slightly more than two years after City planners released a preliminary report outlining issues that the project posed, and recommending that a community consultation meeting be called to get public input into the redevelopment proposal.




TIFF crowd gets first look at Living Shangri-La as new 5-star hotel/condo tower nears completion

Living Shangri-la Toronto & Fairmont Royal York Hotel Toronto

August 22 2012: The city’s newest 5-star hotel, the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, looms  to the northwest of the Fairmont Royal York, the grande dame of Toronto luxury hotels


Star attraction: The cachet of red carpets and Hollywood celebrities is giving a big pre-opening advertising boost to the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto as the city’s newest 5-star hotel & condo tower nears the end of construction.

It’s not officially open to the travelling public yet, but the Shangri-La is buzzing with energy and excitement as construction crews hurry to put finishing touches on the 202-room hotel at the same time as hordes of movie industry VIPs schmooze and conduct business in the building during the Toronto International Film Festival, which opened Thursday.

When I walked past the hotel yesterday morning, construction crews were scurrying on three sides of the building, especially around the western entrance off Simcoe Street where there was an almost chaotic array of activity underway. Construction tradesworkers weren’t the only people rushing in and out of the hotel; Simcoe and nearby Nelson Street were clogged with traffic as delivery trucks rushed everything from skids of building supplies to carts full of fresh fruit and vegetables into the Shangri-La. Contractors, cleaners and photographers were also streaming in and out of the Soho House Toronto, the private club for creative professionals which will occupy the restored Bishop’s Block heritage building on the southwest corner of the Shangri-La property.




Trump taking a long time to P above Toronto

Trump Tower Toronto

 The first two letters of the TRUMP logo were installed atop the north side of the 65-storey, 900-foot Trump International Hotel + Tower Toronto by the end of May …


Trump Toronto Tower

… but as of the 2012 Labour Day Weekend, the P still wasn’t in place because construction hasn’t yet finished on the tower’s distinctive “quarter onion” and spire


 Waiting for a big P: When I last posted photos of the Trump International Hotel + Tower Toronto on June 8 2012, I wrote that installation of the giant Trump logo near the top of the building’s north side “signals that completion of exterior construction isn’t far off.”

I was wrong.

Although the hotel has been open for business since early this year, work on the exterior upper reaches of the 900-foot, 65-storey tower still isn’t complete. In particular, the P hasn’t been added to the rest of the Trump logo because crews are still finishing work on the signature “quarter onion” and spire segments of the building that rise from the tower’s northwest corner.

Several times on August 31, I saw construction workers climbing to and from the “crow’s nest” on the spire, so I know the contractors are hurrying to complete the building.

But even though the full Trump logo isn’t yet making its mark on the city skyline, the tower’s illuminated spire is. For several weeks in June, downtown residents saw test-runs of the spire’s lighting system, which reminded many Torontonians of the lightsabers in the Star Wars movies. Although the June testing showed the system’s multicolour capabilities, the spire has emitted a only a pale pink glow above the Financial District since then.

Fingers crossed that the logo will be completely installed by Thanksgiving.


Untinted cladding lets 55-storey Four Seasons Toronto hotel & condo tower ‘blend into the sky’

Four Seasons Toronto

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.

In the article, architecture columnist John Bentley Mays relates a conversation he had with the Four Seasons Toronto architect, Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance.

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.”



Florian condo and Four Seasons Toronto towers fast approaching podium finishes in Yorkville

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

Exterior work on the new Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, seen here July 29 2012, is currently focussing on the base of the soaring 55-storey condo and hotel tower, as well as on the streetscape at the northwest corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue.


Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

August 6 2012: In the courtyard on the east side of the Four Seasons tower, a driveway of elaborately patterned paving stones is being installed in front of the porte cochère …


Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

… while work is underway on the other half of the courtyard, where an urban garden will grace the street level in front of the 26-storey Four Seasons condo tower


The Florian condos in Yorkville Toronto

Meanwhile, just one block to the north, work is nearly finished on the podium of The Florian condo tower on Davenport Road at the top of Bay Street, seen July 29 2012


The Florian condos in Yorkville Toronto

Marble, glass and masonry accent provide strong angular accents to the long facade of The Florian’s podium, which gently follows the curve of Davenport Road


The Florian condos in Yorkville Toronto

Exterior finishing touches, including glass panel installation on podium-level balconies, were underway during the August holiday weekend …


The Florian condos in Yorkville Toronto

… while the revolving lobby entrance door and sheltered front driveway beneath the sharply pointed prow of the podium were in full view to passersby


Finishing touches: During the past three years, public attention on The Florian and the new Four Seasons Toronto condo towers in Yorkville has generally been focussed upward, as construction of the three highrise buildings climbed steadily higher. Now that wooden construction hoarding has been removed from the sidewalks outside both buildings, passersby are finally able to take a good look at architectural details closer to earth, including the exterior of the podiums and the streetscaping and landscaping elements of each project.



Four Seasons Toronto towers getting exterior finishing touches, landscaping installation

Four Seasons Toronto West Tower

August 6 2012: The soaring 55-storey West Tower of the Four Seasons Toronto Hotel + Residences complex at the northwest corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue


~ Continued from previous post ~

Below is a series of photos showing recent construction activity on the lower levels of the Four Seasons Toronto hotel and condo towers, along with link to a short videoclip shot during the Civic Holiday long weekend.