Category Archives: Bay Street

Bay Street towers at sunset

Bay Street towers at sunset

Bay Street condo and apartment towers stand in silhouette under fiery orange clouds during tonight’s sunset (as seen from my balcony east of Jarvis Street). The buildings topped by construction cranes are the two U Condos towers at Bay and St Mary Streets (far right) and the FIVE Condos tower at Yonge and St Joseph Streets (second from right). Bookending the view at far left are the Murano and Burano condo towers at Bay and Grosvenor Streets.


U Condos townhouse & tower construction asserts strong visual presence along Bay & St Mary Streets

U Condos construction viewed from Bay Street

August 17 2013: Above-ground construction is still in relatively early stages, but the U Condos condo tower and luxury townhouse complex … 


U Condos site viewed from Bay & Irwin Streets

… 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.)


U Condos at Bay & St Mary Streets in Toronto

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.


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.


U Condos construction reaches street level


This was how the U Condos construction site looked on January 21 of last year.  As the yellow foundation drilling machine continued its work …


U Condos

… an enormous mound of soil (upper right) still had to be excavated from the site …


U Condos

… but one year later (January 26 2013, to be exact), underground parking levels have filled in the giant L-shaped excavation, and construction of the 2 condo towers and 19 town homes has reached ground level. Building forms for support columns for the ground level of the West Tower (left) already rise above grade.



Above is a link to a Flickr album containing three dozen photos of U Condos construction since the beginning of December. Click the image once to view a small-format slideshow, or click twice to access the album and view full-size photos instead.


Days numbered for former Bistro 990 building as demolition crews prep site for new condo

1000 Bay Condos

January 19 2013: The former Bistro 990 restaurant building — once a popular Toronto International Film Festival hangout for celebrities and Hollywood movie industry moguls — is being prepared for demolition to make way for construction of a condo highrise


 1000 Bay Street Condos location

This development proposal sign, seen on the site one year ago, describes the 32-storey condo tower that Cresford Developments will construct on the property


1Thousand Bay condos Toronto

This illustration, from the Cresford website, depicts how the 1Thousand Bay building will look. The condo was designed by Toronto’s architectsAlliance.


Bye bye bistro: The building that housed the once-famous Bistro 990 restaurant for nearly a quarter of a century will disappear from the Bay Street landscape soon to make way for construction of the 1Thousand Bay condo tower.



U Condos construction approaches grade

U Condos

December 6 2012: A view of the U Condos building site, looking northeast toward the intersection of Bay Street and St Mary Street, as construction of the project’s underground parking floors approaches ground level. A row of 3-storey “urban townhomes” will rise in the immediate foreground — the southern flank of the 2-tower condo complex.


U Condos

December 6 2012: Construction progress at the southwest corner of the U Condos property, where the 45-storey west tower will rise. Townhomes will extend across this side of the site.


U Condos

December 6 2012: Looking southeast from St Mary Street toward the site where the 50-storey east tower will rise. Concrete will soon be poured atop the building forms in the foreground, which are nearly at street level.


U Condos

From the U Condos website, this photo offers an October 2012 aerial view of the construction


Making grade: As autumn draws to a close, construction of the U Condos tower and townhouse complex is drawing closer to ground level.

Forms have been put in place along much of the west half of the property to prepare for concrete pours that will create the ceiling of the P1 level. That area is where the 45-storey West Tower will rise, as well as a row of “urban townhomes” along on the north and south perimeters of the property. Although similar building forms haven’t yet been installed on the east half of the site, where the 50-storey East Tower will soar skyward above more townhouses along Bay Street and St Mary Street, construction progress on that part of the project isn’t far behind.

Although the two tall towers will become skyline landmarks at the east (Bay Street) end of the University of Toronto campus, the 19 townhouses that will enclose the complex will ensure that U Condos stands out at street level, too. Indeed, they will give the U Condos project a unique look on Bay Street, sharply distinguishing the complex from all nearby condo, apartment and office highrises.



U Condos underground floors filling in

U Condos August 19 2012

August 19 2012: A view from St Mary Street of below-grade construction progress for the 50-storey U Condos east tower …


U Condos August 19 2012

… and for the 45-storey west tower


U Condos

August 19 2012: South view of below-grade progress on the the west tower, where the third underground parking level is taking shape


U Condos

August 19 2012: Looking toward the northeast corner of the U Condos site as the underground parking floors continue to take form


Parking progress:  When I last published photos of progress at the U Condos site back on March 4 2012, crews were preparing for the installation of the construction cranes while still excavating the vast L-shaped site next to the University of Toronto campus at Bay and St Mary Streets.

Since then, the underground levels for the two U Condos towers have steadily been taking shape, with work this month progressing to the third floor below ground.



Passersby get good street-level views of Burano as condo construction hoarding comes down

Burano Condos

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 …


Burano Condos Toronto

… 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


Burano Condos Toronto

 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


Burano Condos Toronto

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


Burano Condos Toronto

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.



Bistro favoured by film stars serves last meal, Cresford cooks up condo tower to take its place

Bistro 990 restaurant at 990 Bay Street Toronto

March 2 2012: Once a popular hangout for Hollywood celebrities attending the Toronto International Film Festival, Bistro 990 has closed after 23 years in business


984 Bay Street and 1000 Bay Street Toronto

The restaurant and its next-door neighbour at 794 Bay Street, a 7-storey building that formerly housed doctors’ offices and medical lab facilities …


1000 Bay Street Toronto

… along with the adjacent surface parking lot at 1000 Bay Street, on the northwest corner of Bay and St. Joseph Streets, will be razed and replaced  …


1Thousand Bay condos Toronto

… by a 32-storey, 478-unit glass condominium highrise depicted in this artistic illustration that appears on the website for Cresford Developments


984 Bay Street 1Thousand Bay sales centre

… which has opened its presentation centre for 1Thousand Bay in a street-level space once occupied by a retail drug store


Last supper: A Bay Street bistro long famous for its celebrity clientele served its last customers and closed its doors on Saturday night, clearing the way for a glass condominium tower designed by Toronto’s architectsAlliance to take its place.

Bistro 990 had operated at 990 Bay Street for 23 years. In its heyday, it was a a popular restaurant hangout for Hollywood stars visiting the city for the Toronto International Film Festival. The restaurant lost some of its appeal in recent years as local foodies grew less fond of classic French cuisine, and then lost some of its celebrity lustre when the film festival relocated from Yorkville to the TIFF Bell Lightbox two years ago.




Crane to be removed from Burano condo tower

Burano Condo tower

This red and white crane has been a familiar sight above the Burano Condos construction site since the fall of 2009 …


Burano Condos cranes

… but it will soon be disassembled and removed from the top of the 50-storey tower. The portable grey jib crane behind it will finish off the remaining construction work on the building.


Job done: A familiar sight will soon disappear from the city skyline.

The red and white construction crane that helped build the 50-storey Burano condo tower is about to be disassembled and removed from the site, as signalled by the installation of a temporary jib crane atop the building during the past two days. Now that the heavy lifting is done, the big crane will be moved to another construction site, and the smaller jib crane will finish the work that remains on Burano.



Crane installation imminent at U Condos site

U Condos 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


U Condos Toronto

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.



Winter photo walks: Bay/College area Part 1

Burano Condos Toronto

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:




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.