Category Archives: Toronto condos

The Aura condo tower’s other height record

Aura condo tower Toronto

When nature calls, construction crews working on the upper levels of the Aura condo tower at College Park get to use this portable toilet …



Aura condo tower Toronto

… perched high above the northwest corner of Yonge and Gerrard Streets — about 76 storeys above the ground when I shot this photo on November 14.



Sky-high porta potty: Construction isn’t finished yet, but the Aura condo building at College Park already ranks as the tallest residential tower in the country. It probably holds another record, too  — for having the highest outdoor toilet of any urban area in Canada.

As Aura has steadily climbed higher towards its final residential floorcount of 78 storeys, a porta potty has moved upward one new floor at a time as well, situated since May near the tower’s southeast corner.

But Aura isn’t the only downtown building site boasting sky-high outdoor toilet facilities for construction crews. The top-level porta potties on the two ÏCE Condominiums towers rising at 12 and 14 York Street have also reached dizzying heights as those buildings have ascended toward their final 57- and 67-storey floorcounts.


ICE Condo towers

September 4 2013: A view of the two ÏCE Condominiums towers on York Street, at which time construction was continuing on the mechanical penthouse levels for the 57-storey building at 12 York Street (left). Two outdoor porta potties are visible on the southeast corner of the 14 York Street condo (right) about 60 storeys above street level. That tower will top off at 67 floors.





New development application proposes 28-storey tower for controversial site at 81 Wellesley East

81 Wellesley Street East Toronto

November 22 2013: A rainy morning view of the vacant property at 81 Wellesley Street East in the Church-Wellesley Village …



81 Wellesley East Toronto

… where the City has posted this sign advising the public that a developer has applied to build a 28-storey residential tower on the site


New plan for Village site: A 28-storey residential tower with street-level retail space has been proposed for the Church-Wellesley Village site where a developer last year proposed building a 29-storey condo highrise in place of a Victorian-era mansion and coach house it had hastily demolished — much to the dismay and ire of neighbourhood residents.

The 182-suite, 95.7-meter-tall tower is proposed for 81 Wellesley Street East, former location of the Odette House mansion and coach house that for years had been occupied by Wellspring, a cancer support organization. Wellspring listed the property for sale when it decided to relocate to larger premises, and a small company called Icarus Developments acquired the site.


Odette House 81 Wellesley Street East

I shot this photo of the Odette House mansion at 81 Wellesley Street East on September 27 2011. The building, and a coach house behind it, were destroyed by the property’s new owner a little more than three months later.




The Yorkville Condominiums on the rise

The Yorkville Condominium

November 19 2013: A view of construction progress on The Yorkville Condominiums, rising at the corner of Davenport Road and McMurrich Street


Climbing higher: Reconstruction of the Davenport Road & Bay Street intersection isn’t the only distraction for motorists driving through Yorkville these days — construction of The Yorkville Condominiums tower is changing the look and feel of the landscape, too.

Work on the building’s concrete frame has passed the 10 floor mark, bringing the structure nearly one-third of the way to its 31-storey final floorcount. Even with completion still a long ways off, the building already exerts a strong presence on Davenport Road, and is drawing some attention away from The Florian, a recently-finished condominium right next door to the west.

A project of Lifetime Developments, The Yorkville Condominiums was designed by Toronto’s Wallman Architects. The 233-suite project includes tower suites as well as six luxury townhomes along the McMurrich Street side of the property. The building interiors have been designed by Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting Inc., and renderings of their work for The Yorkville can be viewed on the firm’s website.

More photos of The Yorkville can be seen on page 2 of this post and in The Yorkville Condominiums album on’s Flickr page.


The Yorkville Condominiums

This was how The Yorkville Condominiums site appeared only three years ago (November 1 2010, to be precise), before construction had commenced. The Florian condo tower next door was just halfway up, and several low-rise buildings still occupied The Yorkville’s prime corner site. Those buildings had formerly housed offices for the firm of Moriyama and Teshima Architects.




Theatre Park condo rising higher above King St.

Theatre Park Condos

November 14 2013: The Theatre Park condo tower continues its upward climb next door to Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street West


Over 30: The Theatre Park condo tower continues to make its mark on the Entertainment District skyline as construction continues to climb higher above King Street West.

The concrete shell for the tower, which will boast 47 residential floors when finished, is roughly two-thirds of the way up. Work was underway on the 30th and 31st floors when I passed by late last week, with a new level being poured about every three to four days. Window and cladding installation is nearly complete on floors 7, 8 and 9.


Theatre Park condo

An artistic rendering of the 47-storey Theatre Park condo tower, designed by Toronto’s architectsAlliance.




Peter Street condo tower continues to climb as nearby Tableau Condos gradually gets its legs

Peter Street Condominiums construction progress

November 14 2013: Construction has reached the 12th floor of Peter Street Condominiums at the northeast corner of Adelaide and Peter Streets …



Tableau Condos construction progress

… while at the opposite end of the same block, the ground level of Tableau Condos continues to take shape at Peter & Richmond Streets. The two condo towers will bookend the 9-story office building that sits in the middle of the block at 111 Peter Street.


One block, two towers: The east side of Peter Street between Richmond and Adelaide Streets is changing dramatically as construction continues to progress on two new condominium towers that will also transform the Entertainment District skyline and streetscapes in the process.

At the southeast corner of Peter and Adelaide, work on the Peter Street Condominium tower has climbed above the 11th level, bringing the building nearly one-third of the way to its ultimate 40-storey floorcount.

Just a few meters north, at the corner of Peter and Richmond, construction is progressing on the ground level of Tableau Condos, a 36-storey tower that will stand atop a distinctive table-shaped podium supported by long, tall column “legs.”

Artistic illustrations of both buildings, along with construction progress photos shot this week, can be viewed on page 2 of this post.



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.



5th floor work brings FIVE condo tower into view

Construction of FIVE Condos as seen from the east along Dundonald Street

 August 25 2013: Construction of the tower component of the FIVE Condos project at Yonge & St Joseph is now visible from the east along Dundonald Street.


Five floors up: Now that construction of FIVE Condos at Yonge and St Joseph Streets has reached the fifth floor, residents to the east are beginning to see how significantly the 48-storey tower will change the look and feel of their neighbourhood.

Until last week, it was difficult to monitor construction progress on the tower. Nestled behind a row of 3.5 to 4-storey heritage buildings along Yonge Street, as well as a 4-level heritage building facade propped up by giant steel supports on St Joseph Street, the construction could be seen at street level from only a couple of places. The Yonge & St Joseph intersection has been the best vantage spot, while the corner of Phipps Street and St Nicholas Street on the west side of the project site has offered an alternative but awkward view of the building activity.

However, construction is now visible to people approaching from Dundonald Street on the east side of Yonge. Work on the tower’s fifth floor can clearly be seen behind the row of historic buildings at 606 to 618 Yonge that will be restored as part of the redevelopment project. The tower is also starting to come into view from part of Wellesley Street one block to the south, and within just a few weeks should be obvious from the intersection of Yonge & Wellesley Streets as well as farther up and down Yonge.


FIVE Condos tower construction viewed from the east side of Yonge Street at St Joseph Street

August 30 2013: Construction of the FIVE Condos tower is now rising above the heritage buildings along Yonge Street  (left) and the retained facade of the Rawlinson Cartage warehouse building on St Joseph Street (right).




Theatre Park condo climbing higher on King Street

Theatre Park condos Toronto

August 19 2013: Nearly 1/3 of its way to 47 storeys, the Theatre Park condo tower already dwarfs Toronto’s historic Royal Alexandra Theatre


Stealing the show: When I last posted photos of the Theatre Park condos back in the spring (see my April 18 2013 post), construction was just beginning to overtake the height of neighbouring heritage buildings, including the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

Three-quarters of the way through summer, the tower has now grown to about one-third of its ultimate 47-storey height. And as it continues climbing higher, Theatre Park undoubtedly will keep stealing attention from the 106-year-old landmark next door.

A project of Lamb Development Corp, Niche Development and Harhay Construction Management Ltd., the Theatre Park condominium tower was designed by architectsAlliance.

The slender point tower still has some suites available for purchase — at prices starting from $489,900, according to the condo website.

Below are several more construction progress photos I shot recently. The Theatre Park Condos album on TheTorontoBlog’s Flickr page contains several dozen photos of construction activity since December 2012.


Theatre Park condos Toronto

August 19 2013: Tower podium viewed from the south side of King Street



Theatre Park condos

August 19 2013: Tower construction has climbed past the 16th level



Theatre Park condos Toronto

August 19 2013: The Theatre Park tower continues to rise higher above the 106-year-old Royal Alexandra Theatre



Theatre Park condos Toronto

August 19 2013: The 66-storey Living Shangri-la Toronto hotel and condo tower (right) looks on as Theatre Park continues its climb above the Entertainment District




A peek at the Pier 27 waterfront condos

August 19 2013 view of the two buildings on the east side of the Pier 27 Condos site

August 19 2013: Most windows have been installed on the two east buildings at The Residences of Pier 27 condo site, but installation hasn’t yet begun on the SkyBridge linking them. The steel frames for the SkyBridge were built a year ago.


Waterfront wonders: Judging by the positive reaction of passersby, The Residences of Pier 27 prove that imaginatively-designed midrise condo buildings can be just as attention-grabbing and impressive as soaring 70-storey skyscrapers.

I don’t get down to the lakefront as often as I would like to monitor progress on the Pier 27 project, but each time I do I’m amazed by the number of people who are captivated by the construction.

In particular, passersby are fascinated with the 3-storey-tall SkyBridges than span the tops of the four towers currently under construction on Queen’s Quay Boulevard East, near the foot of Yonge Street.

“Wow” is the most common comment, while many people say how much they would “love” to live in one of the lake-facing SkyBridge penthouses and enjoy the fabulous views of the Toronto Islands. People I chat with — many of whom are tourists — think the building design is striking, and a refreshing change from the skyscraper condos that have been rising throughout the downtown area. I can’t recall any negative or highly critical comments about the buildings, which were designed by Peter Clewes of Toronto’s architectsAlliance.

The Residences of Pier 27 is a project of Cityzen Developments and Fernbrook Homes.

Below is a link to the Pier 27 Condos album from TheTorontoBlog’s Flickr page. It contains more than 60 recent pics of construction progress.


Above is a link to dozens of recent photos showing construction progress at The Residences of Pier 27 condo construction site. Click twice on the image to view the photos in full-size format.


One Bloor condo building progress finally in view

One Bloor condo construction is now visible above the sidewalk hoarding

August 17 2013: Work on the 75-storey One Bloor condo tower finally comes into view as podium construction climbs above the sidewalk scaffolding …



Buildings at the SE corner of Yonge & Bloor being demolished in August 2008

… five years after demolition machines razed the low-rise retail, restaurant and office buildings that had occupied the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor



Show time: It has taken five years, but people passing through the bustling Yonge & Bloor intersection can once again see a building structure (albeit one still in the very early stages of construction) standing on the southeast corner.

Five years ago this month, the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor was surrounded by scaffolding, above which passersby could see demolition machines razing the upper floors of several low-rise retail, restaurant and office buildings that had occupied the corner property for decades. They were clearing away the old structures — and the pedestrian-friendly Roy’s Square lane behind them — to make room for construction of a highly-hyped 80-storey condo, hotel & retail complex that developer Bazis International called 1 Bloor.

With a promised “iconic” design, 1 Bloor would become a striking new landmark for the Yonge & Bloor area, and claim bragging rights to the title of tallest residential building in Canada. Prospective purchasers lined up for days before the presentation centre opened and, once it did, units sold like hot cakes.

By mid-September of 2008 the old buildings on the 1 Bloor site were completely demolished, leaving nothing but a big empty lot for passersby to see through security fences set up around the property. Architecture and building buffs — not to mention all the people who had bought condos at 1 Bloor — anxiously awaited word that construction was about to start.


1 Bloor promotional billboard November 13 2007

November 13 2007: This billboard advertised the original 1 Bloor condo tower that developer Bazis International had planned for the site.




Construction worker dies in fall from 70th floor of Aura condo tower; body found on nearby rooftop

Aura condo tower Toronto

August 16 2013: Construction progress on the Aura condo tower, viewed from the northwest corner of College Park


[Editor’s note: This post was updated on August 25. See below.]


55-floor plunge: Tragedy struck the Aura condo building site at lunchtime this afternoon when a 29-year-old male construction worker plunged to his death from the 70th floor of the tower.

Local media reports say that the man fell around noon, tumbling about 181 meters (55 floors) onto the roof of a 15-storey building nearby. News reports quote a Toronto Fire Department official as saying that the worker’s body was found about 24 meters away from the Aura tower.

A report by CTV News Toronto said the firm that is building Aura, Reliance Construction Group, had no comment on the incident. But in a report posted later on the Toronto news page of the CBC website said Reliance had issued a statement in which it noted that the worker had been an employee of an on-site contractor.

“This is a very sad and difficult time for all involved,” Reliance said in its statement. “Our thoughts today are with the people involved in this incident as well as their families, friends and colleagues. Health and safety is an utmost priority for our company. Our team is cooperating fully with local police and authorities to investigate this matter.”

The accident is under investigation by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.


Worker’s safety harness broke, news report says

A Global News Toronto report on August 24 identified the construction worker as Hamilton, Ontario resident Kevin Raposo, and said he was an employee of Verdi Alliance. The report says the tragic accident occurred when the metal clasp that secured Mr. Raposo’s safety harness broke. He fell onto the roof of the College Park Suites apartment building at 424 Yonge Street immediately to the north of Aura.

“The force of the impact caused structural damage to the gravel rooftop. Raposo’s body remained at the scene, covered by an orange blanket, for more than seven hours before crews laid down support beams and pieces of plywood so investigators could examine it. His body was removed after dark,” the Global News report states.

Aura will be the tallest residential building in Canada once construction is complete. The tower will be 78 storeys high.

Below are screen captures from local television news reports about the horrific accident, followed by a photo of Aura that I shot last week from the northwest corner of College Park.


Aura condo tower construction worker fatality

This image from a Global Toronto television news video show the roof of the College Park Suites building at 424 Yonge Street (center), onto which a young construction worker fell after his safety harness broke while he was working on the Aura condominium tower (upper right) on Friday.



Aura condo tower construction worker fatality

This image from the Global Toronto news video report shows emergency personnel standing on the roof of the College Park Suites apartment building, several meters from the tarp-covered body of the construction worker who fell from the adjacent Aura condominium tower construction site.



Aura condo tower construction worker fatality

This image, from a CTV Toronto News video report, shows the roof of the College Park Suites, as viewed from a nearby building on the east side of Yonge Street



Aura condo tower Toronto


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.


Aura condo construction climbs to 60 storeys

Aura condo tower

June 20 2013: The west side of the Aura condo tower as seen from Gerrard Street near University Avenue, at sunset last evening


Sweet 60: Construction has commenced on the 60th floor of the Aura condo tower at College Park.

That leaves 18 more residential levels to be built, plus the tower’s mechanical penthouse.

If you have roughly a million bucks to spare, you can still buy in the building. According to a listing on the project website, 7 “executive suites” are available on the 75th floor, at prices ranging from a low of $994,500 for a 1,090-square-foot unit, to a high of $1,454,800 for a 1,630-square-foot residence.

If you’d prefer to live higher up, four penthouse suites are still available, too —  at prices ranging from $2,349,500 for 2,335 square feet to $3,559,000 for 2,961 square feet.


The intriguing top of The L Tower

The L Tower

I often hear people comment about how much they like the distinctive big bend on the upper north face of The L Tower at Yonge & The Esplanade …



The L Tower

… the 58-storey condo tower designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in conjunction with Toronto’s Page + Steele/IBI Group Architects



The L Tower

… but I’m equally fascinated by the interesting shape and layout for the tower’s mechanical penthouse levels …



The mechanical penthouse levels of The L Tower take shape

… seen in this telephoto view from the northeast along Church Street near King Street East. Below are more photos of The L Tower, one of my favourite new skyscraper additions to the city skyline.  The L Tower is a project of Fernbrook Homes, Cityzen Real Estate Group and Castlepoint Realty Partners.