Tag Archives: Concord CityPlace

Charlie Condos climbs closer to completion

Charlie Condos Toronto

February 20 2012: The east side of Charlie Condos soars above the Mountain Equipment Co-Op on King Street, just west of Peter Street/Blue Jays Way


Charlie Condos Toronto

January 31 2012 : Charlie Condos, far left, makes its mark on the city skyline, in this view from the Bathurst Street bridge


Nearly there: Construction crews are close to topping off work on the latest condo tower to rise on the Entertainment District skyline. When I passed by Charlie Condos on King Street West earlier this week, workers were busy building the 35th level of what will end up as a 36-storey highrise. They also were continuing to make progress with exterior cladding installation, having reached as high as the 28th floor.



The skyline and CityPlace on a sunny winter day

Downtown Toronto skyline

Toronto growing taller


A view of the downtown Toronto skyline, looking east from the Bathurst Street Bridge this afternoon. The cityscape boasts three new skyscrapers, including Charlie Condos at King & Charlotte Streets (with crane, at left) Living Shangri-La Toronto at University Avenue & Adelaide Street (with crane, center rear), and the Trump International Hotel + Tower Toronto, partly visible to the left side of First Canadian Place. The Trump Toronto Hotel opened for business today.


CN Tower and CityPlace skyscrapers

CN Tower, CityPlace and the Puente de Luz bridge


A Bathurst Street bridge view of the CN Tower, some of the condo skyscrapers at Concord CityPlace, and the yellow Puente de Luz bridge which will connect City Place to Front Street West above the railway tracks. Below are videoclips I shot this afternoon showing the downtown skyline, construction activity at the Library District condominiums complex at the west end of CityPlace, and the various condo highrises at CityPlace. The latter clip includes views of the grey-and-white, 41-storey Toronto Community Housing apartment tower under construction at 150 Dan Leckie Way, as well as close-ups of the points where a 2-level bridge will link the round and rectangular Parade condo towers.








CBC News series will investigate looming threat of ‘slow-motion failure’ for ‘throw-away’ glass condos

Toronto CityPlace condo construction

Construction of the Parade condo complex at Concord CityPlace in mid-September. Rising on the railway lands west of the Financial District, the Parade project is just one of approximately 130 condo highrises currently being built in Toronto.


‘Failure’ in 5 to 15 years?: How long will Toronto’s glass-walled condo towers last? That’s one of the intriguing questions being examined in a special three-part investigative series airing this week on CBC News.

The reports, being broadcast on morning radio and early evening news programs, will examine what some experts believe will be the “short-term durability” and potentially staggering long-term maintenance costs for the scores of glass-walled condo towers rising on the Toronto skyline.

In a story posted today on CBC.ca, “Toronto’s glass condos face short lifespan, experts say,” the network quotes a developer who describes glass-walled condos as “‘throw-away buildings’ because of their short lifespan relative to buildings with walls made of concrete or brick.”


Enormous potential repair expenses

“We believe that somewhere between, say, year five and year 15, many, many, many of those units will fail,” David House of Earth Development told CBC. Major problems expected to arise include insulation failures, water leaks and “skyrocketing energy and maintenance costs,” for which condo unit owners would be on the hook. Fixing those problems will entail enormous expense — experts say the glass “skin” of condo towers could have to be completely replaced at a cost of millions of dollars per building. Meanwhile, unit resale values could plunge, further exacerbating condo owners’ financial woes.

The story is one of several articles on the CBC website that examine issues and concerns raised by the city’s continuing condominium building boom. Another, “Throw-away buildings: The slow-motion failure of Toronto’s glass condos,” includes links to a report explaining how thermal windows fail, as well as “The Glass Condo Conundrum,” a paper in which University of Toronto Professor of Building Science Ted Kesik examines the potential liabilities of glass towers.

The series began on CBC News Toronto at 6 p.m. today with an introduction by reporter John Lancaster. On tomorrow’s TV report, the CBC will visit a Toronto condo highrise with an infrared camera to show how much energy is lost through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls.  A similar investigative series by Mary Wiens is being featured this week on the CBC Radio show, Metro Morning.


Toronto’s next ghetto?

The CBC report follows on the heels of a provocative November 10 2011 feature story in The Grid TO in which writer Edward Keenan examined concerns that CityPlace could become “Toronto’s next ghetto.”

“This is the nightmare many foresee for CityPlace: Once the blue-green tinted glass buildings begin to age and no longer feel like the cutting edge in urban design, the development will no longer seem attractive to the young, mostly single and childless professionals who are currently moving in. Whoever replaces them will find a densely populated neighbourhood with little to recommend it. Cut off from the city by highways and rail lands, without much in the way of street life, the fear is the buildings will fall into disrepair and the only people who will live in the tiny apartments are families who can’t afford housing anywhere else,” Keenan writes.


Optima condo at 81 Navy Wharf Court Toronto

According to the CBC, owners in the CityPlace Optima condo highrise at 81 Navy Wharf Court (seen here in November 2010) are suing the building developer, Concord, for alleged defects in the 9-year-old tower’s glass window wall system



City Scene: Looking up — and down — at CityPlace

CN Tower viewed from Concord CityPlace


Looking both ways: The CN Tower is viewed through a gap between condo highrises at Concord CityPlace in this photo from March 29 2011 (above). The photo below, taken on November 2 2010, shows the view from the exact opposite direction — from one of the observation decks on the CN Tower.


CN Tower view of Concord CityPlace condo highrises

City Scene: Condos and cranes at Concord CityPlace

Downtown Toronto skyline

Skyscrapers keep rising at the massive CityPlace district west of the CN Tower

Tracking progress: Condo towers and construction cranes greet visitors arriving in downtown Toronto by GO Train or Via Rail. As the trains slow down for their arrival at Union Station, they pass the steadily expanding Concord CityPlace development on the south side of the tracks. This was the Bathurst Street Bridge view of CityPlace on the afternoon of January 14.