Tag Archives: Theatre Park condos

Woof! Canine construction boss keeps close watch over excavation crew at Theatre Park condo site

Theatre Park Condos construction mascot

March 7 2012: This gruff-looking construction supervisor keeps his hardhat tipped over his eyes to cut the glare from the afternoon sunshine beaming down on the Theatre Park condo construction site on King Street West


Bulldog boss: I’ve occasionally seen dogs doing security duty at construction sites, but today marked the first time I’ve seen one wearing a white hardhat and supervising the humans working on an excavation for a condo tower project.

The stern-faced bulldog boss was sitting motionless on the roof of a black 4×4 parked at the south end of the Theatre Park condo construction site on King Street West, watching silently while workers in earth-moving machines continued making progress on the excavation for the 47-storey point tower.

While I was shooting the pooch’s picture through a security fence on the west side of the site, several passersby came over to see what had caught my attention. Within moments, half a dozen people were pressing cellphones against the chainlink fence, snapping their own pics of the catatonic canine. Some actually thought the dog was real, including one woman who exclaimed : “Oh, he’s so cute … but how does he manage to keep that helmet on his head?” One fellow started intently through the fence and said: “I think it’s fake. It can’t be real. I don’t think they’re allowed to bring pets to construction sites.” Another said to me: “That’s hilarious. It’s great to see these guys have a good sense of humour. They’ve got a rough job.” Or did he mean “ruff”?

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

Below are a few more photos I snapped of the construction crew’s bulldog mascot, along with a site photo I shot at the end of January when foundation drilling and shoring was underway. Those are followed by an artistic illustration, from the Theatre Park website, showing how the tower will look. More information, photos and illustrations of the project are provided in my January 5 2012 post and in my February 19 2011 post.


Theatre Park condo project canine mascot

The plastic pooch basks in the sun from his perch on the roof of a truck


Theatre Park condo construction site

The 4×4 sits at the south end of the Theatre Park condo tower construction site, where crews have dug down more than six feet so far


Theatre Park condo construction

Overlooking the excavation through a chainlink fence at the southwest corner of the site, next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre


Theatre Park condo construction

January 31 2012: A drilling rig works on the Theatre Park construction site after a light snowfall, one of the few Toronto experienced this winter


Theatre Park condo tower rendering

The 47-storey point tower was designed by architectsAlliance. This illustration appears on the Theatre Park website.



47-storey Theatre Park condo tower will bring architectural excitement to Entertainment District

Theatre Park condo

Tower rendering from the Theatre Park condo project website

Planning drama: I suppose it was only fitting that high drama ensued when an application to built a condo tower next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre was filed with city hall back in early 2009. Especially since the rapid pace of condo development in Toronto’s popular Theatre/Entertainment District has become a hot-button topic with area businesses, residents and City Hall. 

It just wouldn’t have seemed right if the city had simply told Lamb Development Corp. and its partner Niche Development to go ahead and “break a leg” with its plans to build a striking 45-storey point tower at 224 King Street West, a site which has been occupied by a parking lot for the past 40 years. Just as one might have expected, though, city planners balked at the Theatre Park proposal. They were concerned that the building would be far too tall for the neighbourhood, and they feared that approving the project could set a dangerous precedent that ultimately could encourage other developers to demolish historical low-rise buildings in the area and construct towers in their place.

It didn’t seem to matter that a handful of highrise buildings already were under construction within a two-block radius, including the 53-storey Ritz-Carlton and 65-storey Living Shangri-La hotel/condo towers, and the Boutique and Festival Tower condos (35 and 41 storeys tall, respectively).

When the city rejected the application, the developers decided to challenge the decision at the Ontario Municipal Board. However, the parties reached a settlement allowing construction of a tower that would be slightly shorter, but would have 47 floors instead of 45.

Background about the planning and political drama behind the project, as well as some details about the proposed tower, were outlined in a November 11 2010 story in the National Post. Less than two weeks later, the Theatre Park project received rather robust attention during an advance sales event for VIP agents and brokers.

The building design, by Toronto’s architectsAlliance, is destined to get plenty of attention, too, though it remains to be seen if it will receive rave reviews from the critics once it is finally constructed. The Theatre Park website heralds the tower design as “audacious” and “iconic,” and I think those descriptions are apt. The slender tower will have a dramatic, bold presence on the Entertainment District skyline, while its open street-level plaza next to the Royal Alex should enhance the King West streetscape (particularly since the sidewalk along the north side of King always feels too narrow, and gets claustrophobically crowded both before and after performances at the Royal Alex and the Princess of Wales Theatre a few doors west).

Below are several architectural renderings that appear on the Theatre Park website, along with some photos I snapped recently of the condo project site and its famous next-door neighbour. The website has additional renderings, floorplans, and a four-minute animated video that suggests how Theatre Park will look on the skyline.


Theatre Park condos

Artistic rendering of the Theatre Park penthouse

Theatre Park condos

A website rendering of the tower podium and plaza on King Street West

Theatre Park condos

Artistic impression of how Theatre Park will appear at street level

Theatre Park condos

Another website illustration of the condo plaza fronting on King Street

Theatre Park condos

Promotional billboard at 224 King Street West last November

Theatre Park condos

Theatre Park site viewed from the south side of King Street on January 3 2011

Theatre Park condos

A billboard with a tower rendering, seen here January 3, replaced the first sign

Theatre Park condos

The Theatre Park billboard was gone when I passed the site on Thursday

Royal Alexandra Theatre

The Royal Alexandra Theatre, seen here on Thursday afternoon

Theatre Park condo

View toward the Theatre Park condo tower site on February 18 2011. Only one block to the north are the Boutique condo tower, left, and the Living Shangri-La Toronto hotel/condo complex, with the pink signs and construction crane.