It's Menkes Day on UrbanToronto: we started with a grand tour of the Gibson Square condominium project under construction on Yonge Street in North York, and now we end with more news for the prolific developer. Menkes, in partnership with HOOPP Realty (the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan's development investment arm), has officially broken ground on One York Street, the latest office tower now underway in a city that has seen over 4 million square feet of office space added since 2006 when the current boom in commercial construction began.

Equipment has started the excavation of One York Street by Menkes DevelopmentsEquipment has started the excavation of One York Street by &co Architects for Menkes Developments, image by Jack Landau

One York, designed by &co Architects and Landscape Architect NAK Design Group, will be 35 storeys high, rising 31 storeys over a 4-storey podium. The podium will eventually tie One York to Harbour Plaza Residences, a pair of condominium towers rising to 62 and 66 storeys designed by architectsAlliance. The podium uniting the components will feature 200,000 square feet of retail space and will connect pedestrians via a second storey PATH system extension to the Air Canada Centre, Union Station, and the rest of the PATH network to the north, while to the south it will connect to RBC's WaterPark Place III tower also currently under construction.

Menkes and their team ceremonially break ground at One York Street in TorontoMenkes and their team including &co Architects and NAK Design Group break ground at One York Street, image by Jack Landau

Members of the design team along with Menkes executives participated in a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 this morning. Actual construction work began about three weeks ago when equipment arrived on scene to begin the excavation process, and the work is expected to culminate in a summer 2016 opening of the $375 million building. One York will bring 794,358 square feet of space to the city's burgeoning triple A class office space. HOOPP, as well as investing in the building, has signed a lease for 132,000 square feet of space, or 5 of the building's 35 storeys. Lead tenant status, including prominent signage opportunities, is still available.

Rendering of One York Street by &co Architects for Menkes DevelopmentsRendering of One York Street by &co Architects for Menkes Developments

The development will be seeking LEED Platinum certification, meaning that it will aim to achieve a very high level of environmental sustainability during both the construction phase and the ongoing operation of the completed project. The building will be connected to Toronto's Enwave Deep Lake Water cooling system which draws cool water from Lake Ontario's chilly depths. Energy efficient buildings mean lower monthly carrying costs for the tenants as well as the attendant bragging rights that come with posing a smaller carbon footprint. Those working in the building will also benefit from advanced fresh air systems.

Equipment has started the excavation of One York Street by Menkes DevelopmentsEquipment has started the excavation of One York Street by &co Architects for Menkes Developments, image by Jack Landau

We will have more info on this project soon. In the meantime, if you would like to see several more images of One York, visit the UT database entry for One York linked below. Want to get in on the discussion?