The constant sounds of drilling, crashing, demolition and trucks backing up have become akin to white noise for longtime residents of Charles Street East, between Yonge and Jarvis. Once a quiet downtown side street with only a small handful of apartments, Charles Street East is undergoing a large-scale transformation with 3 recently built residential towers, 3 more under construction and another in sales. Though low-rise buildings and underused lots all over the city are being supplanted by new build high-rises, the concentration of activity along Charles Street has been especially noteworthy. The built form of this street has seen a dramatic shift in recent years, with mid to late 20th–century mid-rise office buildings, like late architect Macy Dubois’ angular Béton brut-styled 45 Charles East, being torn down to accommodate the frenetic demand for high-rise housing. Now over a year and a half has passed since the demolition, but the spirit of Dubois’ unique design has been reincarnated into the design of its successor; CHAZ Yorkville Condos, by developer 45 Charles Ltd. and project manager Edenshaw Homes.

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdCHAZ Yorkville Condos construction site, image by Jack Landau

Work is well underway on the 47-storey condominium tower located on the southeastern edge of the geographically expanding Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. With crews currently working away at CHAZ’s expansive 5-level underground parking garage, we stopped by the site last week for a rare opportunity to descend into the under-construction below-ground levels.

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdCHAZ Yorkville Condos construction site, image by Jack Landau

Formwork is now in place for the walls and supporting columns of the P2 level, the second floor below ground.

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdColumns rising at CHAZ Yorkville Condos, image by Jack Landau

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdOngoing work on CHAZ's P2 level, image by Jack Landau

Lots of care is taken to ensure that these load-bearing columns are not just structurally sound, but also plumb (vertical) down to the millimeter.

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdCrews working on a rebar cage for a structural column, image by Jack Landau

On the south side of the site, preparation work is ongoing on the parking ramp. The outline of the vehicle ramp’s planned incline can be seen below.

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdPrep work for CHAZ's parking ramp, image by Jack Landau

As most of the on-site workers frantically work away in the sun on P2, the situation below ground is handled by a skeleton crew.  Once concrete is poured, and work moves on to the next floor above, this select group remains behind to chip, buff and smooth the otherwise rough-edged concrete.

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdCHAZ's underground P3 level, image by Jack Landau

With the below grade levels continuing to climb towards street level, we are anticipating the approaching above-grade milestone, as well as the stone-finished 5-storey podium that will rise above. The Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-design will reinterpret Dubois’ classic polygonal architectural features into an irregularly shaped tower with faceted angles reminiscent of the site’s former structure. The 511-unit project is slated for completion in mid-late 2014.

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdCHAZ Yorkville Condos scale model, image by Jack Landau

Aside from the architectural nod to the condominium tower’s predecessor, the developers have tabled a motion to rename the laneway stretching southerly from Charles Street to Macy Dubois Lane, which has received a recommendation from community council of approval, to be considered by City staff. 

Chaz Yorkville Condos Page+Steele/IBI Group Edenshaw Homes 45 Charles LtdProposed Macy Dubois Lane

For additional information including building facts, renderings and floorplans, please visit our dataBase listing below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out one of the related forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided below.