Since being amalgamated into the City of Toronto in 1998, the former City of North York is often referred to as an inner suburb. While most of North York still displays the characteristics of a Mid-Century suburban neighbourhood, its central stretch of Yonge Street from Highway 401 north to Finch Avenue has seen tremendous growth over the past few decades, and North York City Centre (NYCC) now boasts density and a skyline that rivals most mid-sized Canadian cities. NYCC has become one of the most active development nodes in the region, as plazas and parking lots are replaced with office towers and condominiums which take advantage of the relatively recent subway interchange at Yonge and Sheppard. 2013 brought much change to the area, thanks to two major two-tower developments; Tridel and Hullmark’s Hullmark Centre at the southeast corner of Yonge and Sheppard, and Bazis, Metropia and Plaza’s Emerald Park Condominiums on the west side of Yonge, just south of Sheppard.

At the beginning of 2013, Hullmark Centre’s south tower, an all-condos building on its way to 35 storeys had already surpassed the 30-storey mark, while the north tower, an office-condo combo heading for a sky-scraping 49 storeys was at approximately 10 storeys. The shared podium between them was three-quarters glazed.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in January 2013, image by cruzin4u

Across the street, construction was not so advanced at Emerald Park, a development with that will feature a two-storey retail base topped with a floor of offices and 33 and 42-storey towers. Here, concrete had just risen above grade on the podium section’s first floor after having spent 2012 rising from its excavation pit.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in January 2013, image by cruzin4u

By March, the Hullmark Centre’s south tower had risen above the surrounding North York skyline, while the first floor of Emerald Park’s podium was in place.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in March, image by vz64

The Hullmark Centre towers can be seen under construction in the right third of the background of the Emerald Park photo below: the two projects are close enough that they are transforming the area around the Yonge-Sheppard intersection.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in March, image by vz64

Hullmark’s north tower reached a milestone in April, when the 2 metre thick transfer slab for the upper residential section of the tower was poured above the commercial office component. The slab is designed to transfer the loads from the columns in the upper residential floors to the offset columns office component below.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in April, image courtesy of Tridel

At Emerald Park, work on the complicated podium levels continued throughout April, reaching the second floor by months end.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in April, image by drum118

By May, residential floors were starting on Hullmark Centre’s north tower, while the south tower had topped out at 35 storeys.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in May, image by vz64

Across the street at Emerald Park, the angular floorplates of the podium continued to take shape, with two of the three podium levels complete.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in May, image by drum118

June marked the completion of Emerald Park’s podium levels, while work on the rooftop outdoor amenity spaces continued atop the podium of the Hullmark Centre: note the first landscaping taking place in the second photo below. 

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in June, image by Jack Landau

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in June, image by jivey80

June also saw the disassembly of the tower crane atop Hullmark’s south tower. Streets are always closed temporarily when such massive equipment is moved.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliCrane removal at Hullmark Centre, image by suiseiseki

In August, work had commenced on Emerald Park’s slender tower floor plates, while the Hullmark Centre’s north tower began to speed up its climb towards its goal of 49 storeys.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in August, image by Jack Landau

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in August, image by Jack Landau

September saw steady progress on both projects, as Hullmark’s north tower and Emerald Park continued to rise at impressive rates.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in September, image by Mafaldaboy

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in September, image by Mafaldaboy

By November, Hullmark’s north tower had surpassed the south tower in height, cementing its position as the city’s tallest building north of the Minto Midtown at Yonge and Eglinton.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in November, image from Tridel Webcam

November also saw the installation of the first of Emerald Park’s distinctive green cladding panels that give the development its name.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliCladding on Emerald Park viewed in November, image by Jasonzed

As the year drew to a close, a final look at the two neighbouring projects revealed a much different landscape than the images from early in the year. Hullmark’s south tower is now topped out and fully clad, with the north tower is much closer to its coming 49-storey summit.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliHullmark Centre as seen in December, image by drum118

Emerald Park’s fraternal twin towers ended the year about 26-storeys ahead of where they started, and it won’t be long before their landmark flaring roof features begin to emerge.

Hullmark Centre Tridel Kirkor Emerald Park Bazis Metropia Plaza Roy VaracalliEmerald Park as seen in December, image by drum118

There is much more on the horizon for this corner of North York, including a redevelopment of the Yonge-Sheppard Centre which will add an additional residential tower, as well as plans by Oxford Properties to build a 25-storey office tower at 4800 Yonge immediately north of Emerald Park.

In the meantime, to get a look at what Emerald Park and the Hullmakr Centre are supposed to look like upon completion, check out our dataBase files for the developments, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Choose the links to the associated Forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.