In January of 2013, Menkes Developments broke ground on a huge new mixed-use development south of the Gardiner Expressway in Downtown Toronto called One York & Harbour Plaza Residences. The project includes two condominium towers rising 62 and 66 storeys tall, with an office tower named for its address at 'One York' rising 35 storeys high to the west. HOOPP Realty (The Healthcare Of Ontario Pension Plan's development investment arm) who are co-developers of the tower, were announced as the first major tenant to One York upon announcement. In a press release today, another major Canadian company announced its intentions to move into One York with HOOPP. Sun Life Financial announced today that its Canadian head office operations with 1,400 employees will be moving to One York Street. Sun Life will occupy a 30% stake in the 800,000 square foot One York, which will be renamed the Sun Life Financial Tower upon move in.

Sun Life Financial Tower Harbour Plaza Residences Downtown Toronto One YorkSun Life Financial Tower & Harbour Plaza Residences, courtesy of Menkes

Sun Life Financial will be move from its current offices in the east tower of the Sun Life Centre at 150 King Street West, which has been housing Sun Life Financial for over thirty years. The company will also be moving out of its secondary office at 225 King Street West, part of the Metro Centre complex just west of Roy Thomson Hall. Sun Life Financial will consolidate their downtown operations to ten floors within in the Sun Life Financial Tower. Move in is planned for 2017.

"This building was carefully chosen and best fits the multi-faceted needs of our business. It will also give us the opportunity to design a space that fosters the collaborative, high performing culture we value at Sun Life" said Dean Connor, President and CEO of Sun Life Financial. "We are looking forward to joining Toronto's leading edge south core community".

Sun Life Financial Tower Harbour Plaza Residences Downtown Toronto One YorkConstruction site of Sun Life Financial Tower Harbour Plaza Residences

The new 35 storey tower is designed by Sweeny & Co Architects. The tower will rise above a four storey podium which will house 200,000 square ft of retail space, with indoor access to the architectsAlliance-designed Harbour Plaza Residences and the city's pedestrian PATH network. An above ground extension of the network will run south from Air Canada Centre and Union Station over Lake Shore Boulevard but under the Gardiner Expressway. To the south, the PATH will connect over Harbour Street to RBC's WaterPark Place III tower, also currently under construction.

PATH bridge under the Gardiner Expressway, TorontoPATH bridge under the Gardiner Expressway, image courtesy of Oxford Properties


The move of Sun Life Financial continues a shift in Toronto's Financial District with many businesses moving their operations south of King & Bay and closer to Toronto's waterfront. New towers in this secondary business district include Telus House, RBC Waterpark Place III, and the Bremner Tower and PWC Tower which make up the Southcore Financial Centre, and all constructed within the past few years. Cadillac Fairview is also planning a new office tower at 16 York Street. Business south of Front Street is bringing more people close to the waterfront, while expanding the downtown core past the Gardiner Expressway.

For many more renderings of this development and its South Core neighbours, check out our dataBase files, linked below. To get in on the discussion, choose one of the associated Forum thread links, or feel free to leave a comment in the space provided on this page.