Demolition is officially under way in preparation for Yonge Street's next major landmark. MOD Developments' Massey Tower has generated significant interest since its launch, not just for its height, sleek architecture, and prominent position, but for its restoration of the four-storey, Pearson and Darling-designed Canadian Bank of Commerce branch at 197 Yonge Street, built in 1905. The restored heritage building will serve as the base for a new 60-storey, Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed condominium tower, and work recently kicked off on demolishing the rear section of the existing structure.

Massey Tower, MOD Developments, Hariri Pontarini Architects, 197 Yonge, Toronto197 Yonge (right), image by Jack Landau

In the image below, taken by Forum contributor androiduk, we can see demolition under way on the rear of the building, where the model suite stood. Next, the one-storey former banking hall will be taken down after the significant heritage components within, which include a circular mosaic floor, are removed and stored off-site for future re-installation once the tower is complete.

Massey Tower, MOD Developments, Hariri Pontarini Architects, 197 Yonge, TorontoDemolition at the rear of the Massey Tower site, image by androiduk

After demolition of the former banking hall, the entire 4-storey portion of the existing building fronting Yonge Street will be preserved in-situ, with the excavation for the tower's foundations proceeding around it. 

Massey Tower, MOD Developments, Hariri Pontarini Architects, 197 Yonge, TorontoA shot from later in the day of demolition at the rear of the Massey Tower site, image by Jack Landau

The start of work on the site that's now visible on the exterior (prep work has been ongoing inside for the last few months) marks a major milestone in the life of this historic banking building which went into an extended period of disuse after being shuttered in the 1980s. The restoration of the structure by ERA Architects and incorporation into the new towering condominium will breathe new life into this historic landmark, to be transformed a few years from now into the opulent condominium lobby.

Massey Tower, MOD Developments, Hariri Pontarini Architects, 197 Yonge, TorontoDemolition at the rear of the Massey Tower site, image by Jack Landau

For additional information including project facts and renderings of the Massey Tower, visit our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads or leave a comment in the section provided at the bottom of this page.