Mid-rise offices and apartments and quaint Victorian houses used to be the dominant built forms of Charles Street East in Toronto's Bloor-Yorkville area, though in recent years demand for new condominiums has turned this quiet side street into a densely clustered canyon of high-rises. Cresford Developments has already added two new condominium towers, known as Bloor Street Neighbourhood and Casa, to Charles Street in recent years, and the developer is adding to its portfolio with two new condominium towers under construction on the street, Casa II Condos and Casa III Condos.

Casa, Cresford Developments, architectsAlliance, TorontoCasa II (left centre) rising, with Casa visible on the right, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor kris

Rising 56 and 55 storeys respectively, Casa II and III will follow in the footsteps of the 46-storey Casa, sharing tall, rectilinear designs by architectsAlliance. While the designs of the towers are quite similar, the two new towers will set themselves apart from their shorter, older sibling, with more than just height.

Now standing approximately 30 storeys above Charles Street on the site of a former 9-storey brick office building, Casa II has crossed the halfway point towards its milestone of topping off at 56 floors. As the repetitive tower floors continue to rise, workers are getting into the routine of pouring around 1 floor per week. As it rises, the tower is being clad in striking, fritted, patterned balcony glazing, the first three floors of which have now been installed.

Casa, Cresford Developments, architectsAlliance, TorontoBalcony glazing on Casa II, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Benito

The pattern, established to give a distinctive identity of the project, is described by architectsAlliance as an organic motif of overlapping branches, inspired by the mature trees lining Charles Street. With a translucency ranging between 50-60% opacity, the pattern helps minimize the visual disruption caused by clutter like balcony furniture, while still allowing for ample natural light and views. Accordingly, the architects prepared iterative samples to test the density of the pattern, the application of the frit to the inside and outside of the glass, to get the desired effect for both residents and passersby. 

Casa, Cresford Developments, architectsAlliance, TorontoBalcony glazing on Casa II, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor urbandreamer

To the immediate east of the fast rising Casa II, excavation is wrapping up at the site of Casa III, being built on the former location of a Canada Post facility. This 55-storey development will extend the Charles Street condo canyon even further to the east. The balcony glass pattern will also appear on the panels for Casa III, and the design will be further repeated on water jet-cut anodized aluminum panels of Casa III's loading doors on Hayden.

Casa, Cresford Developments, architectsAlliance, TorontoExcavation at the site of Casa III, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor urbandreamer

Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.