Standing proudly near Toronto's busy Yonge and Wellesley intersection, FIVE Condos continues to come together as construction progresses on this landmark building. Headed by MOD, Graywood, and Five St. Joseph Developments, the 48-storey condo tower is slowly shifting construction work to the interiors, as the finishing touches are applied on its sleek new facades. The project is setting a high bar in condo development for the city, as it incorporates amongst the largest historic facade restorations in Toronto's history.

FIVE Condos, MOD, Graywood, Five St. Joseph, Hariri Pontarini, ERA, TorontoA view of the tower from the northeast, image by Camil Rosiak.

The development consists of a 48-storey condo tower designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, sitting atop a base of heritage buildings meticulously restored by ERA Architects. The facades of the tower feature a distinct pattern of balconies, which gently undulate with changing depths moving up the building.

FIVE Condos, MOD, Graywood, Five St. Joseph, Hariri Pontarini, ERA, TorontoA view of the corner of Yonge and St. Joseph Streets, image by Camil Rosiak.

Clad with translucent fritted glass panels, the futuristic design of the balconies is defined by rounded corners created by the pattern of the frits, and appear as though they are private capsules contrasting the remarkably smooth glass surface of the tower. The impact of the balconies on the aesthetic becomes clearer every day as the cladding inches higher up the building.

FIVE Condos, MOD, Graywood, Five St. Joseph, Hariri Pontarini, ERA, TorontoA view of the tower from the northeast, showing the contrast of the balconies, image by Craig White.

Moving to the base, the ground level condition is starting to take shape as details are added to the heritage buildings and their surroundings. Along St. Joseph Street, the sidewalks have been poured and trees planted, as the heritage facade of the podium, housing the main entrance to the condo tower, nears completion. The podium will feature a rooftop garden designed by Janet Rosenberg and Studio.

FIVE Condos, MOD, Graywood, Five St. Joseph, Hariri Pontarini, ERA, TorontoThe heritage facade on St. Joseph Street, housing the main entrance, image by Craig White.

In the laneway on the west side of the building, new paving and sidewalks, complementing a brand new brick facade designed to be compatible with the existing heritage fabric, look to animate this once derelict passageway.

FIVE Condos, MOD, Graywood, Five St. Joseph, Hariri Pontarini, ERA, TorontoA view down the laneway on the west elevation, image courtesy of Forum contributor Benito.

Moving to the heritage facade along Yonge Street, a dramatic glass entrance is being installed in the second storefront from the street corner at St. Joseph. The recessed entrance is framed by glazing fashioned with an arch and sidelights sloping inward toward the doorway. The unique entrance is sure to stand out as a distinctive addition to the Yonge Street facade.

FIVE Condos, MOD, Graywood, Five St. Joseph, Hariri Pontarini, ERA, TorontoA new storefront being installed in the Yonge Street facade, image courtesy of Forum contributor Benito.

Taking a step back from the building, its minimal effect on the surrounding streets becomes apparent as more and more scaffolding is removed. The tower is hardly noticeable at ground level, as the large setbacks and preserved streetwalls maintain the human scale of the sidewalk that characterizes the area. The tower has minimal impact on its surroundings, and respects the existing historic conditions.

FIVE Condos, MOD, Graywood, Five St. Joseph, Hariri Pontarini, ERA, TorontoA view looking west down St. Joseph Street, image by Camil Rosiak.

As FIVE Condos races toward completion, the building represents a landmark intervention that sets a precedent for historic preservation for condo development in Toronto. The attention to detail is revealed as construction progresses, and it is only a matter of time before the construction crews finish up to reveal the latest addition to the Yonge Street corridor.

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