Across Yonge Street from the Eaton Centre on a tight site in Downtown Toronto, Tucker HiRise are working to get the foundation ready for the 60-storey Massey Tower, a MOD Developments project designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects. While the crane went in this weekend, lots of work has already happened at the bottom of the excavation pit for the tower, and we stopped by to see it last week.

Construction in the Massey Tower pit, MOD Developments, TorontoThe raft slab rebar is coming together in sections in the Massey Tower pit, image by Craig White

Not the deepest pit in the city, Massey Tower's servicing will happen underground, but the parking garage will be mostly hidden in the building's podium. As Massey Tower does not need to go especially to house a garage, and as it is being built amongst existing buildings on its Yonge Street site, Massey Tower will have a raft slab foundation as opposed to the more typical pile foundation. Massey Tower's raft slab will be a 3-metre pad of concrete reinforced by 8 layers of rebar over which the tower will rise.

Whiteprints detail the plans, Massey Tower, MOD Developments, Toronto,Whiteprints lie unfurled on a brace for the portable crane, image by Craig White

The rebar is being installed in place before the concrete pour occurs in the coming couple of weeks. Above, whiteprints have been laid out on one of the legs of the temporary crane, from where the foreman can oversee the installation of thousands of pieces of steel rebar rods, dowels, and pieces bent to custom specifications to provide create space between the layers.  

Workers receive rebar rods, Massey Tower, MOD Developments, Toronto,The crane delivers more rebar where it's needed, image by Craig White

Above, about three dozen of the custom pieces have just been delivered by the crane. Below, the lowest level of rebar has been installed in one corner of the pit.

Rebar clips anchor the raft pad, Massey Tower, MOD Developments, TorontoThe lowest level of the raft slab rebar taking shape, image by Craig White

Other sections were close to reaching to top of the rebar layers. Below, workers take rebar rods from a bundle and lay them out in place to create the grid of reinforced steel require to solidly hold a sixty-storey building aloft.

Workers lay rebar rods, Massey Tower, MOD Developments, Toronto,Workers lay rebar rods near the top of the raft slab, image by Craig White

Once it rebar has been placed, it is tied with steel wire to the rebar below it in multiple locations.

Rebar installed for raft slab at Massey Tower, MOD Developments, TorontoWorkers tie rebar into place with wire, image by Craig White

Rebar installed for raft slab at Massey Tower, MOD Developments, TorontoDetail, workers tie rebar into place with wire, image by Craig White

Once the rebar rods have all be tied in place, and dowels—the vertically placed rebar— protrude where walls will be built above, concrete can be poured.

Massey Tower, excavation pit, Toronto, MOD Developments, Hariri PontariniThe east end of the pit, where the raft rebar remains to be finished, image by Craig White

That process has to happen in one go, with truck after truck coming with concrete ready to be poured so that it can cure as one single, huge slab. With the portable crane having been used to hoist the materials in so far, it will have to be moved out of the remaining space itself to finish that corner. A tower crane will be needed to complete the raft installation and the next steps, so that crane was delivered to the site this weekend.

Crane raising for the Massey Tower, MOD Developments, TorontoVictoria Street is closed as equipment for the crane raising fills the street, image by Marcus Mitanis

Made up of several large sections—the mast, the boom, the jib, the counterweights, the cab, and other components—Victoria Street had to be closed down for several hours are the components were trucked in on flatbeds, and another temporary crane was brought in to hoist all of the pieces.

Crane raising for the Massey Tower, MOD Developments, TorontoThe boom and jib are prepared for hoisting, image by Edward Skira

The mast goes in first, anchored to a base that's set been in concrete in advance. Once the mast has been erected, more pieces can follow, and several have already been raised in the image below before the boom goes on. That's it about to be bolted into place int he image below.

Crane raising for the Massey Tower, MOD Developments, TorontoThe boom is hoisted into place, image by Marcus Mitanis

Once everything else is in place, the jib can be attached at the front of the crane's boom, as seen in the photo below.

Crane raising for the Massey Tower, MOD Developments, TorontoThe jib is hoisted into place in front of the boom, image UT Forum contributor The Charioteer

Very thorough posts showing how the crane was raised can be found in our thread for Massey Tower, linked below along with the associated dataBase file. The file includes renderings of just what is being built here, but to see the detailed photo essays of the crane raising, check out Edward Skira's contributions here, with Marcanadian's and The Charioteer's posts following.

If you want to get in on the Massey Tower conversation, that thread is your most comprehensive option, otherwise you can always post in the space provided on this page.