A couple months since the installation of a tower crane atop the 1968-built former Global House office building at 480 University Avenue, major visible changes are under way at the construction site of Amexon Development Corporation's Residences of 488 University Avenue. The complicated mixed-use redevelopment, designed by Core Architects with structural engineers Sigmund Soudack & Associates, and being built by Toddglen Construction, will add 37 new floors of condominium suites above the existing 18-storey office building at the northwest corner of University and Dundas, all while people continue to work in the building.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoCrane atop existing office building, image by Jack Landau

Before the new residential levels can be built atop the existing structure, structural steel bracing must be installed around the perimeter of the tower to support the greatly increased structural loads from the new floors. To accomplish this, the precast concrete grille facade of the office tower and its windows are currently being removed, revealing the structural skeleton of the building for the first time in over 45 years.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoFacade removal at existing office building, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor G.L.17

Offices of the existing tenants are remaining open with business continuing more or less as usual—with minimal disruptions—as work takes place on the exterior. To accomplish this, new walls and windows have been installed just inside the original walls, creating a temporary envelope during the construction.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoFacade removal at existing office building, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor G.L.17

The 1968 concrete grille on the building was built to accept only single pane windows, and is crumbling in places. Once it has been removed in its entirety and structural steel bracing installed, the existing building will be re-skinned in a far more energy efficient curtain wall glazing, designed to replicate the dimensions of the original grille. The coming structural cross-bracing will be revealed to passersby through the new glazing.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoThe scale model reveals the new podium on University Avenue, the new glazing, and underlying structure.

The main office lobby on University Avenue will be extended out to the sidewalk, replacing the existing stairs with an at-grade connection between the building and street. The existing in-sidewalk stairway to Dundas Subway Station will be covered over and replaced with a sheltered entrance inside the new building, while new retail and a restaurant will also be included in the expanded lobby area.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoFacade removal at existing office building, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor G.L.17

Atop the existing 18 storeys, 37 new storeys of condominium suites with 30,000 square feet of amenities will be added. Interiors of both the suites and amenities are by II BY IV Design Associates. The extensive list of amenities include a gym, party room, roof deck, an outdoor but sheltered swimming pool, and much more.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoRendering of Residences of 488 University Avenue, image courtesy of Amexon

Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file, 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.

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