Since celebrating its official topping off ceremony back in December, construction of First Gulf's Globe and Mail Centre has continued to make progress. The 17-storey Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed office tower recently reached yet another milestone, with the disassembly of the development's two tower cranes. 

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsBoth cranes atop the Globe and Mail Centre, captured on March 6th, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

Crane removal began this past Friday, starting with the south crane. It's painted blue and white in the image above from March 6. By the time UrbanToronto Forum contributor Razz got shooting on Friday the 18th, the jib, counterweights, counterjib, rear and fore pendants, the trolley, and the tower peak were already all gone. In the image below, the operator's cab was in the process of being hooked onto the north crane, ready to be lowered.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsDisassembly of the south tower crane captured on Friday, March 18th, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

After being hoisted down to Berkeley Street—which was still open to other traffic during this operation—the sections of crane were loaded on to flatbed trucks to be carted away to the next job site.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsCrane section being lowered onto a flatbed truck on Berkeley Street, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

By the close of the work day on Friday, the south crane was fully disassembled, with work primed to start on the north crane's removal the next day.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsGlobe and Mail Centre after the south crane's disassembly, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

Disassembly of the north crane commenced the following morning. To accomplish this, a temporary hydraulic crane was parked on Berkeley, with this block of the street closed to traffic for the duration of the removal.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsTemporary crane being used to disassemble the north tower crane, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

First, the mobile crane was used to remove the horizontal jib, starting with the counterweight slabs and followed by the jib arm itself. In the image below, the tower peak, the counterjib and the rear pendant remain.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsJib arm being lowered using a mobile crane, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

After those sections were also removed, the north crane's swivelling slewing ring and operator's cab were next to be detached, leaving just the main tower section/top climbing unit in place above the building's mechanical penthouse.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsSwivelling slewing ring and operator's cab detached, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

The last major sections of crane to be removed were the climbing units of the mast. They work together during construction to raise the crane to higher floors as the building grows taller over the course of construction.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsTower climbing unit detached, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

Following the removal of the north crane, the temporary crane used for the operation was disassembled itself. This procedure required the closure of Front Street to traffic as well as Berkeley.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsMobile crane being disassembled on Berkeley Street, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

The completed Globe and Mail Centre will soon add 500,000 square feet of office space to King Street East, and will be home to more than 3,000 employees upon opening. The development is targeting LEED® Gold with a number of energy efficiency features including a high-performance glazing system with ten-foot-high windows that allow daylight to penetrate deep into the building's core.

Globe and Mail Centre, Toronto, First Gulf, Diamond Schmitt ArchitectsGlobe and Mail Centre viewed after the crane removal, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

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 Forum thread, or leave a comment below.