In late 2013, CentreCourt Developments purchased property at the northeast corner of Shuter and Dalhousie in Downtown Toronto and by January of 2014, sales for Core Condos were underway. By early February, all 220 units were sold. Then, in May of 2015, a crane was raised at the site, precipitating this tower's quick ascent. Just over a year later, we tour the site as the project celebrates its topping off. "And here we are," says CentreCourt President Shamez Virani, "less than three years later." 

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupCore Condos viewed from the south (the spandrel on the lower levels will be replaced with darker glazing), image by Jack Landau

Compared to many of Toronto's new high-rises, CentreCourt's tower has moved forward at a relentless pace. The complexity of approvals, sales, financing, and construction means that getting a development off the ground is often a lengthy undertaking. For Core Condos, however, the project's quick sales set the tone for a committed and relatively uninterrupted construction process.

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupRendering of Core Condos viewed from the south, image courtesy of CentreCourt Developments

Designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group and Architecture Unfolded, the 26-storey tower now rises to its final height in Downtown East. Located just east of Church Street, the immediate sales success of Core Condos initially came as something of a surprise. Though Toronto has been awash in new development for the better part of the last decade, the Downtown East area lagged behind many of the city's other development nodes for much of that time. 

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupLooking northwest, image by Edward Skira

As recently as 2014—when the project launched—the area immediately east of Downtown Yonge Street was known for its somewhat slower sales compared to established condo hotspots like the Entertainment District. Since then, however, the project's immediate surroundings have been subject to large-scale development proposals, with the parking lots immediately west and south of the site now all preparing for redevelopment as 60 Shuter and 88 Queen Street East. Coming online slightly ahead of the curve, CentreCourt's project joins what already seems a changed neighbourhood, with the area now on its way to becoming one of Toronto's foremost development hubs. "I don't even call it Downtown East anymore," Virani tells us, "I call it Downtown." 

We start from the top. Making our way with Virani and Brookfield Mutliplex's Senior Project Manager Josh Currie up the building's exterior in the hoist, the soon-to-top-off tower's roof is buzzing with activity on the hot June morning. On the west side of the roof, the skeleton of the tower's distinctive dark parapet is being assembled, adding a kinetic touch to the west facade. 

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupThe west-facing parapet under assembly, image by Jack Landau

With cladding now nearly two-thirds of the way up the tower, a "fall completion" is being targeted, Virani explains. Currie provides more specific details, noting that "window-wall installation will take place throughout July," with "interior finishing" taking place in late Summer and Fall. Elevators are set to be installed later in the fall, Currie adds, with Core Condos' first residents expected to move in well before the end of the year. 

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupThe penthouse level, image by Jack Landau

The tower's upper levels remain in a relatively raw state (seen above), but on the second floor, a suite has been largely completed, offering a preview of the interiors to come. The two-bedroom + den unit features a "Mochaccino" colour palette, along with laminate flooring. With construction ongoing, a look at the kitchen space provides a glimpse of the interior aesthetic.  

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupThe suite 204 interior, image by Jack Landau

With interiors to be appointed by Cecconi Simone, the communal spaces include a fourth-floor amenity area. Designed with an open-concept layout, Virani describes the space as a "second living room," with the flexibly programmable space—designed to foster a sense of community—easily adaptable to residents' varied and changing needs. The space will include a lounge, party room, and gym, with the large terrace—just east of the tower—slimming out to a wrap-around outdoor area along the north and west elevations.

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupThe amenity space hosted the topping-off luncheon, image by Jack Landau

Moving to the lobby, a luxurious double-height space is beginning to take shape at street level. Fronting Shuter Street, the lobby will be accented by a suspended fireplace and a brick wall designed to reference the restored heritage facades that make up part of the Shuter frontage.

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupThe double-height lobby space, image by Jack Landau

Two Georgian townhouse facades on Shuter have recently been rehabilitated and reassembled on the set side of the site, with the heritage component now tucked in behind the hoarding. 

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupAn early peek at the heritage facades, image by UT Forum member skycandy

Our tour ends with the topping off party, rewarding the hard-working construction team—and a couple of UrbanToronto loiterers—for a job well done.

Core Condos, Toronto, by CentreCourt Developments, Page + Steele / IBI GroupShame Virani and Josh Currie (l-r), image by Jack Landau

We will keep you updated about the project as construction continues, and the tower nears completion. In the meantime, make sure to check out our associated dataBase file for more information. To share your thoughts about the development—and to join in on the discussion—make sure to check out our Forum thread, linked below. The developers drop by the thread from time to time too!