Poised to become a hub for Toronto's nascent East Bayfront community, the first phase of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts is beginning to rise above street level on Queens Quay East. Situated immediately south of what will be a two-tower residential component, the mixed-use commercial complex will combine office condominiums with a 'Creative Industries Hub,' as well as spaces for post-secondary and non-profit organizations. 

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Toronto, by Daniels, Giannone PetriconeAerial view of construction progress, looking southwest, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

Designed by RAW and Rafael + Bigauskas Architects, the 280,000 ft² of office space will be completed by 27,000 ft² of street-level retail, with the complex embracing a new northern extension of Sugar Beach. Alongside new facilities for George Brown and OCAD University to the north, the Daniels Corporation's mixed-use community will provide new homes for a variety of prominent non-profits including Artscape, Manifesto, and The Remix Project.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Toronto, by Daniels, Giannone PetriconeThe office complex, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Fronting Queens Quay, the commercial portion of the site will also house Artscape's Quadrangle-designed 'Launchpad.' The 30,000 ft² facility—located on the 5th floor of the west tower—will be appointed as a collection of flexibly configured spaces, which are designed to support careers in the arts. Described by Artscape as "part incubator, part co-working facility and part entrepreneurship centre," the multi-disciplinary spaces are designed to foster collaboration and learning while also providing semi-private studio uses.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Toronto, by Daniels, Giannone PetriconeThe Artscape Launchpad, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Joining the diverse mix of creative programming, the commercial towers feature a total of 167 office condominium suites. Offering a condominium ownership model that remains relatively uncommon in the office market, the suites—which are available in either shell or turnkey condition—range in size from 720 ft² to 2,345 ft², and can be combined to create larger custom spaces. All commercial tenants have access to a 9th floor amenity space, which includes lounge areas and a kitchenette, as well as boardrooms and a 4,900 ft² outdoor terrace.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Toronto, by Daniels, Giannone PetriconeThe commercial amenity space on the 9th floor, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Immediately north of the commercial complex, the community will be rounded out by a pair of condominium towers. While construction on the 45-storey Lighthouse Tower (below) and its 36-storey counterpart—revealed last month—remains at an earlier stage, the Giannone Petricone-designed buildings will add significant residential density to the vibrant mix of uses below.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Toronto, by Daniels, Giannone PetriconeThe Lighthouse Tower, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Between the commercial and residential components, a generous east-past pedestrian space known as 'The Yard' will form the community's central artery. Running from Richardson Street to Lower Jarvis—and Sugar Beach North—the retail-lined publicly accessible space could become a focal point for the community, which will be further animated by $3 million of public art contributions. 

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Toronto, by Daniels, Giannone PetriconeThe Yard, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Given the community's mix of uses and ambitious ground-level spaces, the public realm is likely to be a highlight of the waterfront community. While the residential towers above don't break the aesthetic mould of Toronto's recent high-rise development, the success of the programming below could—driven by the diverse mix of users—enable an uncommonly vibrant street-level experience. 

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Toronto, by Daniels, Giannone PetriconeA closer view of construction on the office complex fronting Queens Quay, image by UT Forum contributor Razz

We will keep you updated as construction continues, and more information about the development becomes available. In the meantime, the Daniels Corporation is hosting a seminar on office ownership for prospective condominium buyers, to be held on October 5th. More info about the development is also available in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join the conversation in our associated Forum threads.