The rebirth of Queens Quay East continues with a wave of new developments, adding residential density, offices, retail, and new public spaces to Toronto's waterfront. While some of these projects primarily contribute to just one of the categories above, one development, Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, is adding all three uses—and then some—to the intersection of Queens Quay and Lower Jarvis. Now, as construction of the first phase ramps up, details of the project's mixed-use programming are continuing to emerge.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Rafael + Bigauskas, RAW, TorontoDaniels Waterfront viewed from the southeast, image by Jack Landau

Developed by the Daniels Corporation and featuring architecture by RAW and Rafael + Bigauskas Architects, the first phase of the development is a flexibly programmed commercial and institutional building rising on the south half of the site along Queens Quay. When we checked in on the project's construction last month, the office component's fourth level floor plate was nearing completion at the northeast and southwest corners, while structural columns had been erected for the remaining southeast and northwest corners.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Rafael + Bigauskas, RAW, TorontoDaniels Waterfront viewed from the northwest, image by Jack Landau

In the time since, most of the remaining fourth floor has been formed, as well as a large portion of the fifth floor slab above, with working now beginning on the 6th level. From here, the tower will break apart into 11 and 14-storey volumes. 

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Rafael + Bigauskas, RAW, TorontoDaniels Waterfront viewed from the southwest, image by Jack Landau

The taller 14-storey volume will be pulled away from the corner of Jarvis and Queens Quay, creating a wedge of space that will eventually be transformed into a northern extension of the Claude Cormier + Associés-designed Sugar Beach across Queens Quay.Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Rafael + Bigauskas, RAW, TorontoDaniels Waterfront viewed from the southeast, image by Jack Landau

Meanwhile, as work on the commercial component continues, excavation is in full swing for the future residential phases of Daniels Waterfront, dubbed Lighthouse Tower and Lighthouse Tower East. Crews are digging down to a depth of four storeys for this half's underground parking garage, set to contain a total of 603 parking spaces for residents and visitors.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Rafael + Bigauskas, RAW, TorontoExcavation for Daniels Waterfront's residential phases, image by Jack Landau

Excavation is furthest along at the south end of the pit, abutting the below-grade concrete wall of the office component. Connecting from Richardson Street to the east, a temporary earthen ramp allows access to the base of the pit for workers and machinery, and is expected to be removed following the installation of a tower crane and staircases for workers.

Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Rafael + Bigauskas, RAW, TorontoExcavation for Daniels Waterfront's residential phases, image by Jack Landau

This first phase will introduce 280,000 ft² of office space to the area, including 30,000 ft² on the 5th floor for Artscape's Quadrangle-designed 'Launchpad.' The building will meet Queens Quay with 27,000 ft² of retail space, which will help to animate the block in advance of the first wave of condo tower residents from the residential phases being excavated to the north. 

Complementing the office uses, the first phase will also feature academic spaces for both George Brown College and OCAD University, with new information about both campuses recently announced. We will continue to keep you updated as more information about the retail, office, and institutional programming comes to light. Additional information and renderings can be found in the project's dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the field provided at the bottom of this page.