Construction is now wrapping up at the Grenville Street site of Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt DevelopmentsKarma Condos, a 50-storey architectsAlliance-designed condo tower near Toronto's Yonge and College intersection. Following a brief but frenzied period of sales, shoring work for the new development got underway back in 2012. By October of that year, Karma's shoring phase was in full swing, with crews at that time working to build the tower's below-grade earth retention system in advance of excavation. A major element in the project's early stages was the relocation of the John Irwin House, a Second Empire style home dating back to 1871. The historical home still stood in its original position back in October 2012, at the northwest corner of the construction site.

Karma Condos, Lifetime Developments, CentreCourt, architectsAlliance, TorontoShoring at the site of Karma Condos, 2012, image by Forum contributor androiduk

Returning to the same vantage point in December 2016 reveals big changes, with the restored John Irwin House now situated at the northeast corner of the site, abutting St. Luke Lane where its colourful brick walls and mansard roof are now more prominently displayed. It was moved to this spot once a concrete pad and supporting columns were formed in this corner. Crews then excavated below the pad, leaving the house "floating" in mid-air while the tower's parking garage area was formed below it. John Irwin House now serves as the east bookend to the tower's modern base, expected to be a restaurant.

Karma Condos, Lifetime Developments, CentreCourt, architectsAlliance, TorontoBase of Karma Condos, image by Greg Lipinski

Tilting the camera up reveals the simple yet elegant exterior of the tower above.

Karma Condos, Lifetime Developments, CentreCourt, architectsAlliance, TorontoKarma Condos, image by Forum contributor ADRM

We will return next week with another look at the changing face of Toronto!