Just over a month ago, UrbanToronto published a story on the phasing strategy for construction at The Well, a massive new mixed-use and master-planned project for Downtown Toronto at the northwest corner of Front and Spadina. As demolition has been ongoing at the former Globe and Mail Headquarters site since February, more information detailing various components about the ambitious Diamond CorpRioCanAllied Properties REIT, and Tridel project been released in the time since.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoThe lower level of the galleria, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Serving the rapidly intensifying King-Spadina neighbourhood, the development team are planning to introduce 432,772 ft² of retail space at The Well. With roughly 17,000 people already living within a 500 metre radius of the master-planned community, three north-south pedestrian streets provide greater permeability into the site, with the retail integrated on four levels. 

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoCross section stacking plan for the retail galleria, image courtesy of Diamond Corp

Beginning on the lower level of the curving central galleria, a Market Hall is poised to be a focal point of the space, with a contemporary design that nonetheless reflects many old-world food halls. Planned to contain 89 stalls, the proposed Market Hall will feature fresh produce, various food stands, high-end cookware retailers, and a culinary school. Also on the lower level are about a dozen retail units along the north side of the galleria, while three anchor retail spaces will range in size—at 16,753 & 18,584 ft² on the west side, and 25,238 ft² at the southeast corner. 

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoThe Market Hall, to be situated on the lower level, image courtesy of Diamond Corp

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoLower level floorplan of The Well, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/RioCan

On the street-level 'upper ground floor,' nearly 30 retail spaces will line much of the site, with additional anchor retailers positioned at the gateway entrance at Front and Spadina (only 2,492 ft² on the first level but 22,412 ft² on the second), and a larger two-level 30,000 ft² unit situated just to the west of the main courtyard. Nine restaurant spaces are included at street level, six of which front Wellington Street with outdoor patio space. Four of these extend to the floor above.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoUpper ground floor of the galleria, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoUpper ground level floorplan of The Well, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/RioCan

Heading up to what's being dubbed the 'terrace level,' a series of bridges provide full circulation throughout the galleria, sheltering pedestrians from the elements with a  36,600 ft² glazed canopy that extends over the central east-west core of the site. Access to three restaurants is provided on this floor, along with 15 additional retail spaces, and the second level of the anchor retail sites on either side of The Well. 

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoTerrace (second floor) of the galleria, image via submission to the City of Toronto

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoTerrace level floorplan of The Well, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/RioCan

On the southwest corner of the site (Building D) is a fitness centre that can also be accessed from the first level, while a cinema complex will be found up a pair of escalators on the third floor. Shifting over to the central area of the second level will be a Food Hall (in Building E—the rental tower mentioned in the previous article), which is designed to prioritize views from seating spaces. The Hall will have 15 kiosk units within the inner layout of the floor, amd seating will be positioned along the glass walls.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoThe Food Hall, to be situated on the terrace level, image courtesy of Diamond Corp

Overall, the retail galleria, designed by BDP Architects, will feature natural clay based materials including brickwork, terracotta block, in addition to natural wood ceilings and metalwork detailing.

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Switching gears to The Well's Hariri Pontarini and Adamson Associates Architects-designed office component, it is believed that anchor tenants have been secured to begin construction on the office tower following demolition and excavation. While the lead tenant has not yet been publicly announced, more information will likely become available in the coming months. 

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoThe office lobby, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/Allied Properties REIT

The 36-storey tower itself will be 900,000 ft² in size, while an additional 125,000 ft² of office space will be dispersed through the upper podium levels of the residential towers on Front Street. Designed to meet LEED Platinum standards, the office tower begins with a 25-foot high ceiling in the lobby, with a high performance curtain wall system ascending 547 feet above.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoRendering of the fourth floor garden, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/Allied Properties REIT

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoRendering of the fourth floor garden, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/Allied Properties REIT

Each office floor features 11' floor-to-glass ceilings, while walkout amenity gardens levels are provided on floors 3 to 5, 19 and 28. After two mechanical levels above the final office floor, a restaurant will be perched at the very top of the tower on the 38th floor, overlooking the cityscape.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoRendering of a typical office floor, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/Allied Properties REIT

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoRendering of the upper level sky gardens, image courtesy of Diamond Corp/Allied Properties REIT

In an effort to minimize shadow impacts onto Clarence Square to the east, the office tower steps back to the west at the 19th and 28th levels, creating the impression of three distinct volumes. The floorplate for the lower levels of the building average 29,930 'rentable square feet' (RSF), while after the 19th floor, it drops to 23,375 RSF, and finally after the 28th level, 10,915 RSF in size. 

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoRendering of The Well office tower, image via submission to the City of Toronto

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We will keep you up-to-date as demolition moves to full construction in the coming months. In the meantime, 19 new renderings have been added to the project's dataBase file, where you can also find additional information. Want to share your thoughts on these features? Feel free to write a comment using the space provided below, or join in the ongoing conversation in the project's associated Forum thread.