At the southwest corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley in Downtown Toronto, a former gas station and donut shop is now a construction site. Developed by the Alterra Group of Companies, the 36-storey 159SW Condos will add 360 units to the edge of an established high-rise neighbourhood, with the Richmond Architects-designed tower introducing a contemporary presence just southwest of St. James Town's 20th century towers. 

159SW, Toronto, by Alterra Group of Companies, Richmond Architects, QuadrangleLooking southwest, image courtesy of Alterra Group of Companies

With the lot now cleared, a 40-foot excavation pit will now be carved out across the curved 0.3-acre site. Since part of the lot was occupied by a gas station, however, the brownfield site requires soil remediation to remove the polluted fill, which typically makes for a more complex and slightly lengthier process. 

159SW, Toronto, by Alterra Group of Companies, Richmond Architects, QuadrangleThe site in late July, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

Next year, the tower's concrete skeleton will begin to rise above grade, eventually reaching a height of 119 metres. Finished in dark cladding, both the four-storey podium and the thinner body of the tower will reflect the curved site, accentuating the building's presence.

159SW, Toronto, by Alterra Group of Companies, Richmond Architects, QuadrangleThe site in late July, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

At street level, a new retail space will front the corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley streets. The residential lobby will face Wellesley to the west, though the majority of the Sherborne Street frontage will not be animated, with an enclosed garbage room and vehicle access filling out much of the east façade. Both sidewalks will be widened, however, and improved with new landscaping by Alexander Budrevics and Associates.  

159SW, Toronto, by Alterra Group of Companies, Richmond Architects, QuadrangleA closer look at the podium levels, image courtesy of Alterra Group of Companies

We will keep you updated as construction continues. In the meantime, more information is available via our Database file, including several additional renderings. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum threads.