On the west side of Downtown Toronto and the northwest corner of Front and Spadina, demolition work is making way for The Well, the much-anticipated master-planned, mixed-use community that will re-shape the 7.5-acre site that long housed The Globe and Mail's offices. 

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoAerial view of the site after demolition, image by Marcus Mitanis

Developed by Diamond CorpRioCan, Allied Properties REIT, and Tridel, the master-plan for The Well was designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, who—in collaboration with Adamson Associates Architects—are also designing the terraced 36-storey office tower that will form the community's height peak at the east end of the site. With construction now underway, the phased redevelopment is tentatively set to be fully completed and occupied by 2022.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoA ground sampling rig sits at the southeast corner, behind the hoarding at Spadina and Front., image by Forum contributor AHK

Recent construction photos show little remaining of the former Globe and Mail headquarters, the older red-brick Victoria building to its west, and the two smaller commercial properties near the southwest end of the site. On Front, only the street-facing façades of the old newspaper building remain, while everything immediately to the north and west has been cleared.  

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoThe  remains of the former Globe and Mail headquarters,.image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Once completed, The Well will add density to the already intensifying King-Spadina neighbourhood. The Well will feature seven buildings—both commercial and residential—including over 1,500 residential units, which will come in a mix of typologies. Fronted by red brick cladding on the lower levels, a trio of terraced buildings will meet the lower scale of Wellington Street, while high-rises will face CityPlace and the rail tracks to the south. Three new north-south pedestrian lanes will be created to provide a greater permeability to the site, with retail integrated on four levels.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoLooking southwest at The Well, image courtesy of Diamond Corp

The site will include 432,772 ft² of new retail space, including a showpiece Market Hall which will will feature fresh food produce, food stands, high-end cookware retailers and a culinary school. Although retail only accounts for a relatively small portion of The Well's total GFA, the quantity—and quality—of space could make the site a local and city-wide destination.   

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

Recently announced, another unique feature to the community will be Wellington Street's cat-themed linear park, which will include a promenade with 15 to 20 statuettes of cats in various poses and positions. The park was inspired by a corpulent local feline named Dizzy, who has been a Draper Street fixture for over a decade. The new park will be designed by a Montreal-based landscape architect Claude Cormier + Associés, the same firm that designed the dog-forward revitalization of Berczy Park.

The Well, HPA, AAA, BDP Architects, aA, Diamond Corp, Allied, RioCan, TorontoRendering of the new cat-themed park, image courtesy of Claude Cormier+Associes

As construction progresses, UrbanToronto will provide more updates on The Well. In the meantime, make sure to check out our Database file for more information, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Feel free to leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join in the ongoing conversation by visiting the associated Forum threads.