It's been a little more than one year now since shoring equipment moved onto block-length site on the east side of Yonge between Alexander and Maitland streets in Downtown Toronto. The shoring kicked off construction of TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos by Lanterra Developments, and since then a number of UrbanToronto contributors have been by the site to capture the rather unique foundations being built for the 25 and 52-storey towers that will rise here. The project's location is where the subway curves away from running under Yonge to a parallel alignment to the east, and developing here means having to bridge over the tunnel while the subway continues to run.

TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, Toronto, architectsAllianceTeaHouse site in January 2017, image by Forum contributor ShonTron

With shoring walls in place, the excavators did not have to dig too deep to reveal the relatively shallow subway tunnel here. The first stage of construction since that time has been to construct a bridge for the building to rest on. Cutting the underground portion of the property essentially two triangular portions, there isn't space for parking here, but two levels will flank either side of the tunnel, with space for residents' lockers and bike lockers. The TTC will also get new ventilation equipment done here for the tunnel, with new cuts to be made into the concrete still to come. 

TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, Toronto, architectsAllianceTeaHouse site with an uncovered subway tunnel in April 2017, image by Craig White

In early 2017, crews were boring holes down to the underlying rock on either side of the tunnel, and then filling them with rebar and concrete to create reinforced columns along both sides of the tunnel.  

TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, Toronto, architectsAllianceThe subway tunnel is surrounded by columns, while forms for the transfer slab are assembled, image by UT Forum contributor jozl

With columns rising above the height of the tunnel, the next step was to start creating concrete beams bridging over it. Above, at the bottom of the image, forms are being placed to create the bottom of the beams, while rebar cages are waiting to be placed where the beams will be formed. In the following image, the first beams have been formed at the south end, and work is proceeding north not he right side of the photo. Rebar cages are in place there, waiting for the form walls to be put in place in advance of the next concrete pour.

TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, Toronto, architectsAllianceTransfer beams are created over the subway tunnel, image by UT Forum contributor Benito

Over recent weeks, the new beams have gradually formed a bridging structure above the subway tunnel. The complex's supporting columns will rest on the beams, which will then transfer the loads into the bedrock on either side of the tunnel. 

TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, Toronto, architectsAllianceFinished transfer beams, ready to carry the load of the structure above, image by UT Forum contributor drum118

With much of the underground structure now in place, the first above-ground columns have begun to appear in recent days. The columns seen below will end up inside double-height retail spaces facing Yonge, while a ramp climbs behind, hidden within the building, to above ground parking levels in TeaHouse's podium.

TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, Toronto, architectsAllianceColumns for the first floor now rising beside Yonge Street, image by Edward Skira

As the City of Toronto typically frowns on above ground parking now as garages normally appear as a blight on the landscape, as per the rendering below, the parking levels here will be fronted by architectural treatments to disguise the use. 

TeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, Toronto, architectsAllianceTeaHouse 501 Yonge Condos, image courtesy of Lanterra

When complete in a couple years' time, TeaHouse's two towers will bring 608 new residential units to the Yonge and Wellesley neighbourhood. You can learn more about TeaHouse by viewing our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.