The early stages of construction are underway at 19 Duncan Street where a 58-storey tower designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects is going to rise. The site of the mixed-use office and residential rental project from Westbank Corp and Allied Properties REIT in Toronto's Entertainment District has been active since last year, as crews prepare the 1908-built Southam Press Building and a former surface parking lot to the east for the redevelopment.

19 Duncan, Westbank Corp, Allied Properties REIT, Hariri Pontarini, TorontoLooking southeast to 19 Duncan, August 9th, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Following shoring work that concluded earlier this summer, crews have begun to remove bricks from the heritage building's south and east elevations. These facades will be partially reassembled, while the building's street-facing north and west elevations will be retained in situ for incorporation into the new build's podium. A modern addition will rise above the heritage facades, stepping back to emphasize the distinction between old and new. 

19 Duncan, Westbank Corp, Allied Properties REIT, Hariri Pontarini, TorontoLooking northwest to 19 Duncan, August 19th, image by Forum contributor Ottawan

Comparing the images above and below from ten days apart, (both captured from the multi-level parking garage to the east), we see below that a work platform on the east facade of the heritage building is being used by crews to carefully remove individual bricks that will eventually be used to reconstruct sections of the facade. 

19 Duncan, Westbank Corp, Allied Properties REIT, Hariri Pontarini, TorontoLooking west to 19 Duncan, August 29th, image by Forum contributor Ottawan

While the remaining sections of the building are to be demolished, heritage specialists ERA Architects are taking care to preserve the most significant elements of the building exteriors, while modernizing them with features like enlarged windows and new at-grade entrances.

19 Duncan, Westbank Corp, Allied Properties REIT, Hariri Pontarini, TorontoLooking southeast to 19 Duncan, rendered as complete, image courtesy of Westbank Corp

To get to the stage rendered above, braces will be built to hold up the retained facades and allow demolition of the remaining structure behind. Following demolition, crews will begin to excavate down to a depth of four storeys, creating space for the project's underground garage and the new building's foundations.

19 Duncan, Westbank Corp, Allied Properties REIT, Hariri Pontarini, TorontoLooking west to 19 Duncan, August 9th, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

East of the retained facades, the former surface parking lot's footprint will support the east end of the nine-storey podium (to contain office space), and in turn support the rental residential tower above. News media company Thomson Reuters has signed on for a 12-year lease at a cost of $100-million (USD), with the new office space to house 1,500 employees. Thomson Reuters is expected to assume occupancy in early 2021. 

19 Duncan, Westbank Corp, Allied Properties REIT, Hariri Pontarini, Toronto19 Duncan, image via submission to City of Toronto

Additional information and images can be found in 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 field provided at the bottom of this page.