The Mercer, a 33-storey glass and steel - and brick - condominium project by Graywood Developments and Beaverhall Homes, is situated in a part of Toronto that has seen dramatic changes over the last several years. At Mercer and John streets where the Financial District meets the Entertainment District, the area is turning into both a real neighbourhood, and a major destination.

The destination was confirmed by the opening of the TIFF Bell Lightbox for last year's film festival, and reconfirmed earler this month with this year's edition which saw Graywood's recently opened Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Residences take centre stage for stargazing and party-going, while the neighbourhood, like much of central Toronto, is an ongoing coalescence of new homes, new public art and spaces, and all of the myriad services they bring.

Mercer Street frontage of The Mercer by Graywood Developments and Beaverhall Homes

The Mercer's architecture by BBB Architects, with its brick-clad lower floors, and a podium reaching west along Mercer fronted by retail at grade, inserts itself into its post-industrial-chic converted-warehouse milieu as a friend: The Mercer both brings a parking lot back to life as a modern skyscraper, while simultaneously it improves the ambiance of the street it sits on by speaking architecturally in the local vernacular.

The Mercer's other frontage is along John Street, which is soon to be transformed to highlight its role as a cultural corridor, leading people from the the CN Tower, the Railway Heritage Centre, the forthcoming Ripley's Aquarium, and the Rogers Centre, past the Ritz, the Mercer, David Pecaut Square and Roy Thomson Hall, past the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Royal Alex, the Lightbox, into the heart of the Entertainment District's clubs, restaurants and cinemas, into lively Queen West, and on to Frank Gehry's AGO and Will Alsop's OCADU. It's rather amazing how much is within walking distance of this building. Oh - and the climate controlled PATH connection to the Financial Core and the subway system is right across the street at Metro Hall.

Having a pedestrian wonderland literally at their doorstep also means that purchasers at The Mercer will have great views over the city, ones which have already changed dramatically over the last few years since the project was first conceived. We have two views shot four years apart, facing southwest and facing northeast, which record a rapidly reawakening city as told by its sprouting skyline.

First, here's the southwest view that would-have-been if The Mercer were there in 2007, followed by how it looks now. Can you identify all of the changes? Much more is on its way to populate this corner of the city when The Mercer arrives.

Facing southwest from The Mercer in 2007

Facing southwest from The Mercer in 2011

Here's how the northeast view looked in 2007, followed by the even more dramatic changes in just 4 years.

Facing northeast from The Mercer in 2007

Facing northeast from The Mercer in 2011

It's all looking pretty amazing, especially when nighttime twinkling lights are imagined, and it's getting better all the time. Maybe that's why so many people want to be a part of this great area. 

UrbanToronto has published a dataBase page for The Mercer. As always, the dataBase entry contains lots of renderings, and it highlights many of the common amenities that residents will enjoy. One of our favourites: The Mercer's lobby will feature one of the living walls that we experienced at the Centennial College opening a couple of weeks ago, and which we enjoyed so much. There's much more of course, which you may check out by clicking below, or choose the associated forum thread links to join in the conversation!

Related Companies:  BBB Architects, Beaverhall Homes, DesignAgency, Graywood Developments, Milborne Group, Montana Steele, tcgpr (The Communications Group), Terraplan/Studio TLA