We ended off last week with a tour of the south building at Urban Capital Property Group's River City Condos complex, now rising alongside the Don River at King Street East. Today we focus on the north building, the taller of the two at 16 storeys.

River City Phase 1 North building from across King Street, image by Craig White

The intersection of King Street East and River Street will never look or feel the same: the long neglected then recently remediated south side of King is now seeing River City rise, while to its west a TCHC building is on its way up too. The greater Corktown neighbourhood in the surrounding blocks has seen an influx of new Streetcar Developments buildings and some gentrification over the last decade, but it feels like it will be River City that finally gives the area the critical mass for a real vibe to arrive. It doesn't hurt that River City's architecure by Saucier + Perrotte is of a particular avant-garde modernism not quite like anything else going up in the city. We only seen the bones for the most part so far, but the skin soon to be pulled over it, as promised in the renderings, will set this complex, and the whole area, apart from anything else in town when all is said and done.

River City Phase 1 North building from the South building, image by Craig White

Above; the north building as seen from the south building, and below; the north building as seen while crossing the bridge from the south building. Balconies, which will soak up the warmth of the southern exposure, predominate.

River City Phase 1 North building from the bridge, image by Craig White

For anyone wondering about the minutiae, the shot below helps clarify that we crossed on the middle level of the multi-level bridge. The north building's ground floor has taller ceilings, hence the slant on the bridge.

River City Phase 1 bridge between both buildings, image by Craig White

Below, we have climbed up to the ninth floor, which gives us a view over the podium's terrace space. Just under the lip of the eighth floor ceiling; a worked grinds the concrete on the floor to smooth it out.

River City Phase 1 North building stepback, image by Craig White

River City Phase 1 North building concrete grinding, image by Craig White

On the tenth floor, the bottom of the crane protrudes through a hole in the eleventh. The gaps will be filled in with fresh concrete and rebar after the crane is lifted out.

The bottom of the crane at River City Phase 1 North building, image by Craig White

This north-facing unit is just a bare bones space for the moment. With the wedge shape of the building, the unit faces King and Queen Streets and beyond at a perceptible angle.

Angled unit in River City Phase 1 North building, image by Craig White

We're up on the 15th floor now, where forms still hold up the curing concrete for the 16th level above.

Under the top floor forms at River City's Phase 1 North building, image by Craig White

Now we've made it to the top, where walls are now being proured for the mechanical penthouse. Topping off of the structure is not too far away.

Forms for the mechanical penthouse walls rise on the tower's roof at River City, image by Craig White

The top edge of River City will have a tall wall running around it, eventually to be clad in black aluminum. You can see all of the rebar in place for that soon-to-happen pour just below. Follow the panoramic photo downwards, and you will see all the way down the east end of the building to the ground. Landscaping the new berm along the Don River and Bayview Extension has yet to take place.

Looking down from the top at the east end of the north building at River City, image by Craig White

From up here there are pretty extensive views. The one below looks south, over the Richmond/Adelaide and Eastern Avenue bridges to the site of River City Phase 3, and then beyond that to the new parks and squares of the West Don Lands. What you cannot see underneath the bridge at the bottom of the photo is Waterfront Toronto's recently opened Underpass Park.

Looking south from the top of River City to Don River Park, image by Craig White

The whole area to the south will change dramatically over the next three years as buildings get are constructed in time to house athletes and the media during the Pam Am and Parapan Am Games coming to Toronto in the summer of 2015. After the athletes and media head home, the West Don Lands will be the permanent residence to thousands of more people in several developments. A new George Brown College residence and a new YMCA athletic and fitness facility are part of the mix in the area as well. Just beyond the West Don Lands: The Distillery Historic District, marked on the skyline by Clear Spirit, the 40-storey tower to the right.

Looking south from the top of River City to the West Don Lands, image by Craig White

Looking to the west from the north building we get this great view back towards Toronto's financial core. The TCHC building rises in the lower foreground; it won't be any higher than the podium, providing residents of the tower a pretty much permanent view to the west.

Looking west from the top of River City to the Toronto Skyline, image by Craig White

We're back down at ground level now, and looking right back up the eastern edge of the building. The width of the floor plate here differs from floor to floor, but it's difficult to see from this vantage point. The following shot below it will help show that more clearly.

Looking up from ground at River City's Phase 1 North building, image by Craig White

The differing floor plates are more in evidence in the detail shot below. Meanwhile, back up above, a look at the very high ground floor: at the east end you'll get a sheltered open area, and then amenity space behind. Red metal framing attached to the concrete above shows where walls will be fastened.

Detail of changing floor plates at River City's Phase 1 North building, image by Craig White

The shot below of the King Street facade provides a quick reminder of the staggered windows with sliding glass doors that mark both buildings in Phase 1: the doors are quite a bit larger and more solid than you will see in most condos going up in this city. Juliet balcony railings await installation.

Windows stagger as they rise at River City's Phase 1 North Building, image by Craig White

Finally, a look at the 24 foot high space at the west end of the north building which will become a shop when complete. A new convenience/grocery store maybe? I can think of a number of retailers who will be interested in setting up here.

24 foot high ground floor ceiling in River City's Phase 1 North Building, image by Craig White

Work on River City Phase 2 gets going in September. Details and renderings of the whole complex can be found in UrbanToronto's dataBase listing for it, linked below, where you wil also find associated Forum thread links should you want to join in the conversation.

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