While it's not uncommon for buildings to get a new skin or a refresh to keep it attractive, it is rare for tall buildings to get a massive new addition midway through their life. At the corner of Isabella and Church streets, that's exactly whats happening: Town Square is about to double in size.

New windows go in on the south face of 66 Isabella, image by Craig White

The current modernist 1970 tower, owned by Mohican Holdings, has been undergoing extensive work on the formerly east-facing units. This includes exterior work to prepare for the new addition, where on the north and south elevations the brick walls have been punched out for new windows to bring light into the re-oriented suites. The interior layout of these suites are also being changed to make the best of the new windows.

North building face showing the mostly completed new window treatment, image by Craig White

To install the new windows and attend to anything on the exterior, crews are using a platform hoist system. Most commonly hoists are seen carrying construction workers and supplies up and down the sides of new towers during construction, and their use here shows just how versatile construction crews and equipment can be when when working in crowded city blocks.

Platform Hoist used for window installations, image by Craig White

Platform Hoist and excavation pit at 66 Isabella Street, image by Craig White

The east side of the building is where the most interesting action is happening. The east facing units' former balconies and windows have all been filled in with cinderblock to provide a solid working face where the new addition will attach. Down below, excavators are currently digging up the former green space and first level of the underground parkade for construction of the addition.

Crews dig out the underground parkade at 6+6 Isabella Street, image by Craig White

Construction crews working on 66 Isabella, image by Craig White

When complete, the Quadrangle Architects designed 23-storey addition will hold 211 units comprised of 199 rental and 12 condominium units. At street level, retail spaces will help animate the quiet side street. As per city guidelines, new amenity space will be included in the new addition, and residents from both the new and existing units will have full access to it. Underground, 166 parking spaces will serve the complex.

South Elevation drawing for the addition to 66 Isabella Street, image courtesy of City of Toronto

As the project moves forward, UrbanToronto will keep you abreast of any new developments. Dive into our Forum and join the discussion here or leave a comment below and make your opinions heard.