We are bringing you a pair of stories today about one of Toronto's most prominent new developments, Ïce Condos by Lanterra Developments, currently under construction at York Street and the Gardiner Expressway in the heart of the city's new Southcore area. We're starting out here at the bottom of the development, and in the next article coming shortly, we are going up top.

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The ongoing building boom has brought our city everything from new parks and infrastructure to residential and commercial developments, both large and small. While we like to pay equal attention to all development types here at UrbanToronto, a large demographic of our readers and Forum contributors were initially drawn to this website to learn more about some of the high-profile projects in their neck of the woods, projects exactly like Lanterra Developments’ Ïce Condos.

Ice Condominiums as seen from ground level on-site, image by Jack Landau

As a very large, very tall project situated on a highly visibly downtown intersection, the twin tower, architectsAlliance-designed development has elicited an unprecedented amount of attention over the past several months, becoming a fan favourite among our Forum readers. With Ïce’s south tower topping out and the north tower now rising above its fraternal twin, we decided to stop in at York and Bremner and give this commanding project a closer look. The following is the first installment in our multi-part tour of Ïce Condos, focusing on the project’s podium and ground floor realm.

Ground floor realm at Ice Condos, image by Jack Landau

Though the 57 and 67-storey towers are easily the most visible element of the project, its ground floor and podium levels are set to contain some of the project’s most prominent design features. While the word ‘cheese’ normally carries negative connotations in the world of design, at Ïce Condos, cheese—Swiss to be specific—is a good thing. Ïce’s unconventional podium will be topped by a green roof canopy punctuated with “swiss-cheese-hole” skylights.

Podium skylight at Ice Condos, image by Craig White

The unique canopy with its flowing forms is supported by a bracing system made up of dozens of angled steel support columns. Grouped in sets of twos and threes, the supports will eventually be clad, though the raw structural steel is looking quite nice in the meantime.

Angled steel support columns on Ice Condos' ground floor, image by Jack Landau

A large arrival courtyard has been formed by the embracing concrete canopy. Open to the elements, this space will be home to the public art piece titled ‘Urban Firefly’. 

Open cutaway section in below green roof where public art will be installed, image by Jack Landau

The 16-metre-tall installation, designed by London based Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier, takes the form of a large three-dimensional yellow house projecting into the opening of the green roof above, supported by a large sculpted stilt.

Rendering of Urban Firefly art installation

The curving floorplates of the twin towers above are well reflected in the buildings’ shared podium. Though the podium’s interiors are still in a raw state, spaces like this hallway with its gently curving walls and more than 40 foot tall ceilings, are shaping up to be some pretty impressive spaces.

Interior podium space at Ice Condos, image by Jack Landau

There is a whole lot more to see at Ïce Condos, and we will be returning shortly with our next installment, where we ascend for some amazing views.  

CN Tower seen from Ice's ground floor area, image by Craig White

While the CN Tower seen above isn't our destination, we can guarantee some pretty outstanding views that give the concrete megalith a run for its money!

In the meantime, additional information including building facts, renderings and floorplans can be found in our dataBase listing, available below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of the page.

Related Companies:  architects—Alliance, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, LiveRoof Ontario Inc, LRI Engineering Inc., Milborne Group, NAK Design Strategies, Rebar Enterprises Inc