The most ambitious multi-phased land redevelopment project this city has ever seen, Concord Adex's 11-year old Concord CityPlace has completely transformed the once barren stretch of former rail yards into a thriving vertical community. In the last few years, the area bounded by Bathurst to the west, the Rogers Centre to the east, the Gardiner Expressway to the south and Front Street to the north, has hit a critical mass, and the area is now brimming with many thousands of residents.
While the neighbourhood may still be young and growing, 2013 seems to have been the year that CityPlace found its youthful confidence. For those who weren't so sure that these new towers constituted a community, several new events, private amenities and public works of art, neighbourhood shops and restaurants and a weekly farmers' market gave the area some palpable vitality.
Construction here has always been an impressive site to behold. As part of our year-end round-up looking at changes throughout the city, we take a look back at the growth of CityPlace throughout the year. At the start of 2013, construction had reached grade on sibling projects Spectra and Quartz, and as the late winter months progressed, the buildings’ respective podiums started to rise from the ground.
The podiums of Spectra and Quartz started to become more recognizable in the Spring.
The warm summer months saw an increase in pace, as construction on Spectra and Quartz’s tower portions began.
Elsewhere in CityPlace, June marked the dedication of 'Approaching Red', a sculpture by Iraqi-born artist Maha Mustafa located at the base of Parade Condos.
At the northwestern edge of the neighbourhood is Context Development’s Library District Condos. The project is not part of Concord Adex’s work, but it, along with the TCHC Block 32 development to the east, can be considered de-facto members of the CityPlace neighbourhood. The photo below, from mid-July, shows the partially completed Library District Condos at right and the completed TCHC building with gridded façade integrating into the neighbouring line of towers.
Continued work on the area’s construction projects wasn’t the only growth CityPlace witnessed this Summer. The area also grew as a neighbourhood thanks to the first annual Cityfest block party, held in August.
Other community events, including a weekly farmers market which offers lots of Ontario fresh vegetables, fruit, and artisan meat products, help to draw neighbourhood residents together, developing a sense of community and neighbourhood pride.
In September, Forum member Red Mars stopped by the site, giving us an updated look at Quartz and Spectra as they ascended into the neighbourhood skyline.
The trip up to the skybridge was also a perfect opportunity to get a view of the Quartz and Spectra construction sites to the south.
Parade's residents were treated to quite a party that night; a large catered event was held at the base of Parade for all residents of the officially completed Parade and Parade2 developments.
By October, cladding was quickly rising both Spectra and Quartz, including some bold stripes of colour, as the towers continued to climb.
In the shot below, taken in November by Forum member Mafaldaboy, Spectra and Quartz rise above the Gardiner expressway.
Arriving at the end of 2013, Quartz and Spectra are making a huge impact on the physical landscape of the area while the neighbourhood continues to grow with new restaurants like Hunter's Landing. The added density now contributes to a rapidly improving street level atmosphere.
With a increasing sense of community, CityPlace is now getting into the Holiday spirit. Residents of the neighbourhood supported the Harbourfront Community Centre Holiday Gift Drive and helped the centre reach its goal to provide toys to 74 families with 155 children. Inspired by Canoe Landing Park, gifts were collected to more than fill a canoe, visible in the photo below.
The evolution of Concord CityPlace will continue in 2014 thanks to the soon-to-open library, the topping off and interior finishing of Spectra and Quartz. The next CityPlace tower will be Newton of course, now in sales. Further additions to the neighbourhood are also in the works, including a new park at Bathurst and Fort York Blvd as well as a community centre, childcare facility and two schools (TDSB and TCDSB) to be located on Block 31. We will be sure to check back in on this evolving neighbourhood in the new year.
For additional information about active projects at Concord CityPlace, consult our dataBase files linked 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 this page.