Toronto is a city on a lake, but one that we pushed away from the downtown over the years with new land for railways and shipping. When Great Lakes shipping declined we began to reclaim the waterfront, and when the railways looked to the suburbs for larger rail yards, we cleared the land to the south of the remaining tracks. For many years though, most of that land between the rail corridor and the Gardiner Expressway sat as a roughly paved expanse of temporary parking lots. In the past few years though, everything seems to have changed, and as of 2013 many UrbanToronto readers have noted that we have a whole new skyline in the area now known as “Southcore”, with new office towers, condominiums, hotels, and attractions. This vertical community continues to grow with all the signs of a thriving urban centre.
At the start of the year, construction was already well underway on four major projects in the area; Ice Condos, Southcore Financial Centre / Delta Toronto, Infinity Condos and the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.
This is how the neighbourhood looked in January: Infinity3 is topped out while Ice is rising (the east tower is still comparatively short), while in the following shot, the Southcore Financial Centre's last two towers have yet to make a real impression.
March: Glazing is now being finished at the Ripley's Aquarium, while it's just starting on the Delta, and it's certainly getting some notice.
May: The Delta is now becoming a huge hit with UrbanToronto readers.
August: Everyone is starting to wonder about the delays to the Aquarium, and whether that spells trouble for the new attraction.
October finally marks the opening of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, by at the base of the CN Tower. The reviews are great, and this 1.5 million-gallon aquarium adds a major new asset to this already entertainment-rich area!
November marked the topping off of Ice Condos' west tower, as well as our first look at its distinctive "swiss cheese" roof feature.
And finally we arrive in the present, December 2013. The Delta Hotel and neighbouring Bremner Tower have both topped out, as has Infinity and the western Ice tower, with Ice's eastern tower promising to top out soon too.
In the last year, the local landscape has been completely transformed, and with several more projects under construction and proposed south of the Gardiner, the area will continue its monumental build-out well into the decade. What will 2014 bring for the Southcore area? Stay tuned!