One of Toronto's most desirable neighbourhoods can be found to the east of Downtown. Close to the centre of everything, it should not come as any surprise that there is exceptional growth occurring in the area now, with many proposed developments on the horizon as well. To give you a better idea of how much the Downtown East are will transform over the rest of the year, we have compiled a guide on growth to watch out for in 2014.
The Studio Daniel Libeskind designed L Tower, one of the most high-profile buildings in the city, is nearing completion. This 58-storey Cityzen Development project has already proven itself as instant icon with its signature curve peaking through the dense skyline. Look forward to lots excitement when this building opens its doors to its new residents.
A short, spirited walk east we come upon the more reserved Berczy. Nestling itself across the historic Flatiron building on the southwest corner of Front and Church Streets this, Concert Properties' development blends itself incredibly well into the neighbourhood. Already occupying, but with finishing touches still to come, care was poured into Young + Wright / IBI Group Architects' design of the building so it could strengthen the neighbourhood’s historic aesthetic. Many will welcome this well-appointed addition to the St. Lawrence Market area when it is officially complete in the next few months.
Hariri-Pontarini flexes their design muscle in Downtown East with their eye-cathcing Ivory on Adelaide building on Adelaide Street East, near Sherbourne Street. This 22-storey Plaza development will add significantly to the revitalization of an area that cars have mostly sped through for the past many years, offering innovative suites designed by Bryon Patton Interior Design and a bold “carved ivory” exterior aesthetic. Currently, crews continue to install its staggered ivory-white cladding, enveloping the L-shaped structure little-by-little. Expect this project to be complete in the latter part of 2014.
We’ll head back west along Adelaide Street to George Street to find Post House Condominiums still under development. This Alterra Group project will rise 21-storeys above the streets of Toronto. Designed by Wallman Architects, Post House condos benefit from an excellent location, given it is situated just minutes from St. Lawrence Market and the trendy Distillery District. The project is expected to top-out soon with the mechanical penthouse on the 21st floor. This project is designed to mesh well with its neighbour, Toronto's first Post Office, seen below right, and now under restoration.
Backstage On The Esplanade is another uniquely designed building that amongst other things is set provide parking for residents of the L Tower, right across from it on The Esplanade. This Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects' designed project is a little more understated than its sister building, but will nonetheless add visual interest to the skyline east of Yonge. Cityzen Development Group, Fernbrook Homes, and Castlepoint Numa have undertaken the development of this 36-storey project which will include access to a coming eastern extension to the PATH pedestrian network. Backstage has seen steady development in 2013, with it now standing at two storeys above grade. It will top out in 2014.
One project that garners its fair share of stares from passerby is Concert Properties’ 88 Scott Street. The sounds of jack-hammers and plasma-cutters have been emanating from the project for months as crews strip down an old 7-storey building, so far down to a naked 3-storey structure of i-beams and cement. The former structure should be completely gone in the coming weeks, with excavation of the site set to begin in the Spring and continue through the bulk of 2014. Still in an early stage of development, it will still be a ways off before we see the design by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects’ taking shape above ground.
King + Condos, designed by TACT Architecture, will be another development under heavy activity this year. A preserved heritage façade of the former National Hotel is currently held up with buttresses, is waiting for the crews now working on garage foundation levels to make their way up to grade. By this time next year the podium will fill out the space behind the façade and tower floors will be rising above. Expect this King Plus Development project to be complete in 2015.
Developer First Gulf and designer Diamond Schmitt Architects have teamed up to create the Globe and Mail Centre, going up just east of the Toronto Sun building near King and Parliament. The Globe and Mail Centre is set to be a 17-storey, 500,000 sq. ft. LEED® Gold building with offset boxes, entirely enveloped with glass. Preparations for excavation at the site are underway, and they have included a fair bit of archeology as the top layers of ground are being stripped away. Located in Toronto's pioneering first blocks, excavation for the tower is expected to proceed in full in the upcoming months.
Other developments that have yet to start construction, but which have a presence through their sales centres in the area include the two-tower Axiom Condos project by Greenpark Homes and Fieldgate Homes, designed by Kirkor Architects Planners, the über cool Sixty Colborne Condos at Church and Colborne, designed by architectsAllaince and developed by Freed Developments, and the towering Yonge + Rich condos by architectsAlliance and Great Gulf Homes, which should have incredible presence with its jigsaw puzzle exterior when it is completed in 2018.
Projects that won’t break ground this year, but may go into sales, are several proposals which are currently making their way through the planning process. These proposals include 71-95 King Street East and 154 Front Street East, while city-watchers are anticipating the redevelopment of the St. Lawrence Market North building.
We look forward to watching Downtown East grow through 2014 and beyond. For additional information and renderings of all the projects mentioned in this article, check out our dataBase files linked below. Want to talk about the area or any of the projects? Choose one of the associated Forum thread links, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.