High-rise growth in the Entertainment District was a major player in 2013’s headlines. From Richmond to Front, and Spadina to Simcoe, the area ended the year with over a dozen cranes working away on the many high-rise developments set to reshape the district in 2014. We have spent the last several days recapping the last year of construction in the GTA, and today we start to look to the future too, this time at what will soon be one of Canada’s densest mixed-use communities. Here is what to watch for in Toronto's Entertainment District in 2014:

With so many active projects in the area, we will have quite a bit to watch this year. Almost every stage of high-rise construction can be viewed in the same day in this walkable downtown district, with everything from deep excavations to topped-out but unfinished buildings seeing finishing touches. We start by looking at the projects which are closing in on completion.

Empire CommunitiesFly Condos has been topped out for over a year now, and is now seeing the addition of both finishing touches and new residents. Strolling by on the sidewalk shows a pretty interesting lobby with tall, faceted, reflective, deep green columns. We are anticipating good shots of that soon!

Fly Condos, image by urbandreamer

Just one block to the east, Tridel’s 49-storey condominium, 300 Front Street West, is also topped out and fully clad, with only minor interior work and outdoor landscaping to complete before the building is officially finished. The park in front of this building, designed by the renowned Claude Cormier and featuring interactive monoliths by art-star Jason Bruges should make for a great new meeting place in the city.

300 Front Street West, image by Jack Landau

Only a couple short blocks to the north, the Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed Pinnacle on Adelaide is nearly topped off at 46 storeys, now peeking above its similarly proportioned neighbours to the west and south. A new piazza here will be part of the improvements planned for John Street.

Pinnacle on Adelaide rising behind Festival Tower, image by Jack Landau

While the projects listed above are the most likely to wrap up this year, a number of high-rise developments are—or soon will be—making their mark on the growing Entertainment District and the city skyline.

Lamb’s Theatre Park is already making quite the impact on King Street West, next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre. The 47-storey architectsAlliance-designed condominium has been steadily rising from its wafer thin footprint, and is now standing at roughly 35 storeys in height. The tower’s stylish mirror-finish curtain wall cladding with diagonal aluminum banding has become an instant hit in our Projects and Construction Forum!

Theatre Park making its mark on the Entertainment District, image by RiverCity1

Another project to watch out for in 2014 is Aspen Ridge’s Studio and Studio2. The 41 and 31-storey towers are now beginning to rise from their twin podiums on Richmond and Nelson Streets.

Studio rising on Richmond Street, image by RiverCity1

CentreCourt DevelopmentsPeter Street Condos has started to grow at an impressive pace, soon to be rising at a rate of approximately one floor every week.

Peter Street Condos, image by Jack Landau

The 40-storey, architectsAlliance-designed tower isn’t the only project on this block to look out for in 2014…

Just north of Peter Street Condos and sharing the same block, UrbanCapital’s Tableau Condos ended off 2013 two storeys above grade. The Wallman Architects-designed tower is set to rise to 36 storeys from a four-storey podium which will feature a reconstructed heritage façade.

Tableau Condos, image by urbandreamer

Thanks to Tableau and Peter Street Condos, the short stretch of Peter Street between Adelaide and Queen is going to look quite a bit different by the end of 2014. Kitty-corner from Tableau and a stone’s throw from Peter Street Condos, Allied Properties REIT’s Queen Richmond Centre West office development is a very important office commercial project for an area soon to see thousands of new residents. Though the Sweeny Sterling Finlayson &co Architects-designed 17-storey tower will by no means even out the area’s ratio of new build residential to new build commercial, the addition of more office space to a growing community is a step in the right direction.

QRC West construction site, image by RiverCity1

Monarch and Goldman Group’s Picasso Condos is one of those projects we can hardly contain ourselves over.  On the north side of Richmond Street, just east of Peter, this 39-storey, Teeple Architects-designed beauty is one of the most anticipated projects in the Entertainment District. The project started off 2014 at grade, with work underway on the first floor. Certainly a project worth keeping an eye on in the coming months…

Picasso above grade, image by RiverCity1

Located only steps south of the bustling King and John intersection, Beaverhall and Graywood’s The Mercer started off the new year at 8 storeys in height. With work now above the podium levels of the BBB Architects-designed project, the tower floors are expected to rise steadily throughout 2014. Once complete, The Mercer will stand 33 storeys above the Mercer Street/John Street intersection.

The Mercer, image by urbandreamer

Lamb Developments’ King Charlotte Condos, named for the intersection it lies immediately north of, is another project sure to make its mark on the local skyline this year. The architectsAlliance-designed condominium currently sits four storeys above ground and is slated to rise to a height of 32 storeys.

Aerial view of King Charlotte construction site, image by Jack Landau

Lifetime DevelopmentsBisha Hotel and Residences kept a relatively low profile on the Forum last year, and with the excavation stage complete as of the start of the new year, we look forward to seeing the installation of the crane and the ascent of the 41-storey, Wallman Architects-designed tower. It's probably a good half-year from showing up at grade.

Bisha's excavated pit, image by RiverCity1

Slightly further along is Lifetime Developments’ The Bond, on Adelaide just west of John Street.  As of this week, the project’s underground levels are being constructed and concrete and rebar should be at street level in a few months.

The Bond construction site, image by RiverCity1

Besides the many projects currently under construction, there are also developments still in their marketing phases. Remington Group and Easton's Group’s King Blue Condos saw a lot of action in 2013 with an impressive string of sales events and media announcements. By far one of the most actively discussed pre-construction projects on our Forum, the 48 and 44-storey, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects–designed towers are slated to rise from the site of the historic Westinghouse Building at King and Blue Jays Way, incorporating the reconstructed façade into its podium.

Rendering of King Blue Condominiums

Half a block to the north (you can see King Blue's Westinghouse Building location in the rendering below) and also in sales is MenkesNoir Condos, a 49-storey Core Architects-designed tower set to be built at 87 Peter Street.

Noir Condos Teaser

Several more proposals for the area are in the planning phases with sales still yet to launch. Ambitious proposals like Mirvish+Gehry Toronto are sure to remain in the spotlight throughout 2014 alongside the many construction projects sure to further reshape the neighbourhood this year. 

Mirvish+Gehry Toronto conceptual model

For additional information and for renderings of all these projects and more proposals in the area, visit our dataBase files, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussions? Click on the associated Forum thread links or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.

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