It may be crazy cold at the moment, and more people may be hibernating this winter than would be in a regular year, but the polar vortex has not stopped everything from happening in this town. Proof of that came yesterday for Daniels' HighPark Condominiums on three fronts. 1) Concrete was being poured, 2) Plans for the next release were advancing, and 3) Purchasers at the building gathered just to the south, at the Grenadier Restaurant in the midst of High Park itself for an event that constituted the first of a planned series that the developer is calling 'Love Where You Live'.

Two cranes: a sign that things are underway on Bloor across from High Park, image by Craig White

Dubbed 'Fabulous by Design', the event featured architect Donald Schmitt of renowned Diamond Schmitt Architects and Melandro Quilatan and Michelle Cippola of Tomas Pearce Interior Design, and was hosted by Tom Dutton, Vice President of The Daniels Corporation. Tom introduced the attendees to Daniels' background before bringing Don Schmitt to the front.

Donald Schmitt speaking at Daniels HighPark's Fabulous by Design event, image by Craig White

Amongst the many details of the design, Schmitt told the crowd how the building had gradually evolved, from initial plans that had an uninterrupted street wall along Bloor to the U-shaped building now in sales. The U allows for three main things; the building's arms will cradle a central forecourt, an area that will benefit from its southern exposure creating a sheltered microclimate, a space for café seating, access to shops, and a chance to bring some of High Park onto the building site with appropriate planting of native species in landscaped areas.

Mel Quilatan and Michelle Cippola speaking at Daniels HighPark's Fabulous by Design event, image by Craig White

Mel and Michelle told the audience all about the design of the building's interior spaces, both the amenities and the kitchen and bathroom designs in the suites. There's an interesting array of amenities at the HighPark condominiums, some of which—like the 10th floor terrace and lounge which have views across the park to the city skyline and the lake—we've told you about in previous articles. A special bike-sharing facility and a two story climbing wall are two more amongst many that we will tell you about in future articles.

Tom Dutton fields questions about the project from purchasers at HighPark Condominiums, image by Craig White

Once the designers had presented, Tom Dutton returned to the podium to field questions from purchasers about the HighPark Condominiums development. A couple that stood out were those concerning how you build in such cold weather… and they are the perfect tie-in to the following, an update on progress at the site. 

Indeed, it has been cold, but much has happened since we last detailed the process of creating the building's foundation back in late fall. Daniels have been grabbing progress pics from the roof of an adjacent apartment building that give a good overview of the work in the meantime.

You will see below that October revealed excavation work was still being done, while December showed the first columns and walls were in. By January there were walls and columns throughout nearly the full site, while by February the site was even more fully engaged.

Month-by-month progress at Daniels HighPark condominiums, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Our own shots below from February 27 will bring you right up-to-date.

One of two cranes rises over the HighPark Condominiums site, image by Craig White

Looking east above, it won't be too long before the first concrete reaches grade at the southeast corner of the site. While concrete pouring has been suspended on the absolute coldest days this year, whenever it's possible to heat and cover the areas that are being poured, work continues: the concrete must be able to cure properly, or none of this work happens. The cement itself leaves the mixing plant pre-warmed before it is loaded into the trucks.

Cement trucks continue to deliver to the site when special precautions allow pouring in cold weather, image by Craig White

The walls and columns are still being formed at the building's foundation level along the north side of the site, closest to the subway. 

Along the north side of the site, the lowest garage level is being completed, image by Craig White

It is here where every column sits atop a high-density rubber pad (specially created in a factory in Belgium), which itself sits on a several-foot thick footing buried in the ground below. You can see a couple of the pads in the next image. The pads will isolate the building above from vibrations caused by passing subway trains in the tunnel just to the north. A similar system was used to isolate the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts from outside disturbances when it was built several years ago now. 

Huge rubber pads at the base of columns will isolate the building from subway rumblings, image buy Craig White

Looking southwest, a sloped ramp of the garage can be made out amongst the garage support pillars. High Park's trees appear behind the hoarding.

A sloped floor of the future garage is now obvious at the site, image by Craig White

While all this work proceeds on site, Daniels is preparing to release the 12 townhomes that are part of the project. Located on the lower two levels of the arms of the building, just over half will front on Pacific Avenue, with the remainder on Oakmount. Each will have its own small front garden and door on the street.

Parkside Collection townhomes will face Pacific and Oakmount Aves at HighPark Condos, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

The building is over half-sold now. If you would like to know more about it, UrbanToronto's dataBase file, linked below, has many renderings and lots of information to pore over, and links to the official website. Want to talk about Daniels HighPark Condominiums? Choose one of the associated Forum thread links to get in on the discussion, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  Diamond Schmitt Architects, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Land Art Design, Public Studio, tcgpr (The Communications Group), The Daniels Corporation, Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting Inc