We are not sure that when Streetcar Developments began their first development at Queen and Gladstone with Two Gladstone they knew some day they would build out nearly the whole block, and we have not asked if they had a master plan that early on for the mid-block system they would eventually bring to the site, but with their subsequent sales success at 8 Gladstone and then The Carnaby Condos, and then Twenty Lofts, the company is well on their way to transforming a significant city block with more than your average plan.

Two cranes stand over the construction site of The Carnaby, image by Craig White

The bigger the redevelopment block, the bigger the concern that the new development will be a good one naturally. With the first two mid-rise phases facing Gladstone complete now, it's the portion of the site to the west and to the north of those buildings where the action has moved now, and where we will learn how successful the plans are here to bring a European style mid-block mews through the site. Those plans promise ground level retail, a major grocery store, and a new park to the Dufferin Street side. Created by TACT Design, plans look promising; here's where they are at now.

Seen above, The Carnaby wraps around the west side of 2 and 8 Gladstone. At its south end, closest to the camera, the building's podium roof will be a landscaped outdoor amenity space for The Carnaby's residents. At the north end where the plywood floor can be seen in the background, and in the image below, will be The Carnaby's 20-storey tower. The forms for the tower have now reached the third floor, and workers are scrambling to prepare them for the next pour. We'll take a closer look at what's happening below.

Workers prepare the next floor's forms, image by Craig White

Before that plywood floor seen above comes together, frames for the forms have to be built. Below, a worker is assembling one of those forms, something like a giant Meccano set.

The frame for a form is fitted together, image by Craig White

Once the frames have been fitted together, a plywood upper layer goes on top.

Forms come together when plywood is fastened over the frames, image by Craig White

Workers will start with full-size sheets of plywood to cover vast areas of the form, but eventually special pieces will have to be cut to get the required size exactly right. Lumber is used to line the outside edge of the forms, while holes will be cut or gaps left to allow pipes and cables to run from floor to floor through the structure. You can see many of those items popping up through the floor in the image below, along with rebar which indicates where the walls are below. After the new floor is finished—but before the next walls go up—that rebar will be tied into rebar for the next level up, strengthening the walls.

Plywood is cut for the forms, image by Craig White

Along with rebar in the walls, steel rebar rods are also found in the floors to strengthen them too. A rebar mesh will have to be created above the plywood floor seen above before the next concrete pour happens there. Meanwhile, in the image below it's clear that concrete is being poured somewhere on this building, so we will look to the south end next to see that.

A bucket of cement mix is hoisted by the crane to the pour location, image by Craig White

A quick video shows the procedure here: bring an empty bucket back to be filled while hoisting a newly filled one to where the cement mix is needed.

As you can see, it takes mere seconds to empty each of those 2 cubic metre bucket loads of cement mix, so hoisting one bucket while another is being filled is the fastest way to keep the mix coming.

A bucket's worth of cement is poured out over a steel rebar mesh, image by Craig White

Those particular bucket loads were being used to crete the roof for the new Metro grocery store which will open in the complex, and the base for the outdoor amenity terrace.

The north end of the site, meanwhile, is at an earlier stage of construction. It's here where the next two components will be built: to the west, it's the Carnaby Row part of The Carnaby which will one day fill the back of the photo below, while in the foreground the Twenty Loft Condos will rise. The excavation for them is just one floor down over part of the site at the moment, but work will continue across the site to bring these next phases online soon.

The excavation site for Twenty Loft Condos, image by Craig White

The Carnaby is over eighty percent sold now, while Twenty is over ninety percent gone. If the prospect of living in West Queen West is appealing (check out our story on another new park in the area from earlier today), you can always drop by the presentation centre, or there's much more online.

You can check out our dataBase files for each project, linked below, where you can view renderings of how the various phases will fit together and how the pedestrian retail mews will work. Want to get in on the discussion of these projects? Choose one of the associated Forum thread links, or leave your comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  Baker Real Estate Inc., Dream Unlimited, Giovanni A. Tassone Architects, Kentwood