Toronto's new downtown extension, a district immediately south of the railway lands and recently dubbed the 'Southcore', is morphing from a hub of construction activity into one of daily life. A truly mixed-use community, the area has an abundance of office space, condominiums and very soon, Toronto's tallest hotel-only tower will open here, the four-star flagship Delta Toronto.
The 45-storey Delta Toronto, designed by Page + Steele/IBI Group Architects under Partner-in-Charge Mansoor Kazerouni, is integrated with the neighbouring KPMB-designed 30 and 26-storey office towers of the Southcore Financial Centre. The 1.4 million square foot hotel and office complex spans an entire city block on Bremner from Simcoe to York, containing 567 guest suites and facilities in the westernmost tower.
The Delta, developed by bcIMC and GWL Realty, is now fully clad in glass while ground work and interior finishes continue to progress. As the tower nears completion, UrbanToronto had the opportunity to explore these spaces in a recent hardhat tour.
The bones of the stone-clad podium are also complete while landscaping work around it progresses. Anchoring the main courtyard entrance and driveway of the building, a massive public art mural has been attached to the west face of the 30-storey centre office tower of the complex. A stylized landscape, the artwork uses colours borrowed from the surrounding architecture, creating a very cohesive space.
The southwest corner of the complex will house a 230-seat restaurant which includes an 80-seat patio overlooking Simcoe and Bremner. The interior of the restaurant lacks intrusive columns, resulting in clear sightlines from one end of the room to the other. To be called the 'SOCO Kitchen + Bar', the spot is intended for anyone and everyone, not just those lucky enough to stay within the hotel. The hotel's ground floor public space will also include a 30-seat whiskey bar complete with a wide selection of Canadian whiskeys.
The patio offers a clear vantage point of one of the hotel's many important features: the PATH connection to the SkyWalk. Users of the bridge will be able to enjoy a clear view down Simcoe Street through triangular windows while an artwork by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins (still to be intalled) will enliven the interior space. The bridge will tie the hotel and Southcore Financial Centre into the SkyWalk between the Convention Centre entrance and the Union Pearson Express station, and will complete another loop in Toronto's weather-protected pedestrian PATH network, which is significantly expanding this year.
The complex, visually striking on the outside, is just as noteworthy on the inside. The lobby entrance sits just opposite the wall of public art and once inside, light overtakes the room. The decorative wood that is draped across the ceiling and south wall gives the space a warm glow. A slightly canted ceiling also keeps with the theme of slightly angled geometry found throughout the tower.
The lobby's west end features a dramatic suspended staircase that leads to the second floor balcony, as seen in the image below, with another stair to the third-floor function space above it. The lobby is mostly free of pillars, which ensures the space truly feels open and inviting.
The podium houses a collection of function spaces, including meeting rooms and large ballrooms. Each of the meeting spaces is named for one of Toronto's neighbourhoods, including Harbourfront, Kensington and Parkdale. The Kensington is the 'junior' ballroom of the hotel, yet still large enough in size to host a variety of events.
The largest ballroom, located on the third floor, again takes the 'SOCO' diminutive for the newly established Southcore neighbourhood. Able to be divided into three separate rooms, the spacious entryways to the 6,500 square foot ballroom are flanked by large windows overlooking the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and Roundhouse Park. Will the SOCO term eventually spill beyond the hotel walls and to be adopted across this area? We will see how effective the Delta's neighbourhood branding strategy is over the coming years.
The Delta is fully integrated with the neighbouring Southcore office tower throughout the PATH system as well as with an open-air 'Urban Forest' now being planted on the third floor. The rooftop garden will be frequented by both hotel guests and office workers, making the green roof one of the hotel's many unique spaces.
Looking up from the rooftop garden between the towers, we get a look at the 'zipper' which features prominently on the east and west façades of the Delta. This zipper will be floodlit at night.
Moving up one storey to the fourth floor, another one of the property's premier spaces comes into view. An indoor pool and hot tub located at the north end of the building features dramatic views of the city's imposing financial district and looks over all of the activity of the Union Station rail tracks. Other amenity spaces on this floor include a gym, yoga facility and steam room.
At the sooth end of the fourth floor, another major amenity space is being completed. For those looking to enjoy some fresh air and some refreshment, an outdoor patio space and rooftop bar overlooks Roundhouse Park and surrounding landmarks from above the intersection of Bremner and Simcoe. From here, the architectural elements of the tower, including the highly reflective glass, can also be easily admired. The specks of white that break up the blue glass are likened to the bubbles in a champagne glass as the pattern begins to dissipate further up the tower. Planted for the moment as a low maintenance green roof, next spring the gardens on this level will be very lushly replanted to a design by landscape architects Corban and Goode.
Many of the interiors by New York-based Champalimaud Design are finished or nearing completion. The image below depicts a typical standard room on the seventh floor of the Delta hotel.
The more spacious deluxe southwest and southeast corner rooms contain corner bathrooms with great views of the city. The unique placement of the bathroom, combined with its large windows, has already become a talking point amongst hardhat-wearing visitors to the suites.
The views from the top floor, where the hotel's Club Lounge is located, are extraordinary. The great location of the complex becomes apparent when looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows, realizing the proximity of everything, whether it be Union Station, the Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre or Roundhouse Park.
The Club Lounge will be accessible to hotel guests who have opted for one of the 55 rooms on the top 4 floors, and is designed to act as a mini lobby and retreat in the sky, one with quite the panorama!
The opening of the Delta Hotel is expected in November, when it is sure to add animation to a street that was barren only a decade ago. While the exterior is mainly complete, the installation of the Delta signage and lighting of the 'zipper' running up the tower are things to look forward to in the coming months. With the opening of another top hotel in addition to Le Germain at Maple Leaf Square, Southcore—or SOCO—is beginning to make its presence known as a culturally and economically important hub.
Additional information and images can be found in our Southcore Financial Centre and Delta Toronto dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Choose the associated Forum thread link, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.
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