Daniels HighPark Condominiums is starting—just starting—to take on its final form on Bloor Street West across from the famous park in Toronto's West End. The slab for the 14-storey condominium's mechanical penthouse is now being poured, and a topping off for the U-shaped building is imminent.

The Daniels Corporation hired Diamond Schmitt Architects to take on the design of the building, and a number of the exterior finishing materials that the renowned firm has specified are now starting to appear on the building.

Looking northeast across Bloor towards Daniels HighPark Condominiums, image by Craig White

Looking down on the front courtyard from above shows us that that particular area is not one of the ones seeing any final finishes yet; the patio area here is still just a design on paper until the space is no longer needed as a staging zone for the ongoing construction.

Looking down at the front courtyard at Daniels HighPark Condominiums, image by Craig White

Back down at ground level though, the entrance area obviously has something special going on: the columns here have all been wrapped with a protective blue foam.

Looking from the front courtyard towards the entry area, image by Craig White

Get a little closer, and you can see that the same applies to the back of the lobby, and in fact, if you walk through to the north entrance to the building, the columns there have the special protective wrap on them now too.

Columns around the entry area have been wrapped, image by Craig White

Why? These columns are made of a special mix of concrete which was poured into a perfectly smooth liner to create an almost marble-like finish in this showplace area of the building. Now, the wrap is on to protect these columns from being scuffed until the construction around them is complete.

Unwrapping the column reveals a special marble-like concrete, image by Craig White

More typical columns are found in other places around the building's perimeter, but in the image below, there are two other details worth noting.

Columns on the north side of the building, and brick work, image by Craig White

The first is just what's going on at the top of the column. That's a giant rubber pad between the column and the slab. There's one of those at the bottom of the column too. Those pads isolate the building from vibrations in the ground, an in this case they come from subway lines which rumble by just to the north of the building's underground parking lot. When you're standing on the ground outside the building here, you can feel the subway go by underneath. When you're in the building however, you would have no idea on was passing by. Similar rubber pads were successfully employed by Diamond Schmitt in their design for the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Downtown Toronto to isolate the opera and ballet house from outside noises and rumbles.

Columns on the north side of the building are topped with a rubber pad, image by Craig White

The other detail at ground level is that the building's first bricks have been laid here. This batch is a buff coloured brick with a rough, scuffed look to it. The mortar is coloured to match the scuffs. At the main entry doors, the brick will give way to limestone.

Mottled appearance of the buff-coloured brick at ground level, image by Craig White

Above ground level, HighPark Condominiums will get another brick treatment. This area of the building will get a multi-tonal mix of red and brown ironspot bricks which have a sheen to them. As you can see below, the colour of the mortar was a concern for this treatment too, and what you're seeing has been given the A-OK. Marked by indelible ink, this small wall was just built as a test and will be removed.

Upper levels get another colour of brick, and a different grout colour, image by Craig White

Back out at the front of the building, looking left and right of the courtyard see get a view of some of the commercial spaces. The image below shows the southeast corner of the complex where a double-height store of some type will occupy the Bloor Street frontage. When its glass goes in, the glass will have a frit pattern on it that makes it visible to birds, drastically reducing bird-strike. Balconies on the building will also have fritted glass to both protects the birds, and to hide what residents may leave on them.

Double-height retail space at the southeast corner, image by Craig White

Turn to the left, and the large area here will have a new restaurant soon enough. 7 Enoteca, a popular wood-burning oven pizza and rustic Italian food eatery from Downtown Oakville will be setting up their second location in this space.

7 Enoteca space to the west side of the entry area, image by Craig White

Up above, suites are starting to have their interior wall studs installed, while air ducts and windows are going in. Daniels is putting a push on to seal the building in from coming winter weather as soon as possible.

Interior walls are studded in a suite, image by Craig White

The suite below looks out onto High Park's treetops. The windows to the left are in, while the doors on the right are still to be installed.

Treetops view from a suite across from High Park, image by Craig White

Balconies on this arm of the building will give residents a view over the park and over passing traffic on Bloor Street.

Balcony overlooking Bloor Street and High Park, image by Craig White

As we climb higher up the building, no surprise, the view gets more and more expansive. Below we are looking our over the vast expanse of High Park with Lake Ontario in the distance. By looking a little bit to the southwest, we can see the towers of Humber Bay Shores on the horizon, and if we look to the east… 

The High Park view from the amenity deck, image by Craig White

We get a great view of Toronto's Downtown skyline. If you want to see that though, you'll have to check out part two, tomorrow.

Want to know more about Daniels HighPark Condominiums? Check out UrbanToronto's dataBase file for the project, linked below. It has lots of information and many renderings showing you what the building will look like when complete. Clicking on the request info link will get you details from the developer. Want to talk about it all? Choose one of the associated Forum thread links to get in on the conversation, 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