Perhaps no other recent condominium development in Toronto is as architecturally striking as is River City. The four-phase development by developer UrbanCapital has one completed phase, one under construction, one in sales, and one still under wraps. Designed by Saucier + Perrotte Architects of Montreal, black-clad Phase 1 is all dark, angular, sleek, and ultramodern. Staggered windows and cladding are even more pixelated through the use of some variably tinted windows.

River City Phase 1, with Phase 2 to the left, image by Jimmy Wu

15-storey high Phase 1 rises beside the Don River just south of the Queen Street bridge. Next to it is 14-storey high Phase 2, a composition of shifted boxes, and its exterior will be white in contrast. Like some of the black-tinted windows on Phase 1, the fritted and banded windows of Phase 2 will blend from the white of its metal panels through to completely clear. Below, Phase 2 is seen rising behind the Eastern Avenue bridge from the multi-award winning Corktown Common park. 

River City seen from Corktown Common, image by UT Forum contributor rdaner

Phase 2 has been topped off for a few months now, and work subsequently shifted to interiors, while work on the exterior partially stalled. The delay was caused by special curtainwall windows which took about six months longer to be manufactured than expected. With the plywood, insulation, and tyvek that the building has been sporting, it has not exactly been a pretty building to look at in the meantime. That is changing now, however, as the very precisely specified curtainwall cladding has arrived.

Installation of windows and cladding is under way at River City 2, image by UT Forum contributor rdaner

The curtainwall windows have a gradient fritting and banding baked on to them, and require a special installation method. Now that they are here, they are replacing the plywood fairly rapidly, and will be followed by the installation of the white composite metal paneling which will go over top of the insulated walls. Those panels could not go on before the windows were installed, as the windows are the "set off" point for the panels. 

Installation of windows and cladding is under way at River City 2, image by UT Forum contributor rdaner

David Wex of UrbanCapital has told us that owing to the unique design at River City, what is very important at here is that all elements line up exactly, and that they "require a precision that is far beyond normal construction tolerances". Of particular note, we are told that behind the temporary wood enclosures that are now disappearing are almost completely finished units.

Windows have graduated fritting - blending white walls to clear glass, image by UT Forum contributor rdaner

Wex tells us that the River City 2 exterior should be fully complete by March.

Want to know more in the meantime including how the building will look upon completion? UrbanToronto's dataBase files for River City, linked below, include lots of information and plenty of renderings.

Want to talk about it? Join in on the discussion in the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  Bluescape Construction Management, Claude Cormier + Associés, Milborne Group, Quest Window Systems, RJC Engineers, Saucier + Perrotte Architects, The Walsh Group, Urban Capital Property Group, Urban Strategies Inc., ZAS Architects