The dual office phase of Daniels Waterfront: City of the Arts’ excavation is proceeding down at Queens Quay and Jarvis Street by Toronto Harbour. The deepest section of the site measures now measures 30 feet down, about half of the total eventual depth. Workers have found through their excavation that the soil is extremely wet and mucky, and this has delayed the October target of reaching the final depth.

Panoramic overview of the construction in August 2015, image by kotsy

Panoramic overview of the construction in August 2015, image by kotsy

Close up of deepest area of construction site, measuring at 30 feet, image by kotsy

The soil cannot be transported in this state without seeping out of the truck so it must be dug out in sections and piled on top of existing soil so the water is naturally drawn out of the dirt down to the lowest point. Gravity works its magic here with the weight of the dirt on top pushing down on the dirt below. Pumps installed on site facilitate the removal or the collected water. In addition to the soil being described as “soupy”, the first five feet of soil at the site is considered contaminated. Instead of being sent to a regular landfill, it is first being sent to a green soils dump to be properly cleaned.

Metal pipes are hammered into the ground to create wells which help draw the water out of the soil, image by kotsy

Elsewhere on the site, the first level of tiebacks has almost made its way around the entire perimeter. During my visit, I got to see the machine that does the work "up close and personal". Its first step is to drill a very long hole through the concrete caisson. Sometimes the machine hits pockets of muck or water that end up blowing out of the back end. (Nobody said this would be a clean job!) After the hole is dug, it is loaded with cables and a hose is placed inside to fill it up with a concrete mixture. After the concrete cures, welders attach a chair (a triangular piece of steel), rail (steel siding), and cable dividers. After a waiting period, another machine stress tests the cables on the tiebacks. If the cables cannot support the required amount of weight, the whole tieback must be reinstalled.

Close up of tieback on the south wall of the site, image by kotsy

A row of tiebacks line the north wall of the construction site, image by kotsy

Close up of machine that digs hole for and installs tiebacks, image by kotsy

A worker prepares to stress test the tie back cables on the west end of the site, image by kotsy

On the west side of the site between the hoarding and the perimeter fence lies the area that will become 'Sugar Beach North'. Before my visit, five feet of dirt was taken out of this area and refilled with gravel. Over the next two years, this gravel will settle from rain and pressure, and will eventually provide one of the base layers for an interlocking stone walkway to be built for the new public space.

Gravel lies where Sugar Beach North will be built using interlocking stone, image by kotsy

Extension of the popular Canada's Sugar Beach park into the Daniels Waterfront site, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Demolition of the building located on the north part of the site has been delayed from fall until January. It will be removed to make way for the two residential towers with a combined total of 900 suites. This will make the start of the 2nd phase of the project almost an entire year after the initial phase. The full Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts project has a budget of $700 million, with the first completions coming in the Spring of 2018.

Rendering of office component at Daniels Waterfront: City of the Arts, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Rendering of Daniels Waterfront: City of the Arts, image courtesy of The Daniels Corporation

Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.

Related Companies:  Cecconi Simone, City Life Realty Ltd., Claude Cormier + Associés, COUNTERPOINT ENGINEERING, Cushman & Wakefield, Giannone Petricone Associates, HOK, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Kramer Design Associates Limited, Live Patrol Inc., NAK Design Strategies, Rafael + Bigauskas Architects, RAW Design, The Daniels Corporation