In June 2012 UrbanToronto featured an article about the then current plans for a rental tower at Bay and Gerrard by GWL Realty Advisors. The 50-storey proposal featured a provocative design by RAW which changed its external expression several times as the tower rose. Now, over three years later ground has finally been broken on the site, albeit for redesigned 43 Gerrard West, now by IBI Group Architects.

Excavation as of August 4, 2015, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor G.L. 17

The City of Toronto had a number of issues with the original 50-storey plan, but those were worked out through the planning process, and approval was granted by Council for the 43-storey redesign in 2014. Changes to the height were made to both reduce shadowing on College Park (behind the building in the northeast facing view below) and to reduce the building's impact on the Old City Hall view corridor from the south.

Original design for 43 Gerrard, rendering courtesy of RAW Design

Besides being shorter than the original proposal, the redesign is not as avant garde in its cladding choices, while the building's massing now embraces a more typical current Toronto design typology of boxier elements extending from or receding into an obviously rectangular core. 

43 Gerrard West, tower looking northeast, rendering courtesy of IBI Architects

Glazing is rendered in shades from white to black to silvery on the tower floors, while the larger podium floors feature a continuous ribbon of black and rust-coloured framing around transparent glazing, folding at various points as it traces the contours of the building's lower floors.

43 Gerrard West, podium, rendering courtesy of IBI Architects

Below, a similar view of the original RAW design for 43 Gerrard West again shows the completely different approach that was first taken. While UrbanToronto commenters' reactions to that design ranged from amazing to ugly, the new design takes a safer tack, but one which will no doubt continue to divide readers. We will continue to follow development of this building over what will likely be a three-year construction process before we see how closely it resembles the current renderings.

Original design for 43 Gerrard, rendering courtesy of RAW Design

More renderings of the current design can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. If you would like to get in on the discussion of 43 Gerrard, you can click on the associated Forum thread link, or you can always leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  Cecconi Simone, Flynn Group of Companies, GWL Realty Advisors, IBI Group, Land Art Design, PCL, Stephenson Engineering, Vertica Resident Services