The Blue Jays' series-winning victory was not the only event being celebrated in Toronto last night, as developer UrbanCapital hosted an evening ground breaking ceremony at the site of the third phase of River City Condominiums. With a good number of purchasers on hand along with many who have had a hand in making the avant garde project a reality, the ceremonial first shovelfuls of earth were tossed, even as work has already been under way on the site for a few weeks.

The ceremonial first shovels mark ground breaking for River City 3 Condos, image by Craig White

David Wex, partner at UrbanCapital, spoke about the company’s vision for the site and thanked the many members of his team, including Saucier + Perrotte Architects and landscape architects Claude Cormier + Associés, both of Montreal, who have been instrumental in shaping the bold and alternatively angular and fiercely rectilinear designs for the three phases so far.

Wex mentioned that just that morning he had attended a Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel meeting where the fourth phase and final phase of River City was being presented for the first time. Coming from the same team of designers, Wex described the mid-rise project-to-be as a jewel, but told the crowd they weren’t quite ready to reveal the design yet. It will rise just to the west of River City 3.

David Wex speaks to the crowd in falling evening light, image by Craig White

John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto, spoke of how UrbanCapital had been the agency’s first private sector partner in redeveloping the land under their jurisdiction, and reminded the crowd that River City phases 1 and 2 have now won several awards, and that we was anticipating more of the same acclaim for phase 3. River City sits immediately to the northeast of the Canary District, now being readied as a brand new neighbourhood for Toronto with move-ins for thousands of people planned for the summer of 2016. Waterfront Toronto has overseen the planning of the area, including that for three parks in the immediate vicinity of River City, two of which opened to great acclaim—Underpass Park and Corktown Common—along with Lawren Harris Square, which itself should find fans in the future as it becomes a hub for the nascent neighbourhood.

Equipment is already onsite for River City 3 Condos, image by Craig White

River City 3 will be the tallest of the development's phases at 29 storeys, and is in fact intended to be the tallest of all the buildings which will eventually be built in the West Don Lands. Being built across Lawren Harris Square from the Canary Park condos (buildings which were used as accommodations for athletes and officials during the PanAm and Parapan Am Games and now being converted for their ultimate residential purpose), RC3 for short will also rise directly across the Bayview Avenue Extension from Corktown Common, a new park with sports fields, picnic areas, creative playgrounds, a marsh, and a dog run, that has proven very popular since its opening in 2014.

Food trucks, a DJ, and more were there to celebrate the start for River City 3 Condos, image by Craig White

The celebration itself was held in the presentation centre for RC3, which happens to be one block north in the base of RC1 at the corner of King and River Streets. UrbanCapital brought in food trucks, drinks, a DJ, and an RC3 made of sweeter stuff than the building itself will be. Party attendees were not able to eat their own suite, however, as pieces of cake magically appeared, leaving the fondant RC3 intact. To bring it all full circle though, the real icing on the cake last night was the Jays' win over the Rangers, an event that was marked with a cheer from those of us monitoring our smartphones, and the raising of a glass. For purchasers at RC3, it will always be nice to associate the start of their new homes with the Blue Jays' big win.

River City 3 made with fondant was the centrepiece of the party, image by Craig White

Want to know more about River City 3? You'll find renderings showing what the building looks like along with lots more information in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to talk about it? Add your voice to the conversation in one of our associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Related Companies:  Bluescape Construction Management, Claude Cormier + Associés, Keller Foundations Ltd., RJC Engineers, Urban Strategies Inc., Vortex Fire Consulting Inc.