The intersection of Yonge Street and The Esplanade is in the process of being redefined by two major condominium projects courtesy of Cityzen Development Group, Fernbrook Homes and Castlepoint Numa. Residents are moving into the L Tower, while across the street, construction on the interior spaces of Backstage on The Esplanade is now the main focus following topping-out.
The L Tower and Backstage on The Esplanade share a certain synergy with one another. The six parking levels situated underneath Backstage are intended for use by L Tower residents, who access the space via a rather futuristic-looking pedestrian tunnel. The raw aesthetic of the tunnel will be completed with the installation of the floor in the coming weeks.
Preparations are under way for the coming application of stone on the podium while units facing The Esplanade are now sealed in by glass. Parking for Backstage residents is located within the four podium levels behind the street-facing suites.
Retail areas at ground level and the residential elevator lobby are both awaiting finishing to cover the exposed concrete and pipes that currently occupy the space.
The Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed tower includes a 70-foot infinity pool and zen garden by Claude Cormier + Associés situated on top of the podium. The outline of the pool is visible in the east-facing image below, as it awaits landscaping and finishing work.
The plans for the completed terrace can be seen below in a west-facing view. Other amenity spaces offered at Backstage include a fitness centre, private theatre, bar, games room, and a business centre split between the sixth and seventh floors.
The vision Studio Munge had in mind for the 284 suites is coming together quickly now that the building is sealed in from the elements. Units on the lower levels are already equipped with kitchens, appliances and flooring, while a good dusting is now in order.
Similarly, the elevator lobbies and common areas are taking shape. The image below depicts an elevator corridor on one of the lower floors with electrical fixtures and floor numbers absent for the time being.
The views from the unit balconies, like the one pictured on the 17th floor, are impressive, especially for those who like to watch trains come and go. This west-facing vantage point shows Union Station, Southcore, the Financial District and the iconic CN Tower.
Up on the higher floors, suites are more of a work-in-progress. Nine-foot ceiling heights are the standard up to the 33rd floor, which from then on to the 36th floor, increases to ten feet. The cabinetry has mostly been installed in the unit pictured below, with the ceramic subway tile backsplash also making an appearance. Electrical fixtures await the appliances that will be placed in and around the granite countertop.
The unique geometry of the building is evident in one of the suites facing The Esplanade on the 36th storey. The building's pronounced curved floor plate provides some striking panoramas of the surrounding neighbourhood.
The majestic St. James Cathedral is bathed in light for the moment, just escaping the shadows of the towering Financial District skyscrapers to the west.
Up at the very top, above the penthouse levels, the rumbling of the boiler room can be heard. The mechanical room is a maze of pipes that keeps the building heated and cooled during the appropriate times of the year.
This floor also houses the window washing apparatuses which snake their way around outside on a rooftop track. The views from the rooftop, although not publicly accessible, are quite impressive.
To the east, the Gardiner Expressway bisects the photo below as a GO Train approaches Union Station. The cranes for Aqualina at Bayside pop up above the ground as the Hearn Generating Station in the Port Lands appears rather lonely in the distance.
Panning to the south a bit, Waterlink at Pier 27, another Cityzen and Fernbrook project, becomes visible. The image below shows the massiveness of the LCBO lands, giving an idea of the potential the site has to become a vibrant waterfront cultural destination.
Swinging over to the other side, the Sun Life Financial Tower & Harbour Plaza Residences continue to make their mark on the skyline.
As construction wraps up over the next months, residents will start moving into the first four residential levels from floors eight to twelve by the end of the year. There will be no shortage of entertainment options to choose from, with the Air Canada Centre, St. Lawrence Market, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and numerous restaurants located within walking distance.
Additional Backstage on the Esplanade information and images can be found in our dataBase file linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.