A decade ago, it was hard to imagine the rapid transformation of Toronto's West Don Lands into the architecturally adventurous neighbourhood now rising above the Don River. River City, UrbanCapital's master-planned community straddling the gentrifying Corktown and nascent Canary District neighbourhoods, is quickly taking shape as the refreshingly distinctive forms of the Phase 1 & 2 buildings look out over the water and transportation corridor. With residents of the white Phase 2 development now moved in, we take a close look at what has quickly become a recognizable entity on the urban landscape.
Standing just south of its black Phase 1 neighbour, River City's Phase 2 is distinct from its neighbour while maintaining a sense of architectural cohesion. With both of the buildings designed by Saucier + Perrotte Architects with ZAS Architects, a sense of interplay between the playfully irregular—and almost deconstructed—forms of the two buildings is evident.
According to UrbanCapital Co-Founder David Wex, "we wanted the River City community to be architecturally diverse while maintaining an aesthetic style," with both completed towers also notable for the high quality of their architectural finishes. "We want the finished project to look even better than the rendering," Wex told us, articulating a commitment to high-quality construction and long-term vision for each project.
Composed of three conjoined 12-storey volumes, the distinctive building is clad in a combination of fritted and banded windows, which deftly negotiates the interplay between the transparent glazing and opaque white panels.
The building's aesthetic—characterized by rectilinear extrusions and an interplay of opacity and transparence—is made possible by the 90º rotation of select units, with the white walls serving as the exposed sides of rotated suites.
The 248-unit building has brought an infusion of new residents to the neighbourhood, with ground-level townhomes providing a more intimate residential character at the building's base. Taking a look inside a penthouse suite (above), meanwhile, reveals spectacular vistas of the Toronto skyline, highlighting the building's proximity to the urban core that stretches out across the west.
The River City community—which has recently seen the addition of the highly-lauded Underpass Park—is set to be joined by two additional developments, with the showpiece 29-storey Phase 3 tower already one of the city's most highly-anticipated projects (seen at left, below). Now under construction, the project is set to be completed by early 2018, and will include a new bone-shaped dog park for River City Residents. River City's fourth and final phase, meanwhile, "is expected to launch in 2016," Wex tells us.
More information—as well as additional renderings—regarding the developing River City community is available in our project dataBase files, linked below. Want to share your thoughts on River City 2 and the future of the master-planned community? Leave a comment in the space below, or join in the discussion on one of our associated Forum threads.