This past Friday was a big day for developers Lifetime and CentreCourt, as representatives of both firms were joined by Skygrid Construction crews to celebrate the official topping off of Karma Condos, a 50-storey architectsAlliance-designed condominium development just northwest of Yonge and College. We have been closely following the project's construction since shoring activity began in mid-2012, and the March 4 event marked the "high point" of almost four years of hard work.

Karma Condos viewed from Yonge and College, image by Jack Landau

Workers and executives gathered in a future residential amenity space on the third floor, where the various trades were treated to a lunch spiked with congratulatory speeches by company heads, including Michael Pearl of Lifetime, seen below.

Michael Pearl of Lifetime Developments addressing the workers, image by Craig White

Workers got commemorative "I build skyscrapers" t-shirts, and a hearty spread of food perfectly suited to the demanding task of building a skyscraper during a cold Canadian winter. 

A hearty meal for a tough job, image by Jack Landau

With the tower now at its final height and preparing for initial June occupancies, we were given a preview of some of the spaces awaiting future residents of the development's upper floors. While cladding installation is fast approaching completion, the uppermost levels are still open to the elements and in a very raw state.

Raw spaces on the 48th floor of Karma, image by Craig White

Curtain wall glazing panels could be seen awaiting installation on the 48th level of the west facade. This angle reveals the size and the slight green tint of the curtain wall panels.

Glazing awaiting installation on the 48th floor, image by Jack Landau

From the 48th level of the tower, one can see great distances on a clear day. While the weather was quite cooperative for our short visit to the upper levels, the position of the sun made it difficult to photograph the distant Niagara Falls skyline, though it was indeed visible to the naked eye. The view to the south is dominated by the 78-storey Aura at College Park, though the Financial District skyline is quite prominent beyond it.

South facing view from the 48th floor of Karma, image by Jack Landau

A closer look at the Financial District reveals the changes happening there. INDX Condos, another Lifetime and CentreCourt joint venture, can be seen topped off immediately north of First Canadian Place, while the nearly topped-off EY Tower can be seen to its immediate right.

View of the Financial District from the 48th floor of Karma, image by Jack Landau

To the north, the Church-Wellesley and Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhoods are both experiencing significant vertical growth, and a number of developments can be seen under construction from future north-facing units. Cranes can be spotted in the image below at The Britt, One Bloor East, and Casa II, while other projects are hidden by existing buildings.

North facing view from the 48th floor of Karma, image by Jack Landau

While Karma's uppermost levels remain bare concrete shells for the time being, condominium units occupying the lower levels of the tower are fast approaching completion, with flooring, appliances and final finishes almost completely installed. 

A condominium unit on the 4th floor of Karma, image by Jack Landau

Some bathrooms at Karma will employ sliding translucent glass privacy screens, a creative feature that allows ample natural lighting into the room without sacrificing the privacy that can be rare in an urban setting. 

A bathroom in a 4th floor unit at Karma, image by Jack Landau

Corner unit balconies at Karma benefit from glass screens at the east and west ends of the building, which will provide wind protection for the exterior spaces without impacting views. This feature also plays heavily into the building's clean exterior aesthetic, allowing for largely uninterrupted east and west facades and a visual continuity between the balconies and the main volume.

North balcony on the 4th floor of Karma, image by Jack Landau

Exterior finishing work continues elsewhere near the base of the tower, including the installation of finishing touches on the heritage-designated, 1871-built John Irwin House. Seen below through the mesh of a construction hoist, the house used to occupy the west edge of the site, but was relocated to its current position at the northeast corner to feature more prominently on the site. The historic Victorian home is being restored and prepared to function as a store or restaurant as part of the redevelopment.

Crews installing exterior finishes on the restored John Irwin House, image by Craig White

When construction is complete, Karma Condos will add 495 new residential units to the area. Residents will enjoy amenities including a gym, theatre room, a party room, a games room, a sauna, and a roof deck.

Upper levels of Karma, image by UT Forum contributor G.L.17

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

Related Companies:  architectsAlliance, Baker Real Estate Inc., Brandon Communications, Cecconi Simone, CentreCourt, Lifetime Developments, Skygrid Construction, Strybos Barron King