Earlier this week, UrbanToronto had the opportunity to tour Toronto's tallest construction site, taking in the progress at Great Gulf's One Bloor East. Taking stock of the podium levels, our recent editorial took a look at the retail, lobby, and amenity space, alongside a view towards the project's public realm impacts at ground level.
Rounding out our coverage, we ride the hoist to the tower levels…
…and soon making our way up to the roof for a look at the Building Maintenance Unit (BMU) that tops the 257-metre tower's mechanical levels. Located atop the second mechanical level, the BMU is situated on what would be the Hariri Pontarini-designed tower's 79th floor, three storeys above the last habitable level on floor 76.
The BMU allows window washers to access the building envelope, suspending them from above. From here, an impressive panorama of Downtown Toronto unfolds to the south, with the city's topography complementing the tower's height to allow for a uniquely elevated vantage point.
Below the BMU, two levels of mechanical installations sit atop the tower's 789 residential suites. As in many of Toronto's high-rises, the mechanical penthouse is home to the elevator and garbage chute overruns, HVAC equipment, and a slosh tank—a tuned mass damper system that counteracts the effects of wind—alongside a variety of other technical equipment.
What makes One Bloor East's mechanical penthouse notable, however, is the use of translucent glazing to frame the mechanical levels. While the presence of mechanical installations often risks disrupting the aesthetic quality of the tower below, the architecturally integrated penthouse is a relatively elegant exterior presence.
Slightly further down, the penthouse suites occupy the upper residential levels. On floors 75 and 76, the two-level units range up to 6,500 ft² in size, and some offer 180° views of the city below, with the high atrium spaces providing a particularly luxurious focal point for each of the penthouse suites.
Moving down the tower, we stop at the 33rd floor to get a close-up look of the fritted balcony glass now being installed along the tower levels (at the time of our tour, balcony glass reached the 37th floor of the south elevation).
Viewed from afar, the horizontal fritting makes the balconies appear translucent, enabling a sense of privacy for residents while visually emphasizing the tower's curves.
From up close, however, the eye adjusts to see past the rows of white enamel, opening up views of the city below.
At the 33rd floor, the residential suites remain in a relatively raw state, with interior work gradually moving up the tower. Throughout the lower residential levels, however, units are beginning to take shape, with a peak inside suite 420 giving us a preview of the residential spaces.
Appointed by Cecconi Simone, the suite interiors feature a relatively simple, albeit decidedly luxurious, aesthetic. Moving to the completed suite 401, the kitchen is characterized by clean lines and natural wood tones, with the bevelled kitchen island table a subtle focal point of the open-concept space.
In the coming months, we will return with regular updates as construction of Toronto's new landmark continues. For a closer look at the lower levels, our recent story features more highlights from our exclusive tour, while our previous story compared the rendered development with the realized one. Meanwhile, further information is available in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts about the project? Leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or join the 500+ page discussion in our associated Forum thread.