With all but the last residents now moved in, construction is almost finished at Backstage on the Esplanade in Downtown Toronto. While most of the suite interiors are now fully complete, work on amenity spaces continues as the final exterior details shape the public realm at the southeast corner of Yonge and The Esplanade. 

Looking east, L Tower and Backstage (l-r), image by Stefan Novakovic

The Cityzen Development Group, Fernbrook Homes, and Castlepoint Numa project features a design by Toronto's Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, with interiors by Studio Munge. While the 36-storey tower's glazed envelope has been installed for some months, the east façade is now being capped with porcelain tiling.

Porcelain tiling is being installed along the east facade, image by Stefan Novakovic

With the fins along both the east and west façades now almost fully clad in porcelain, the light-toned but solid elements bring a subtle material counterpoint to the tower's darker, glazed body. 

Worm-eye view of the west elevation, showing the porcelain detailing, image by Stefan Novakovic

Inside, work continues on many of the project's residential amenities, with a terrace space being readied atop the limestone podium structure. The completed terrace will feature a garden space, as well as a 70-foot infinity pool. In the meantime, however, residents of the 284-unit tower have access to a number of recently opened indoor amenities, including the gym. 

A view of the podium, looking east, image by Stefan Novakovic

At street level, the enhanced sidewalks and new retail spaces will be the last elements of the project to take shape. As work on the tower wraps up, the expanded public realm will deliver a more urban presence to the street level. Featuring a landscaping plan by Montreal's Claude Cormier + Associés, the widened sidewalks and new plantings will be complemented by street-level retail, with tenants yet to be announced. 

The Esplanade frontage, image by Stefan Novakovic

Immediately north of the tower, meanwhile, a new signalized intersection has recently been installed on Yonge Street. A public realm benefit secured by the City of Toronto through planning negotiations for the neighbouring L Tower development, the new crossing is quickly being put to good use, creating more safe and predictable pedestrian conditions at a site previously rife with jaywalking and fast-moving cars. 

The new intersection, image by Stefan Novakovic

Adding pedestrian infrastructure to what had long been a car-dominated stretch of Yonge, the hope is that the improved conditions—enhanced by widened sidewalks and added residential density—will help to extend some of Yonge's otherwise bustling character slightly further south.

We will keep you updated as construction wraps up, and the project's public realm takes shape. In the meantime, more information is available via our dataBase file for the development, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread. 

Related Companies:  Blackjet Inc., Castlepoint Numa, CFMS Consulting Inc., Cityzen Development Group, Claude Cormier + Associés, Dominus Construction Group, Fernbrook Homes, Milborne Group, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Studio Daniel Libeskind, Studio Munge, Vicbar Marketing