Construction activity is heating up for one of the most transformative mixed-use redevelopments in recent Downtown Toronto history. Since we last covered work on the Front and Spadina site of The Well back in July, the site has been quite active with the final elements of demolition and the start of shoring. In the meantime, there has also been business activity with RioCan and Allied Properties REIT acquiring former partner Diamond Corp's 20% interest in the project's office and retail components for up to $42 million. Tridel remains as developer of the project's residential component.

With so much going on here, design work has been split across several architectural firms, the team consisting of Hariri Pontarini Architects serving as design architect, Adamson Associates Architects serving as executive architect, Wallman Architects and architectsAlliance designing the residential component, BDP Architects handling the retail/commercial design, and Claude Cormier + Associés responsible for landscape and public realm.

Aerial view of The Well, facing southwest, image courtesy of Allied/RioCan/Tridel

At the time of our last update a few months ago, only a few sections of the former Globe and Mail headquarters remained standing on site. By the start of September, these sections had been reduced to fragments, including a small concrete box visible at the lower left in the aerial view below. This small piece was among the last to be removed due to it being the location of the former building's manifold and shut off valves to the City water supply, preventing its demolition until the water could be disconnected offsite. This section was finally removed a few days after this image was captured, leaving just one final concrete structure to demolish, hidden in the image below behind the five-storey red brick office building to the left of centre.

Building remnant on The Well site, September 5th, image by Craig White

By September 22nd, the surface parking lot at at Spadina and Front was closed, and demolition of the last remaining structure on site commenced the following day. The delay in removing it was the result of a negotiation process for a temporary encroachment agreement with the adjoining property, and the necessary notification of tenants within that building.

Demolition of the final structure on The Well site in late September, image by Forum contributor AHK

In the final days of September, the first shoring rigs began to arrive on site, with the first shoring activity spotted on September 27th. In the just over two weeks since shoring began on site, crews from GFL's Anchor Shoring division have been busy installing the site's earth retention system.

Shoring at the site of The Well, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

With the excavation set to stretch across the entire 7.5-acre site, the earth retention system here will take some time to install before work can begin on the massive excavation.

Shoring at the site of The Well, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

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

Related Companies:  Adamson Associates Architects, Allied Properties REIT, architectsAlliance, BDP, Claude Cormier + Associés, Diamond Corp, EQ Building Performance Inc., GFL Environmental Inc., Hariri Pontarini Architects, Kentwood, Kramer Design Associates Limited, RioCan REIT, RJC Engineers, The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Tridel, Trillium Architectural Products, Urban Strategies Inc., urbanMetrics inc., Wallman Architects, Woodbourne Canada Management, Inc.