It was a big morning for Tridel and Hines' Bayside community in Toronto's East Bayfront neighbourhood. Today, construction officially began for the community's third phase, Aquabella, while the community's fourth and final residential phase—dubbed Aqualuna—was officially announced. Following on the heels of the first two phases, Aqualina and Aquavista which were designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica, both of the new phases are designed by Danish architects 3XN that could become well-known landmarks on this eastern stretch of the waterfront. Kirkor Architects and Planners are Architect of Record for all four phases.
Representatives of the associated companies and guests gathered at the Bayside presentation centre on Queens Quay for a reception, where scale models of the building and surrounding community—created by Myles Burke Architectural Models—offered a good look at details of the projects.
Project principals delivered remarks about the planning and design stages of Aqualuna, as well as the importance in reclaiming this section of waterfront. Tridel's Andrea DelZotto introduced the new development by underlining Toronto's connection with the waterfront, saying "In the City’s recent TOCore study planning for Downtown Toronto’s growth over the next 25 years, participants listed the waterfront as one of their favourite places, as well as one of the places they most frequently use."
Leslie Gash, Vice President of Development at Waterfront Toronto, reaffirmed the organization's goal to "create extraordinary new places to live, work, and play on Toronto’s waterfront", and the ambition to build "a vibrant and connected waterfront that belongs to everyone." Gash thanked Tridel and Hines for their work on the waterfront, continuing to say "the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is one of the most exciting city building opportunities in the world. Our work is addressing some of the most pressing issues facing cities today—affordability, urban novation, social inclusion, improving quality of life, and fighting climate change. We are city builders who care about neighbourhoods, parks, destinations, and infrastructure the makes people's lives better."
Avi Tesciuba, Senior Managing Director and Country Head of Hines Canada, spoke on the site's prominence on the waterfront, and how a design competition was held to select an architect to devise the best possible development for the site. “As the pre-eminent development site in the Greater Toronto Area, and arguably the most prestigious and significant piece of Toronto’s waterfront revitalization efforts, the architectural vision for the site and its impact on the development’s urban planning was paramount,” said Tesciuba. “As such, we initiated a design competition for each of the four phases, in an attempt to secure the participation and input of the world’s greatest architecture firms. The addition of Arquitectonica, and more recently of 3XN, has rewarded that desire by allowing us to benefit from the world-class approach and international perspective.”
Tridel’s Executive Director of Business Development, Andrew DelZotto, spoke about 3XN’s work on third phase Aquabella, describing it as “a spectacular building which was the proud recipient of three BILD awards in 2017. Aquabella has also been hugely successful wth only 8 of its 174 suites remaining, with the incredible architecture of 3XN having helped contributed to this success.” DelZotto continued by thanking 3XN for their work on the newest phase, saying “The success we have had to date has allowed us to accelerate the final phase of our Bayside community, Aqualuna. 3XN were chosen as the design architects again. I still remember the presentation 2 years ago when 3XN revealed the design in our boardroom and we were amazed by the striking architecture. Aqualuna will have about 225 suites ranging from about 800 square feet to 4,600 square feet. Almost all the suites have private outdoor space on oversized balconies with many having large terraces with lake and unobstructed water views.”
DelZotto then handed the microphone off to Kim Herforth Neilsen, 3XN co-founder, principal, and design director, who spoke of 3XN's happy collaboration with Hines and Tridel, and the thought process behind the design for Aqualuna. The condominium is designed to form height peaks of 19 storeys to the north and 16 storeys to the south, with shared amenities focused on the “valley” between the peaks. They will include indoor spaces appointed by interior designers II BY IV DESIGN, and outdoor spaces by landscape architects Janet Rosenberg + Studio. We will look much more in depth into Aqualuna's design in future stores about the building.
Following the remarks, the speakers gathered for to mark the ground breaking of third phase Aquabella. The view below shows (from left to right) Avi Tesciuba of Hines, Kim Nielsen of 3XN, Andrea DelZotto of Tridel, Leslie Gash of WaterfrontToronto, and Andrew DelZotto of Tridel participating in the ceremonial sod turning.
While the ground breaking marked the ceremonial start of work, actual construction as already well underway on the Aquabella site. Excavators, shoring rigs, and a tieback drilling rig were all active on the site this morning the south of the presentation centre.
Aquabella is set to rise 14 storeys, and bring 174 condominium units to the East Bayfront upon completion in 2020. The two new phases in the Bayside community will be divided from the two existing phases by the upcoming Aitken Place Park. This new public space—designed by Scott Torrance Landscape Architect and Thomas Balsley Associates—is expected to open later this year.
Additional information and images can be found in our database files for Aqualuna and Aquabella, 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.