It’s been 7 weeks since we last checked in on The Well, Toronto’s biggest construction project. Since then, the site has changed dramatically due to excavation progress, foundation pouring, and work on the building's unique HVAC system. The mega-project by Diamond Corp, Allied Properties REIT, Rio Can REIT, Tridel, and Woodbourne will bring a 36-storey office tower, 6 residential buildings, and 432,000 ft² of retail space to the Entertainment District at Front and Spadina.
The 14 month excavation, which the contractor had set out to complete by the end of November, is close to wrapping up. Crews have begun disassembling the excavation ramp - which will be removed within the next two months.
With excavation out of the way in the centre of the site, work has ramped up on pouring the first residential buildings' foundations and underground parking levels. In our last update, the underground levels of the Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed office tower were one floor below grade on the east side of the site abutting an adjacent heritage office building on Spadina. This corner has now reached street level, while the rest of the floor slab is in the preparation stage, with steel rebar being laid in preparation for the concrete pour.
To the west of the office tower, the 46-storey architectsAlliance-designed rental tower on Front Street—which was just in the process of its elevator core being formed in early October—now has a grid of steel rebar laid for pouring the base of the P5 parking level. In the photo below, crews can be seen installing the vertical rebar protruding through the steel grid: this s where walls and columns will be built. These rebar pieces will be wired to the next level's rebar, to extend the support columns into the P4 level and provide strong structural support to the upper levels of the building.
The Well's uniquely robust ventilation system, which utilizes a Ventilation Air Trench at its 7th underground level, was dug last month and has now been framed with steel reinforced concrete. The purpose of the trench is to bring fresh air into the deepest level of the garage, and then distribute it upwards to the six below-grade levels.
Along the northern side of the site, two of the three Wallman Architects-designed condo buildings have begun to form at their lowest levels. Tower A, which is furthest east, and located were the yellow crane is, was the first of the residential towers to begin construction. Seen in the distance with its initial walls in, the floor slab for P5 has just started to be formed above its lowest parking level. The white crane is for the second of these Wellington Street towers. The crane for Tower B was raised in early October as the site's fifth of an eventual twelve cranes.
The two green shovels seen in the photo above are digging another portion of the project's HVAC infrastructure. The Well is set to hold two 6 million litre Enwave cisterns to expand the Toronto Enwave Network not only to the building itself, but also to future developments in the west end of downtown. Enwave is a sustainable energy company that provides heating and cooling systems to the majority of Downtown Toronto's office buildings. Enwave technology uses a Deep Lake Water Cooling System that pumps cold water from pipes submerged 83 metres deep in Lake Ontario. The cooling system reduces electricity use by 75% compared to traditional air conditioning. The Well will act as a storage base to hold the cold water which can then later be pumped to new developments built west of Spadina.
The office tower at The Well is set to open in 2022 when it will play host to Index Exchange and Shopify as its anchor tenants.
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