Almost two and a half years after a ground breaking kicked off construction of Ivanhoé Cambridge and HinesCIBC SQUARE complex, the first of two WilkinsonEyre-designed office towers is making its mark on the Downtown Toronto skyline. The complex's initial 49-storey south tower has already built up a significant presence in skyline views, and is rapidly closing in on its final 238-metre/780-foot height above Bay and Lake Shore.

CIBC SQUARE on the Toronto skyline, image by Forum contributor Jasonzed

With the final stepback poured, the concrete tower core is now closing in on its full height. A series of stepbacks have produced smaller tower core sections, with the final section of tower core now being formed to service the tower's upper mechanical floors. The tower is only habitable up to the 49th floor, and the five levels above—where the core is now rising—will house mechanical functions surrounded by the tower's glazed crown.

CIBC SQUARE viewed from the west, image by Forum contributor sikandar

The journey up until this point is illustrated with a time lapse created from photos captured by UrbanToronto Forum contributor sikandar between December, 2017 and November, 2019. Aligning and sequencing the photos into an animated GIF allows us to visualize about two years of construction, starting with the erection of cranes at the base of the site’s excavated pit, and ending with the almost topped-out tower core. The GIF also shows structural steel assembly and cladding installation, the former trailing several levels behind the tower core, and the latter behind the former.

Time lapse view of CIBC SQUARE rising, images by Forum contributor sikandar

As the tower grows taller, the podium is being formed and work is also moving along on the elevated park that will straddle the rail corridor between the first phase and the upcoming second phase to the north. Recent views show crews working through the evening hours to pour the first sections of concrete above the park's completed structural steel decking. The first section of the park is expected to open in 2021, with the remaining section to open with the second tower in 2024.

Night work on elevated park deck, image by Forum contributor mburrrrr

Just east of the rising tower, a section of podium that will house a new GO bus terminal—seen at the bottom of the photo below—has been structurally completed, and one of the two cranes used to form it, removed at the end of October. The latest images of this section show opaque, white cladding panels enclosing the future bus terminal, while the podium levels above are just starting to be clad in the same curtainwall glazing that makes up the main tower exterior.

East podium at CIBC SQUARE, image by Forum contributor Michael62

This first phase tower is scheduled to open next year, with the office space to be anchored by banking tenant CIBC. The opening of the new GO bus terminal will free up the footprint of the current GO bus terminal to the north, allowing construction the second phase tower at 141 Bay Street. It is set to open in 2024. 

CIBC SQUARE viewed from Bay and Harbour, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment below.

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