Whether measured by density, height, or aesthetics, Ivanhoé Cambridge and HinesCIBC SQUARE complex is shaping up to be the most significant office development built in Downtown Toronto so far during the 21st century. Construction of the first of two WilkinsonEyre-designed office towers has been ongoing since 2017, and this 49-storey South Tower is now rapidly approaching its final height of 238 metres above Bay and Lake Shore.

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

This week, representatives from flagship tenant CIBC, builder EllisDon, and developers Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines gathered at the site to sign and raise a ceremonial last steel beam. While purely ceremonial—the building's crown will rise many more metres above the topped-out concrete core—the raising of this beam marks the near-completion of structural work for the project.

CIBC team after signing the ceremonial last steel beam at CIBC SQUARE’s 81 Bay Street, image courtesy CNW Group/CIBC

"We're excited to mark this milestone as we prepare for the opening of our new global headquarters later this year," reads a statement from Veni Iozzo, Executive Vice-President, Communications, Public Affairs and Workplace Transformation. "CIBC SQUARE is a cornerstone of our global workplace transformation as we create a modern and inclusive work environment that fosters collaboration, innovation and wellbeing for our team. Our new home puts our clients at the centre of all that we do as we help make their ambitions a reality."

The ceremonial last steel beam at CIBC SQUARE’s 81 Bay Street, image courtesy CNW Group/CIBC

Meanwhile, as steel installation progresses atop the tower, work on installing the building's faceted curtainwall glass exterior continues about a dozen levels behind the uppermost sections of steel. Behind these glazed sections, interior finishing for the future office floors is moving along.

Looking east to CIBC SQUARE, image by Forum contributor sikandar

Work on the podium has also progressed a fair bit in the past few months, most recently with the removal of a tower crane used during the podium’s forming. This area of the building—behind the white panels seen below—will host the new Union GO bus terminal for Metrolinx, replacing the existing open-air terminal to the north of the rising tower.

Crane removal atop CIBC SQUARE's south tower podium, image by Forum contributor Michael62

Down at street level, the complex’s pedestrian connection with Union Station—accessed via the Scotiabank Arena—was hoisted into place in September, 2019, and is now enclosed by glazing and panels of a matte-finished textured aluminum. In addition to connecting Union Station and the new GO bus terminal, the bridge will connect the complex to the PATH pedestrian network, allowing direct indoor access to many Downtown properties, and eventually to new developments along the waterfront to the east.

Pedestrian bridge at CIBC SQUARE, image by Forum contributor drum118

Scheduled to be completed later this year, the first tower in the complex will provide new office space for flagship tenant CIBC, housing approximately 14,000 CIBC employees, along with various other office tenants. With the GO buses moving south into the new terminal, their current terminal area will be freed up to allow construction to start on the taller second phase tower.

CIBC SQUARE viewed from the existing GO terminal, image by Forum contributor drum118

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Adamson Associates Architects, American Standard (part of Lixil Canada Inc.), Cushman & Wakefield, EllisDon, EVOQ Architecture Inc., Grounded Engineering Inc., Hines, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Ivanhoé Cambridge, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., Public Work, RJC Engineers, The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Urban Strategies Inc., Walters Group, WilkinsonEyre Architects