The skyline of Toronto's St James Town is expanding beyond the mid-century rental apartment towers that have dominated the area from the 1960s onwards to now include condominium towers in the mix along with new rentals as well. The stretch of Sherbourne Street running through the area got its first major infusion of new life in recent years with the 2010 completion of the James Cooper Mansion condominium development, and again more recently with the The Selby, a luxury rental tower opened in 2018. The newest project joining this stretch of Sherbourne is 159SW Condos from the Alterra Group of Companies, a 36-storey, Richmond Architects-designed tower named for its address number of 159 (Wellesley East) at the corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley. It also happens to be on the southwest corner of the intersection.

Looking southwest to 159SW, image by Forum contributor Rascacielo

We last checked in on the project's construction status in late November. At that time, work had just wrapped up on forming the four podium levels, with the first two floors of the tower taking shape above. The tower has since climbed another eight storeys, where crews are now working on the 14th floor. At this height, the tower's distinctive massing—responding to the site's irregular shape—has become apparent in views from the northeast. Aiding the increasing speed in construction is the recent installation of an exterior hoist hugging the tower's north facade, allowing for easier movement of personnel and building materials.

The first exterior finishes have also appeared in the months since our previous update. Precast panels with brown brick finishes (seen above) have been installed along the podium's east facade over Sherbourne Street. This staggered pattern of slender vertical panels will form a lattice around the podium's balconies, which will act as the podium's primary expression.

Looking southeast to 159SW, image by Forum contributor Rascacielo

Upon completion, the tower will stand 119 metres tall, and will add 360 new condominium units to the neighbourhood, along with new ground-floor retail space with frontages facing both Sherbourne and Wellesley streets.

Looking southwest to 159SW, image courtesy of Alterra Group

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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Related Companies:  Abedini Norris Consulting Inc., Alterra Group of Companies, McIntosh Perry, U31