Three months after a topping out party for Lifetime Developments and Knightstone's Whitehaus Condominiums, construction of the 31-storey condominium tower on Yonge Street north of Eglinton is continuing under changed conditions. Physically-distanced crews safely work away to complete the Diamond Schmitt Architects and Turner Fleischer Architects-designed development, one of the many ways the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up real estate, construction and connected industries.

Looking southwest to Whitehaus Condos, image by Forum contributor WislaHD

Topped out at its final 107.2-metre height, work progresses on finishing the building interior, with the exterior largely enclosed in a mix of white window wall cladding—from which the building draws its name—on tower floors, while a copper-hued metal panel treatment encloses the retail podium along Yonge Street. Construction slowdowns due to the pandemic have been minimal, as the project was among those listed early on as essential by the Province.

Looking east to Whitehaus Condos, image by Forum contributor WislaHD

The project is one of many developments in Toronto from Lifetime that feature either a significant retail or restaurant presence within its podium levels, while contributing to surrounding shopping and dining districts. The viability of Whitehaus' retail offerings will depend largely on the surrounding area's retail and restaurant culture returning as the province opens up again. while online ordering has kept some businesses afloat during the pandemic, recent reports estimate that 50% of the restaurants, bars, and cafes forced to close because of COVID-19 may never reopen, maybe more. 

In an effort to keep such businesses alive for the greater good of the urban fabric they contribute to, Lifetime Principal Brian Brown, graphic artist Ben Johnston, and ETALK host Tyrone Edwards have started a not-for-profit campaign called See You Soon Toronto. With many of us holed up working from home and unable to see family or friends, the campaign's message to the public, front line workers, and the threatened hospitality industry touches on our common desire to reconnect through food and drink.

The campaign was launched on May 14th, releasing a limited-edition collection of merchandise—t-shirts, crew necks, and a yet-to-be-revealed art print—with proceeds raised being used to pay full price for meals from participating restaurants, supporting hospitality staff and donating the meals to the healthcare and support workers on the front lines of the pandemic. A portion of the funds raised are also being allocated to charities and organizations that focus on mental health services, another aspect of healthcare being faced with increased volumes during tough times. 

See You Soon merchandise, image courtesy of Lifetime Developments

“These unprecedented and unexpected times have impacted each and every one of us in different ways,” reads a statement from Brian Brown, Principal, Lifetime Developments and Founder & Chair, Lifetime Charitable Foundation. “A unifying theme for all of us is that we are deeply craving offline connections with our loved ones, and with our communities. We see this initiative as an optimistic promise from Toronto – that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that the city will welcome us all back with open arms… soon.”

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:  Baker Real Estate Inc., Diamond Schmitt Architects, TUCKER HIRISE Construction, Turner Fleischer Architects