Toronto's East Bayfront area is a hive of construction activity, with a handful of projects currently in varying stages of construction, ranging from buildings just getting started with shoring, to structurally-complete buildings. Right in the middle of this range is the Waterfront Innovation Centre, a 475,000 ft² office and retail project taking shape along Queens Quay East, immediately adjacent to Sugar Beach. The Sweeny &Co Architects-designed development is past midway into its structural forming stage, rising towards an eventual 12-storey height.

Looking southeast to Waterfront Innovation Centre, image by Forum contributor skycandy

Construction has been ongoing since 2018, when Menkes Developments celebrated the building's ground breaking, followed by shoring, excavation, and forming of the building's three underground levels. Construction surpassed a milestone early this year, when the first above-grade forming was recorded. In the months since, the building's two volumes have made considerable progress on either side of Dockside Drive, which it bridges over with a double-height skybridge spanning levels two and three. Forming has since progressed up to the 11th floor of the larger east volume, and the eighth floor of the smaller west volume.

Bridge at the Waterfront Innovation Centre, image by Forum contributor skycandy

In our last update on the project in May, we were treated to a sneak peek at the building's curtainwall cladding system, manufactured by The Toro Group of Companies. In the months since, this cladding—consisting of transparent blue-tinted vision glass and back-painted glass spandrel to resemble terracotta—has been installed as high as the sixth floor.

Cladding at the Waterfront Innovation Centre, image by Forum contributor skycandy

Other details now taking shape include a sculptural staircase at the south end of the west volume, leading down toward Sugar Beach.

Staircase at the Waterfront Innovation Centre, image by Forum contributor skycandy

Since the start of construction, BentallGreenOak, on behalf of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, has acquired a 50% stake in the building. Once complete, the project is to be anchored by creative consultant services multinational WPP Plc, who signed a deal in 2018 to occupy 260,000 ft² of the building. MaRS, Toronto's innovation community headquartered at University and College, will lease approximate 55,000 ft² to create a satellite hub. 25,000 ft² of office space remains up for grabs.

Looking east to Waterfront Innovation Centre, image by Forum contributor skycandy

The completed paired buildings will house a trio of interconnected interiors dubbed The Exchange, The Hive, and The Nexus, all designed to foster the exchange of ideas. The first tenants are expected to move in next year.

Waterfront Innovation Centre, image via submission to City of Toronto

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:  Kramer Design Associates Limited, LRI Engineering Inc., Menkes Developments, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., Sweeny &Co Architects Inc., The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Trillium Architectural Products