A year has passed since UrbanToronto’s last look at one of the city’s hottest projects, KING Toronto, from developers Westbank Corp and Allied Properties. A level of hype has surrounded the 16-storey project from day one, when it was announced that BIG, led by Danish 'starchitect' Bjarke Ingles, would preside over the design. After enjoying another month on UrbanToronto’s Top 10 most popular projects list, it is clear that the hype has been sustained. Forum members and more regular passersby alike remain focussed on the project as it evolves through construction, and with forming reaching up to the fourth storey in places, the project’s highly anticipated ‘mountain’ volumes are now slowly emerging. 

Looking southeast at the completed design of KING Toronto, image from submission to City of Toronto

Beginning with an overhead view of the site, an aerial photo captured on September 21st by UrbanToronto Forum contributor tstormers provides a survey style view that gives us a general understanding of how far the project has come. Two cranes now reside on the site, while retained heritage facades that make up a central portion of the King Street West frontage continue to be supported by a steel facade retention structure (seen in blue). As far as forming goes, the southernmost portion of the site appears to now stand taller than heritage building in the southeast corner, with forming of columns on the third storey making advances.  

Looking west at an aerial view of the site, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor tstormers

Moving around to view the site from the south edge facing north, another aerial photo, this time by UrbanToronto Forum contributor mzhang, shows us a close up view of the concrete work happening on the initial levels of these southern ‘mountains’. The image, from September 24th, shows the outline of the “staggered-boxes” pattern that will become the primary design motif throughout the development, created by the offset positioning of the cubic volumes. 

Looking down at the concrete forms of the southern 'mountain' volumes, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor mzhang

Looking at the progress on the south end of the site from ground level, an image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Red Mars, captured on November 4th, provides a view of the forming work from the northwest corner. The forms rise three storeys, with traces of a fourth storey appearing in some basic forming, but no poured concrete to show for it.  

Looking south at southern volumes from ground level, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Red Mars

Viewing the site from the south side facing northeast, UrbanToronto Forum contributor Northern Light shared an image on November 6th that offers an updated look at what is happening with the heritage building on the site’s northeast corner. Since it was gutted a year ago, the inside appears to be fully wrapped and supported in different places by steel framework and shoring poles. Other changes include the removal of the roof, and the replacement of the old floor plates. 

Looking northeast at the gutted heritage building in the northeast corner, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Northern Light

Finally, an image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor FastidiousHack, captured on October 22nd, provides an early view of what we can expect from the pedestrian walkway that will bisect the development's ground floor, improving the pedestrian experience in the unique courtyard retail space.   

Looking south through the future pedestrian walkway, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor FastidiousHack

The project has impressed observers of the development scene with its striking modular design that is elevated by an ambitious desire to provide greenspace on upper levels that is often value-engineered out. Inspired by Moshe Safdie’s iconic Habitat 67, the project has a good chance of turning the eyes of the world towards Toronto as it progresses towards completion. 

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you'd like, 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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UrbanToronto has a research service, UrbanToronto Pro, that provides comprehensive data on construction projects in the Greater Toronto Area—from proposal through to completion. We also offer Instant Reports, downloadable snapshots based on location, and a daily subscription newsletter, New Development Insider, that tracks projects from initial application.

Related Companies:  Diamond Schmitt Architects, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Grounded Engineering Inc., RJC Engineers, Sweeny &Co Architects Inc., Unilux HVAC Industries Inc.