In Downtown Toronto south of Dundas Street between St Patrick and Simcoe streets, Lanterra Developments' ambitious project, Artists' Alley, is quickly making an impression on the surrounding blocks. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, the three-tower mixed-use complex features eye-catching designs for towers that boast 17, 35, and 39 storeys. 

Looking west to Artists' Alley, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects for Lanterra Developments

The development has grown since our last update in February. Our first image from May provides a dramatic aerial view of the three buildings, rising behind the iconic Sharp Centre for Design at Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University. Cranes crown each Artists' Alley structure from this vantage point, where towers along University Avenue to the east form the backdrop. Among them, Residences at the RCMI Condos stands in contrast with its glazing and white framing elements.

Looking east to the towers of Artists' Alley, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Rascacielo

Fast-forwarding to July, our gaze shifts from a bird's-eye perspective to a worm's-eye view, the complexity of the project is evident as we see how the two taller structures have progressed. The 35-storey building showcases more of its graceful, curvilinear form, which provides a striking contrast to the traditional rectilinearity of neighbouring structures. The complexity of its multi-faceted podium made for slower advancement, but now the tower is ascending rapidly.

The tallest structure's progress on its curtain wall system is visible up to the sixth storey of its upper structure. Meanwhile, in the background, the unique cubic void in the 17-storey building is prominent, reinforcing for us the diverse forms this project brings to the table.

Looking up to the east elevations of the taller towers, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor DarwinP

As summer progresses, so does the exterior cladding. Looking southeast, we are presented with a comparative look at how the tallest building's cladding has reached the height of the 17-storey tower. Shoring poles, temporary but essential for structural stability during construction, are still in place, marking the final stages of concrete curing. The tallest tower is nearing the completion of its mechanical penthouse, on the cusp of topping off.

Looking southeast to the tallest tower, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Northern Light

At ground level, the nuances of each building's design elements and material choices are coming into clearer focus. The 17-storey building sports robust precast cladding while its window installations progress. Its podium features precast mullions separating slender glazing. In parallel, sections of the 35-storey tower's decorative woven framing are now in place along its continuous balconies. 

Looking northeast to the cantilevered volume of the smallest tower, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Northern Light

From a southwestern perspective, the lattice-like weave on the 35-storey tower is more developed. These diagonal and intersecting lines will form diamond shapes as they climb the tower, a feature that is now just in its incipient stages. Glazing installation is especially noticeable at the building's northeast corner. 

Looking southwest to the emerging pattern on the 35-storey tower, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor yrt+viva=1system

Finally, we draw our attention to the tallest structure, highlighting the façade articulation from the podium to the tower, an abrupt transition from precast to aluminum, but with matched glazing elements that provide architectural cohesion across the site.

Looking up to the podium and tower of the 39-storey building, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor yrt+viva=1system

Artists' Alley is quickly evolving from an architectural vision to a concrete reality. The complex is designed as a blend of living spaces, retail shops, and offices, with almost 900 residential units, 1,368m² of retail space, and 5,858m² of office area.

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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Related Companies:  Hariri Pontarini Architects, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., LiveRoof Ontario Inc, NAK Design Strategies, Rebar Enterprises Inc, UCEL Inc., Unilux HVAC Industries Inc.