The Entertainment District, formerly marked by the rhythmic pulse of the dance floor, now stands out for the beat of construction on its Downtown Toronto streets. That energy now includes the construction site of Forma, from the team of Great GulfDream Unlimited, and Westdale Properties. Forma — with Frank Gehry's vision at its core — the design by Gehry Partners and Adamson Associates Architects will stand at the intersection of King Street West and Duncan Street.

Looking southeast to Forma, designed by Gehry Partners for Great Gulf, Dream Unlimited, and Westdale Properties

The site, once home to the iconic Ed's Warehouse restaurant, is being transformed into a mixed-use development, with residential units, retail at ground level, and institutional spaces for OCAD University in the podium. Demolition of the former 5-storey building onsite was followed by a ground breaking ceremony in June 2023. Construction has since been underway for the first phase, the east tower. It will stand 73 storeys tall, just 2.2 mtres shorter than the tallest Frank Gehry-designed building to be completed so far, 8 Spruce in Manhattan.

In October, 2023, four months following the ground breaking ceremony, we catch up with excavation activity. Two vibrant green excavators — one at grade and the other nestled within the pit — hold their steel buckets close to one another, scooping and relocating earth out of the pit. Orange safety tarp drapes shoring wall, held in place by rows of tiebacks, ensuring the adjacent structures’ integrity. Above, we get a clear view of the century-old hand-painted billboards, on the wall of the building to the north, which were revealed during the demolition.

Looking north to two green excavators in action, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor ProjectEnd


The pit, fully excavated pitas of December, 2023, will pave the way for the complex's four levels of underground parking. Rising from within formwork at the south end of the pit is the newly erected white tower crane. Crew members are engaged to its right in the southwest corner, amidst construction materials. The north side hosts a series of dormant green excavators.

The tower crane installed at the south end of the excavation, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Red Mars

This month, we see a grid of wooden formwork coming together at the centre of the site, while rebar cages are in place to create or extend steel reinforced concrete columns. Across the street on the side of the sales office, a billboard depicts both Forma towers, set to rise.

Looking southeast to wooden formwork at the centre of the excavation, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Red Mars

With its stacked volumes and the promise of distinctly shimmering glass and metal facades, the east tower is set to reach a height of 262.8m and bring 864 units to the street. The west tower, not yet on sale, promises supertall status at 308m and new housing 1,170 units along woith a hotel in the podium levels. The second phase would be the tallest Frank Gehry-designed building once completed.

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:  Adamson Associates Architects, Bousfields, Dream Unlimited, Great Gulf, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Platinum Condo Deals, PreCon Real Estate, RJC Engineers, RWDI Climate and Performance Engineering