Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Wellesley Condo


Welcome to the Toronto Skyscraper Blog, where I share my love of skyscrapers with the world. My hope is that if you have an interest in the skyscraper construction that happens in downtown Toronto, Midtown, North York and Mississauga you will get your daily fix of photos and comments from this site. The photo in this first post is that of SouthCore Financial Centre in downtown Toronto. Likely will be a home of new and massive skyscrapers for years to come currently under construction in the photo is the Delta Hotel and Bremner Tower which will add about 700,000 Square feet of office space to the core. 

The Bremner Strip is fast becoming an entertainment hotspot, espeically on late summer evenings and weekends when there are events of all sorts at the surrounding venues of the ACC (Air Canada Centre and Skydome) Just to the west of this development there is ongoing construction of what will be the largest aquarium in Canada at the base of the CN Tower, sure to get all the tourist pants in a knot. So lots to get excited about, I'll post regularly so you get a feeling for the construction here or at least have photo evidence of it for disbeleiving friends in other parts of the country or the globe. Toronto currently has 154 Skyscrapers under-construction the most of any city in North America, or at least in the Industrialised World.!

Well, this has got to be my favorite condo currently going up in the Toronto Mega Boom, that is transforming Toronto from a quiet provincial city, into one of the global capitals of North America. The hulking mass of this tower is amazing, and it's currently only 34 floors up and still has another 5 floors to reach half way. This will be one big tower, with total floor space of 1.2 million square feet this building is bigger than almost any buiding residential or office built in Canada over the past 25 years with the exception of "The Bow" in Calgary. This building on the Toronto construction forums is known as "The Beast" or "The Monster". If you love highrise construction in Canada then there is no other place for you to be than on the mighty Yonge Street, which is seeing all of the largest projects under construction in Canada taking place on its length including, One Bloor, 255 meters tall and 75 floors, L Tower, 57 floors, and 205 meters, FIVE Condos, 48 Floors and 162 meters tall, Aura Condo 78 floors, and 273 meters tall. Other projects flanking Yonge Street include, Trump Tower, 60 floors, 283 meters, Karma Condos 52 Floors and 168 meters, and Burano Condos 48 floors and 161 meters tall. There are more 200 meter plus towers under construction in Toronto than there are in all of the United States. This is incredible when you consider that the home of the Skyscraper is Chicago and New York City, currently we are beating them to a plup. I await there arrival back in the highrise construction game, so all three cities can go at it for the top dog in skyscrapers in North America. 

The boom in the Toronto Condo industry which began slowly in the late 1990's and picked up steam in the early aughts (00's) has transformed the look and feel of the City. Highrises are sprouting from all areas of the city, mainly the downtown core, but other areas, such as Liberty Village, Etobicoke Shores, Scarborough, Mississauga City Centre and North York Centre are also experiencing rapid condo growth and densification. Part of it is the design of the provincial government, which wants to attain maximum efficiency of use out of publicly funded transit such as GO Transit, the TTC and regional lines. Plus heavy investment in infastructure such as the Airport Line, The Eglinton Crosstown LRT Line, as well as the Union Station Renovation project all of which will make getting into and out of the core far easier then ever before. At the same time providing a real lifestyle choice to those that decide they enjoy downtown living. 

Getting a Mortgage and Mortgage Insurance through Allstate Insurance Company of Canada for financing a loan to purchase at Aura is actually a relatively easy process, and new rules from the federal government has required that company include new regulations, which have made the home loan and mortgage process a bit more difficult. Those changes at Allstate Insurance Company of Canada include shortening the amortization period for which the loan can be held by the consumer, and the degree to which the property is financed by the mortgage. They have also increased deposit requirements to lift the loan insurance amount. Mortgage insurance from Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is actually one of the major financing costs on home loans. 

 This is Ice, the condo twin towers at the corner of the intersection of Bremner and York Street. These towers will be a game changer for the Toronto Skyline, giving it a bold modern look in a world where older towers of the 1960's and 1970's vintage dominate. Currently the tallest tower is about 34 floors up, and still has another 23 floors to go. The shorter tower under construction will be taller reaching 67 floors in the air and add on top of that 2 or 3 floors of mechanical penthouse.When these towers are complete another set of twin towers across the street will reach 70 floors and a condo tower planned by Tridel right behind this complex will reach 75 floors. Toronto is in the middle of a boom, that we still do not fully comprehend, and the result and impact on our city will be felt for generations to come, as Toronto transforms from a small Canadian City into a Global Powerhouse, and Regional player in the North American Game.

The Trump Toronto Tower is the highest level of class in a condo-hotel in the Toronto Market. It was branded by American Billionaire and Kind Hearted Philantrophist Donald Trump, and developed by Canadian Billionaire Alex Schinder of Talon Coporation. The tower project cost somewhere around $600 million dollars, and brings with it International  Cache which is an important factor to elevating Toronto to a True Global City. Currently the hotel is operational and should be good to go for it's first Toronto Film Festival. The Condos will likely be occupied in the coming 2 months or so. Currently this is the tallest project ever built in Toronto since construction of the CN Tower, - previous worlds tallest free-standing structure and First Canadian Place, the national headquaters for the 4th or 5th largest bank in Canada, Bank of Montreal.  One sad fact about Trump is the way it meets the street with unforntuate driveways and service entrances, but because of it's location, which I term.. "the middle of nowhere" I don't think it's a serious loss. Trump Toronto in the end brings a little Dubai Flare to the Toronto skyline with its expensive glass and granite cladding and super LED Strip and Spire running up the side. 

Cities before but not here. Montreal has had the Ritz, and Vancouver has had the Shangri-La. Toronto never was really know for Glitz and Glamour. I mean we build cars here and plastic tubing. What would we know about Glamour. Anyways, seems like the Global Rich are dying to give Toronto a try and see what life is like in a small Provincial town and capital of Ontario. Shangri-La is now becoming the rule and the exception it towers on University Avenue, over our provincial capital buildings, letting it be known that we are no government backwater town, but we are all about making money and enjoying life. This is our first taste of how the rich in Asia live as they bring their fancy hotel to our midwestern backwater city, linking us to our Global City Manifested Destiny. Shangri-la rises an amazing 67 floors and 214 meters above the city skyline it's folding glass an instant giveaway this is no ordinary building. It will house the new Mamafuko restaurant of James Cheng as well as other amenties and ballrooms. As well as a public artwork piece sitting front and centre on University Avenue. 

The Sutton Place Hotel in Toronto is set to become a condo once the charity auction of hotel is goods is complete. The plan not only includes the conversion of the existing hotel, but also adding additional 7 floors to the tower. This is a true one of a kind project, although, I will admit I did like the way the exisitng Sutton Place looks, there is no holding back progress and advancement. So be it!  The sales process has begun, and I'm sure as with most condos in Toronto this will likely have a fairly quick circle from the sales to construction.

Work has completed on the Burano Condo Complex on Bay Street, and proud owners are moving into their new digs. This site has been years in the making and the twin tower, Murano Development sits across the Street. This project was put together by the people at Lanterra Developments whom have also worked on the ICE Project, as well as Maple Leaf Square. this project is one of the taller towers on the north section of Bay Street away from the Financial District. The gleaming glass is looking good, and I look forward to additonal projects of this same high quality going up in the future. 

Cinema Tower in the Entertianment District of Toronto is moving fast with construction. Cinema Tower along with its sister development the Toronto International Film Festival Tower are providing great infill for an area that use to be all parking lots as well as nightclubs. The clubs in the area are being destroyed mostly to be replaced by condos. The new club district is forming on King West, College Little Italy and Ossington. The entertianment district looks set to become a second downtown in the core. The place is lively, even today on a Sunday the patios are packed, I have a feeling something good is gonna happen here.

Hullmark Centre under construction in North York is putting Toronto's northern suburb on the verge of having it's own true downtown corporate centre. This building is a total mixed use retail centre, with condos, corporate offices, and recreation all tied into the underground subway station below. The core of North York is probably the most impressive in Ontario outside of downtown Toronto itself.  It looks great and with the combination of the Emerald Park development across the street we will see a real urban vibe happening here despite the fact that Yonge Street functions as a highway in this part of the city. Thankfully the sidewalks are wide and the trees are mature and huge, so it is and will continue to be a favourite hang out for locals and others from Toronto as well. Hullmark Centre's tallest tower will be 168 meters or about 551 feet, and 45 floors tall.

New Condos going in on University at the location of the Royal Military College between two existing towers. Very interesting to take in as I did last night while the sun is setting. No doubt there is enough variety in location and amenities in the Toronto market. This condo features no owner parking, and cars will be supplied by ZipCar. This is unique although I did notice that the excavation did go down about 4 or 5 floors, but because the building is on a narrow plot of land there was no room to ramp up, which would be required for cars to exit and enter the underground portion of the building.

Well, not everything under construction in Toronto is a condo. Surprise, surprise we also have some institutional buildings as well as office towers going up in the current boom. This hospital along with the Women's College Hospital additon are both going up on Bay Street in quite close proxmity to each other. This tower will be for research and learning, to help the progression in understanding of aliments that have a disporporationate impact on children. Other hospital towers and research centers under construction or recently built in Toronto include, Mount Sinai, St. Michael's Hospital Addition, Lee Ka Shing Learning institue and the MaRs centre on University. Toronto actually has a whole district dedicated to the learning and understanding of Medicine and Science. 

Well, I have some good news, and I have some bad news, The Four Seasons Hotel and Residence (Condo) in Toronto is bringing some of the fabulous luxury of the old hotel to the east side of Bay Street. The sad part or the bad news is, the East side of Bay Street, does not yet have quite the same amenties and cafes as the Yorkville Village we are all accustomed too. Have no fear, that once this hotel opens there will be a land grab and rush to develop all the parking lots in the nearby vicinity to hoist even more cafes and super tall hotel and condo towers. The first on the block is Menkes, with their purchase of the Parking Authority lot for over $76 million dollars, and plans to erect one tower of 69 floors and 239 meters, and a second towerof 48 floors and 180 meters.

Then there is the Cumberland Revelopment plan which calls for the demolition of the exisitng Cumberland Terrace Mall, and it to be replaced with a single condo tower roughly 200 meters tall. Last but not least, in no shape or form is the Holt Renfrew Tower, which will become the tallest tower (condo Residence) in Canada when complete at an ashonishing 277 meters and 83 floors. Yorkville, as they say is on the up and up. Looking forward to bringing you guys more developments on these sites as they progress in the future.

Toronto Real Estate Development 

The Toronto Real Estate Market continues to defy the naysayers by growing on building at an almost none stop rate.  The experts are dumbfounded and at a loss to explain. In my opinion what is happening is very basic, Toronto has become a Global City, and the transit infrastructure into the downtown core is not the best. This results in extreme long commute times to and from work, regardless of where you work in the city. Downtown or Uptown, East or West people want to work in an area where getting around is not a hassle. This is the reason for the rush of development in the core. Throw the international status of Toronto, influx of cash, and Canada’s safehaven reputation and you have the perfect storm. There are two more factors at play in Toronto which are also very well known, firstly, there is a very limited supply of new buildable land downtown. This is making the price of existing properties much more expensive, and the land requires extensive site preparation before anything can be built. (ie. Clearing and demolition at times) Another factor restricting land supply is provincial land use policy which has been enacted to restrict the spread of urban sprawl.

The latest sales numbers show that the Toronto market is moderating to some effect, but there is no crash imminent or impending doom on the horizon. Toronto will remain a safe and stable city, with an extreme Real Estate Market. The low rise sector of the Toronto Housing Market is set to show massive profit gains for the foreseeable future as this commodity decreases at an ever increasing rate in the core city.

The Toronto Skyline will keep shifting and changing in the core, as the building boom continues. This is a good thing for the growth and development of  the city . Looking forward to more condos coming down the pipe, and an enlarged downtown population, giving the core a balanced urban vibe.

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