Photos: James Bombales
Project: The Well
Builder(s): Tridel, Rhapsody Property Management Services, and RioCan Living
Architect(s): Hariri Pontarini Architects, Adamson Associates Architects, Wallman Architects and architectsAlliance
One of downtown Toronto’s most ambitious development projects is currently under construction at the corner of Spadina Avenue and Front Street West. Known as The Well, the master-planned, mixed-use community will bring a total of seven towers to the block of land once occupied by The Globe and Mail headquarters. Spanning a total of 7.8 acres between Front Street West and Wellington Street West, The Well stretches from Spadina Avenue on the east to Draper Street to the west.
Designed to be a true live, work, eat, shop and play neighbourhood, the community will consist of over three million square feet of office, retail, and residential units when it’s completed. Dine-in food halls, casual eateries, world-class restaurants and fresh food markets will dot the retail atrium, while a new 450-metre linear park with an 18-metre-wide promenade will provide added greenspace to the neighbourhood.
The residential component at The Well will consist of three purpose-built rental buildings and three condominiums. The rentals are being developed by RioCan Living and will be managed by Rhapsody Property Management Service, while the condominiums are by Tridel. Named the Classic Series I, Classic Series II and the Signature Series, the condos consist of two high-rise towers designed by architectsAlliance, standing at 38- and 22-storeys tall along Front Street, and the 14-storey Wallman Architects-designed Signature Series facing Wellington Street.
Demolition and excavation on the massive project started in 2017 and construction has been progressing quickly with hundreds of trades and crews onsite on any given day. Shoring and excavation is now complete and crews are currently pouring concrete for the commercial component of the project.
At the centre of the site is the project’s namesake, a 20-metre-wide by 44-metre-deep, underground reservoir (or well) that extends into the bedrock. The reservoir will become a component of Enwave Energy Corporation’s existing Deep Lake Water Cooling and hot water distribution network which provides sustainable cooling and heating solutions throughout the downtown core. The facility at The Well will store 12 million liters of temperature-controlled water fed by Enwave’s Deep Lake Water network and will serve the entire Well community along with buildings in neighbouring areas.
Construction on the project’s towers is furthest along on the eastern part of the site where the 36-storey, Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed office tower by Allied REIT is located. Recent photos show that glass panels have been installed on the south- and east-facing facades as forming continues on the 14th floor. The dark green-hued glazing is part of the multi-level podium which the office building will share with the adjacent 46-storey residential rental tower. Construction on that building has surpassed grade with concrete support columns visible on the first and second levels.
On the opposite end of the site, crews and cranes are working simultaneously as the team progresses toward grade level. According to Tridel, forming on its buildings are anticipated to be completed by December 2021 and the first occupancies are anticipated to start in September 2022.