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Photos: James Bombales

Project: Westblock and Lakeshore Condos
Developer(s): Concord Adex, Loblaws Companies, Choice Properties REIT, Wittington Properties Limited
Architect(s): architectsAlliance, ERA Architects

Once criticized for its lack of grocery stores and community amenities, CityPlace is about to blossom with several major retail and commercial projects under construction at all four corners of the neighbourhood.

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On the northern end, along Front Street West and Spadina, The Well is a 7.8 acre mixed-use community that will be home to over three million square feet of office, retail and residential units. A new Farm Boy is scheduled to open in 2020 at the base of Minto Westside Condos on the opposite end of Front Street West at 33 Bathurst Street. Two new schools also opened at Fort York Boulevard and Brunel Court earlier this year and will become part of a multi-use community and childcare centre. Finally, the southwest corner of CityPlace will see even more shops and amenities when The West Block and Lakeshore Condos open later this year.

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Situated at the corner of Lakeshore Boulevard and Bathurst Street, The West Block is a mixed-use community developed by Loblaws Companies, Choice Properties REIT, and Wittington Properties Limited. The residential component consists of two high-rise towers measuring in at 37- and 41-storeys tall by Concord Adex. Together the towers boast over 800 units and three levels of underground parking.

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Construction on the towers has progressed quickly with both topped off and most of the exterior cladding and glazing installed.

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The lower portion of the western tower is taking shape with a second floor terrace and a dramatic glass curtain wall with a striped vertical design now visible. This space is expected to house a new restaurant and bar, along with new retail stores at grade.

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On the southwest corner of the site, heritage experts from ERA Architects have been busy working on the restoration of the Loblaws Groceterias Warehouse which opened in 1928. In 2016, workers carefully disassembled the historic building, taking it down brick-by-brick in order to preserve the heritage facade. Over the next three years, crews have replaced the deteriorating structure with a brand new core that replicates the original building, complete with the restored bricks.

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The rebuilt facade also features the original art deco limestone detailing, while larger factory-style windows provide more light inside, but maintain the warehouse aesthetic. Adding a modern touch is the three-storey, architectsAlliance-designed glass office structure that sits atop the original building.

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Perhaps the most exciting part of the project for local residents is the addition of approximately 245,000 square feet of commercial space, including a 50,000-square-foot Loblaws flagship store, 12,000-square-foot Shoppers Drug Mart and a 6,400-square-foot Joe Fresh store fronting Bathurst Street.

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More amenities will be added along Bathurst Street where a new concrete structure is under construction, stretching from the residential tower podium and under the Gardiner Expressway. No tenants have been confirmed as of yet but the latest renderings from Concord Adex reveal a mix of public gatherings spaces, cafes, restaurants and even an LCBO.

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