Toronto’s rich architectural heritage is evident throughout its neighbourhoods, from the world-renowned CN Tower to the Victorian-era industrial buildings in the Distillery District and Liberty Village. Residential developers have also tried to create unique and exciting designs (The L Tower, 12 Degrees and River City come to mind), but with so many new condos popping up across Toronto, a lot of homebuyers are faced with a homogeneous collection of glass and precast boxes.
Fortunately, there are several stand-out projects currently in the works that are sure to inject more excitement into the condo aesthetic. If you’re in the market for a new condo, and want to escape the banal, scroll down to see a list of six planned condo projects that will transform Toronto’s architectural landscape.
Developer(s): Tridel and Hines
Neighbourhood: East Bayfront
Located in Bayside Toronto, Aqualuna is the second residential development by Danish firm 3XN in the master-planned community by Tridel and Hines. The 16-storey structure features a playful, wave-like facade inspired by its waterfront location. In designing the project, architects carefully considered neighbouring buildings and streets, while optimizing sunlight and water views for its residents.
This can be seen in the building’s shape and form, which consists of two peaks separated by a valley, which houses the development’s shared amenities. By shifting the peaks apart, the design creates enough space to maximize waterfront views from each unit. Plus, as the building steps back on higher floors, those ‘steps’ become spacious outdoor terraces for units on upper levels.
2. King Toronto Condos
Developer(s): Westbank and Allied Properties
Architect(s): BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and Diamond + Schmitt Architects Inc.
Neighbourhood: Fashion District
This 600,000-square-foot community forgoes the typical tower and podium combination that has become the standard in Toronto, and instead boasts an eye-catching mountain range-inspired shape. The 16-storey building was designed by starchitect Bjarke Ingels and pays homage to Moshe Safdie’s iconic Habitat 67 in Montreal by using stepped, terraced apartments with glass-brick facades and vertical gardens.
Applying the ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ philosophy — a German word that translates as ‘total work of art’ — King Toronto will also feature lively pedestrian zones with new retail, hospitality and workspaces, along with courtyards and pathways lined with public art.
3. Mirvish+Gehry Toronto
Developer(s): Great Gulf
Architect(s): Gehry International Inc.
Neighbourhood: Entertainment District
As the name suggests, Mirvish+Gehry Toronto is a collaboration between two Canadian heavyweights — theatre-maven David Mirvish and starchitect Frank Gehry. The ambitious project was initially proposed back in 2012 and has since been acquired by Toronto developer Great Gulf.
Situated at King Street West and Duncan Street, the mixed-use development consists of two ‘supertall’ towers rising 301 and 329 metres tall, separated by a pair of decorative canopies along Duncan Street. The master plan includes the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Princess of Wales Theatre and the facade of the heritage Anderson Building at 284 King Street West. It will also bring a new hotel, multi-level retail and commercial spaces to the area.
4. 1 Delisle Ave Condos
Developer(s): Slate Asset Management
Architect(s): Studio Gang Architects
Neighbourhood: Deer Park
Over the past decade, midtown Toronto has been a hot-bed of development activity with major residential, commercial and infrastructure projects underway. Located south of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, in the Deer Park neighbourhood, 1 Delisle Ave Condos is arguably the area’s most anticipated and design-forward new development. Slate Asset Management partnered with Chicago-based architecture firm Studio Gang, who designed the famous 82-storey, wave-like, Aqua Tower in downtown Chicago.
Led by founding principal and founder Jeanne Gang, the architectural team behind 1 Delisle designed a 48-storey tower with a honeycomb patterned facade that wraps around a circular floor plate. The podium will also incorporate and restore the 1920s-era, Art Deco facade of the existing building on site, creating new retail opportunities at street level.
5. The One
Developer(s): Mizrahi Developments
Architect(s): Foster + Partners and CORE Architects
Although it has already lost its status as Canada’s tallest condo building to the SkyTower at Pinnacle One Yonge, The One is sure to be a jewel in the Toronto skyline when it’s completed in 2023. Designed by the award-winning British architectural firm Foster + Partners, the development uses advanced structural engineering and innovative design techniques.
The most visible of which, is an exoskeleton consisting of an exterior casing made up of bronze diagonal trusses that climb up the length of the building, providing much of the structural support. The design allows for light-filled retail spaces reminiscent of international flagship stores in New York City, Chicago, London and Paris. It also creates uncontaminated interior spaces with maximum exposure to sunlight, and layouts that homebuyers can customize to suit their needs.
6. 321 Davenport Condos
Architect(s): Giannone Petricone Associates Inc.
Neighbourhood: The Annex
While high-rise condos make up much of the new density in Toronto, mid-rise developments remain a great option. With fewer units, mid-rise condos foster a more intimate community feel, while offering less congestion and shorter elevator wait times.
321 Davenport is a new mid-rise project by Alterra coming soon to Toronto’s desirable Annex neighbourhood. Envisioned by Giannone Petricone Associates Inc., the nine-storey residence boasts a sleek design characterized by a flowing glass facade that follows the curve of Davenport Road. Inside, an exclusive collection of 18 penthouse-style suites offer a luxurious living experience with spacious, open-concept design and high-end finishes.