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Photos: James Bombales

Once home to the World’s Biggest Bookstore, 20 Edward Street is in the midst of a transformation as construction on Panda Condos progresses. The development by Lifetime Developments will replace the beloved bookstore with a new modern residence designed by Turner Fleischer Architects.

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Construction on the project kicked off in 2014 when crews started demolishing the bookstore and excavating the building’s five-level underground parking structure. Today, construction has progressed past grade level as the first three floors of the building’s podium are now visible. Two tower cranes have also been installed as concrete for subsequent floors is poured. Temporary scaffolding is in place along Edward Street for a pedestrian walkway, but a peek behind reveals a large sidewalk area which will allow for easy pedestrian access to the future retail spaces.

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Rising 30-storeys above Edward Street and nearby Yonge Street, Panda Condos features a sleek, black-and-white colour scheme with expansive window walls and glass balconies. The building is anchored by a three-storey, brick-clad podium with extensive retail spaces fronting Edward Street and amenity spaces above. The tower’s massing is broken up by a two-toned facade, each with its own distinct aesthetic. The west-facing portion features a white, grid-like design, while the eastern tower sports black cladding and clean, horizontal lines.

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The Cecconi Simone-designed suites range from 458 to 1,904 square feet and boast open-concept layouts, European-inspired kitchens and timeless bathrooms. Amenities include an elegant lobby with white marble and ebony accents, a light-filled lounge and games room, and a study/meeting area lined with Canadian literature as a nod to the former bookstore.

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When completed in 2021, residents will benefit from an ideal location, just steps away from countless neighborhood amenities and attractions. These include Yonge-Dundas Square, the Eaton Centre, Ryerson University and the Atrium on Bay.

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