PJ_Construction1 Photos: James Bombales

Named after its location at Pearl and John streets, PJ Condos is a sleek new residence now rising above Toronto’s Entertainment District. The 372-unit tower is the second condominium by Pinnacle International built along John Street after the successful construction of the 588-unit Pinnacle on Adelaide project.

Construction at PJ Condos started in 2016 when the existing surface parking lot was cleared to make way for excavation. Shoring and excavation of the structure’s six-level underground garage took place for most of 2017 and wrapped up in April 2018. The site entered the next phase of construction shortly thereafter when the tower crane was installed, paving the way for the building’s rise to its 48-storey height. This milestone was reached two years later in the fall of 2020.

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As construction progressed on higher floors, workers on lower levels were simultaneously installing the exterior’s red brick-cladding and dark green glazing and spandrel. The use of precast brick veneer on a tower of this height bucks the trend of all-glass residential buildings commonly seen in downtown Toronto. The design choice by Hariri Pontarini Architects is a nod to the neighbourhood’s historical brick-and-beam buildings and contrasts nicely with surrounding buildings. The masonry construction starts at the building’s six-storey podium and continues upward with vertical bands separating windows and balconies as they run all the way up the face of the tower.

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Another unique architectural feature is the sculptural crease on the John Street façade starting on the 7th floor, where it angles out towards John Street, expanding the floor plate of subsequent floors. The increased floor plates allow for larger units — up to three bedrooms — while the high ratio of solid wall-to-glass ensures that energy code requirements are exceeded.

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Today, the construction crane is gone and most of the exterior is completed, aside from some outstanding work on the wedged-shape public plaza at ground level, which is still surrounded by fencing. According to the developer, the first occupancies began in July.

To learn more about PJ Condos, including available suites, visit the listing on BuzzBuzzHome.

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