December 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 76 of 95

Emerald City – Phase 1 to 3 s Ontario commuters drive the 404 or 401 highways towards Toronto, a new landmark has emerged for 2014 – the Emerald City neighbourhood. The triple tower, 1,210-suite residential complex, with an additional 11 townhouses, is the beginning of a master-planned community project in Parkway Forest. The process began in 2004 when Elad Canada Inc. negotiated with the City of Toronto to rezone the area for a high-density residential and mixeduse development including high-rise condos. This also meant building four mid-rise rental replacement buildings and relocating existing tenants. "This is a milestone for Elad as it is our first highrise condominium development," says Ron Weinstock, VP of development and construction for Elad Canada Inc. "We are very pleased with the outcome of the complex in the section we refer to as Block A of Emerald City." Weinstock says the three towers are the gateway to the enhanced neighbourhood that will include a new community centre, daycare and amenities such as a coffee shop and medical offices at the base of the first tower. "We are changing the face of this area in a positive way." The 36 storeys of the Emerald City Phase 1 began graduated occupancy in early December 2013. The Phase 2 tower (29 storeys) and Phase 3 tower (25 storeys) are near completion and will be occupied later in 2014. A Location Southeast corner of Sheppard Ave and Don Mills Rd, Toronto, Ontario Owner/Developer Elad Canada Inc. Architect/Interior Design WZMH Architects Construction manager PCL Constructors Canada Inc. "In the Emerald City Phase 1 tower we created two levels of lobbies – the upper level is to the main building in standard lobby format and the second lobby is at P1 level where all three buildings have direct access to the TTC station," says Weinstock. An underground connection through the TTC stop also connects the complex to Fairview Mall. In addition to a 24-hour concierge, residents will enjoy premium amenities on the first floor including a swimming pool and whirlpool, a fitness area and yoga room, and a Gymboree for children. The fifth floor offers additional benefits including a lounge/party room, theatre room and a connection to the outdoor terrace designed for relaxing and barbecuing. "For Phases 2 and 3, we will have a separate complex of amenities that is shared between both buildings." The architecture of the first three Emerald City towers focused on capturing the surrounding views, while maintaining clean lines within the structure. The floor plans graduate to larger suites on each level, with floors 33 to 36 being penthouse units featuring 10-foot ceilings. "We were trying to make the buildings as transparent as possible because there are beautiful views from each suite," says Len Abelman, project architect with WZMH Architects. "Toronto is a relatively flat area, yet Emerald City is located at one of the highest points in the city. Even if you go up three or four floors, you get fabulous vistas of the downtown core."  For the podium (base) of the building, Abelman says they used buff-coloured masonry to match the renderings courtesy wzmh Architects by Laurie Jones new rental replacement buildings on Sheppard Avenue. "For the tower part of the building, we predominately used glass, aluminum and white precast panels," he says. "These towers are quite large, so we try to visually break them into smaller, vertical planes. We played off vertical and horizontal lines as well as curves to create this design." With high-rise towers, the concern is often finding a way to fit into an existing suburban area and contributing to the neighbourhood. "The trick is to design the building from the bottom up," says Abelman. "The low-rise podiums create a buffer so the tower doesn't come straight down to the street but is instead stepped back. At the base we have canopies, street furniture and trees. Our aim was to contribute to the urban streetscape and create a comfortable pedestrian environment." PCL Constructors Canada Inc. took on the challenge of balancing the different sequences of construction of this multi-dimensional project. Before building began on the three towers, all of the underground parking areas were Above: Phase 1 to 3. Below: Proposed Emerald City master plan. completed. "The advantage of doing this first was because the large pit created a better working platform," says Eric Desgagné, senior project manager for Emerald City. "This allowed us to maintain a faster schedule. Once the excavation was completed, we worked from the basement to the ground floor then built the towers on top." One of the highlights for the team was incorporating the construction of multiple phases. "We got Phase 1 started and within six months the other crews began construction on Phase 2 and Phase 3," says Brian Fowler, project manager for Phase 1 at PCL Constructors Canada Inc. "Being able to seamlessly balance the different sequences of construction between the phases took a lot of planning and effort to make it work in a short period of time." Although the master plan for the completed Emerald City development is in its early phases, it has already won a Toronto Urban Design Award in the Vision and Master Plan category. The final results of this new neighbourhood will surely leave a lasting legacy in Toronto for decades to come. n Structural Consultant Jablonsky, Ast and Partners Mechanical/Electrical Consultant MCW Consultants Ltd. Landscape Architect Dillon Consulting Ltd. Interior Design GNA / WZMH Architects Total Area  1,732,990 square feet Total Construction Cost $250 million Emerald City – Phase 1 to 3 p76-77Emerald City.indd 77 13-11-15 4:06 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Award - December 2013