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Construction, elevator industries boom across the Great White North.

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New office tower for downtown Toronto; image courtesy of CNW Group/Cadillac Fairview

Tall Towers for Downtown Toronto

Dream Office REIT is seeking permission from the City of Toronto to replace an eight-story office building at 250 Dundas Street downtown with a 52-story mixed-use structure containing residences, offices and retail, Urban Toronto reported. The IBI Group-designed proposal includes 517 apartments, 12,295 m2 of office space within podium levels and 821 m2 of ground-level retail, along with a three-level underground parking garage and close to 600 bicycle parking spots. Envisioned is a tower clad in dark-gray metal or precast panels with punched windows atop a multilevel podium cast in clear glazing. An eighth-floor indoor amenity space is to connect to outdoor amenity space on the podium rooftop.

Cadillac Fairview Corp.’s latest development in Toronto is a 46-story downtown office tower designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, with B+H Architects as the architect of record, to serve as headquarters for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, On-Site reported. Set to open in 2022, the CAN$800-million (US$602-million) project will contain 1.2 million sq. ft. of office space, 339 parking spots and 12,290 sq. ft. of retail at 160 Front Street West. It will be designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and WELL Building Standards certifications. It will also be subject to Cadillac Fairview’s Green at Work sustainability program.

TransLink in Vancouver is upgrading key SkyTrain stations, including adding elevators and escalators, to serve a growing number of passengers, various news outlets reported. Perhaps most notable are the “Big Three” escalators at Granville Station, according to Global News. Metro Vancouver’s longest escalators, at 35 m and 167 steps each, move more than 10,000 passengers a day and are original to when the Expo Line first opened in 1986. The CAD14.5-million (US$11.3-million) project began in May and will entail crews working in tight, underground space using existing trusses. Three smaller escalators at Granville will also be replaced, and work is expected to take approximately two years. TransLink has recommended alternate routes, such as the Stadium Chinatown or Burrard stations. Granville is part of a larger program that will see 37 escalators replaced at Expo Line and West Coast Express stations.

At the Waterfront Station that serves the SeaBus ferry service over the Burrard Inlet between Vancouver and North Vancouver, upgrades include four replacement escalators, one replacement elevator and one new elevator, News 1130 reported. According to TransLink, 5.84 million passengers traveled between downtown Vancouver and the North Shore in 2017, a 7.3% increase over the previous year. The Waterfront Station work is expected to take approximately 15 months.

At the Burrard Station in downtown Vancouver, TransLink is mulling a new, secondary entrance that would provide access between street level and concourse exclusively through six, six-story elevators, the Daily Hive reported. Working with VIA Architecture, the transit authority said the elevator option makes more sense than one involving escalators, since the plan includes building horizontal, underground tunnels in limited space.

In the capital, Rideau Station, part of the new Ottawa Light Rail Transit (LRT) Confederation Line under construction, will have the longest transit escalator in Canada, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Located 26.5 m underground, the continuous unit will be approximately 35.5 m long, with a 15.8-m rise and 181 steps, carrying riders between the concourse and surface levels at Rideau Street and Sussex Drive. Responding to concern from Mayor Jim Watson that the escalator be protected from harsh winter weather, Ottawa General Manager of Transportation John Manconi said it is covered, but keeping grit and sand out of the stairs will be an ongoing concern. If the infrastructure clears required tests, LRT service is set to start late this year. Otis Canada was awarded the contract for the work (ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2017).

EHC’s Ball Receives Governor’s Award

EHC Global founder Ron Ball received the Governor General’s Medallion in recognition of his successful career and achievements, as well as his many contributions to international trade and the economies of both Canada and China. Ball and his family received an invitation from John McCallum, ambassador of Canada to China, to attend a luncheon at the Canadian embassy in Beijing. Ball; his wife, Olivia; and his daughter, Alexandra, attended, when McCallum presented him with the medallion.

The Governor General’s Medallion is awarded by the governor general of Canada, who serves as the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in Canada. In addition to fulfilling the duties of the head of state and commander-in-chief, the governor general represents Canada during state visits abroad.

Construction Begins on Montreal Towers

Site preparation has begun for a 35-story, Art Deco-inspired residential tower in Montreal, Skyrise Cities reported in May. Developer Broccolini plans 258 condominium units ranging from 470 to 4,000 sq. ft. for the tower dubbed 628 Saint-Jacques, and the building is proving popular — 80% of the units were snapped up only a week after sales opened to the public. The project will incorporate the existing Dominion Guarantee Co. building, a vintage, low-rise structure that influences the tower’s overall design by architect NEUF. All residences will have access to bespoke amenities, from a members’ lounge on the second floor to one of the highest outdoor pools in the city.

Private elevators are among amenities the under-construction Humaniti Tower, a 39-story building going up in the heart of Montreal, will boast, SkyRise Cities reported. Located where Quartier des Spectacles and Old Montreal meet, Humaniti will include approximately 160 residences on the upper floors, a Marriott hotel on the eighth through 19th floors, 57,000 sq. ft. of office space, 17,000 sq. ft. of retail and five stories of underground parking. The sleek, geometric design by Montreal architecture firm LeMay will aim for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. Developers are Cogir Real Estate, DevMcGill and the Fonds de Solidarité FTQ. A summer 2020 opening is anticipated.

Vancouver Office Tower Receives Approval

City officials in Vancouver have approved a plan for a 36-story office tower, Skyrise Cities reported in April. The 167.7-m tower at 1133-1155 Melville Street, being developed by Oxford Properties, will feature cantilevered sections that provide shelter and shade on the ground and serve as platforms for outdoor terraces — seven in all, including vegetated spaces, a two-story loggia and a sky garden. The exterior will consist of triple-pane glazed skin and glass foil with fins, along with harder surfaces, such as metal and stone cladding. The development will also include a strip of retail on the ground floor. The structure was designed by James KM Cheng Architects.

The application for the structure was first submitted in July 2015 (EW, October 2015) but was revised in October 2017 to make the design taller and slimmer with reduced floor space. The revision also included public-realm improvements.

Construction Underway on Mississauga Square

Construction is underway at the site of Mississauga Square in Mississauga, Urban Toronto reported in June. Mississauga Square, a 33-story Turner Fleischer Architects-designed condominium and townhome project being developed by Plaza, saw construction crews begin work on an earth retention system to support safe excavation for the tower’s underground garage. Upon completion, the project will bring 392 one- to three-bedroom units to Hurontario Street in the Toronto suburb. It’s one of several projects on Mississauga’s main north-south corridor that will benefit from Metrolinx’s upcoming Hurontario Light Rail Transit project.

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