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The rising towers of CityPlace in November 2008
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
City Toronto Toronto

CityPlace is the name given to a large section of former railway land in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada that has been redeveloped for multi-use purpose. The term has been more recently used for a large multi-tower condo development in the Harbourfront district. When completed, this area will be the largest residential development ever created in Toronto's history. The area is bordered by Bathurst Street to the west, Lake Shore Boulevard to the south, and Front Street to the north and Blue Jays Way and the Rogers Centre to the east.



CityPlace was originally conceived as a way to revitalize what was Canadian National's former Spadina Street Yard Facility. Going as far back as 1965, when CN began to shift the functions of many of its yards in the Greater Toronto Area to a centralized facility in the northern suburb of Vaughan, there had been plans to revitalize this part of downtown. One of them called for the construction of a large television/telecommunications tower as a showcase of Canadian industry, which was realized in the 1970s with the CN Tower. Further development took place in the 1980s, with the 1984 completion of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre drawing new attention to the area.

With the arrival of new visitors and development of new commercial draws, a fresh master plan was drawn up by the City of Toronto for revitalization of this area. At the same time VIA Rail, the sole occupant what remained of the Spadina Street Yards, relocated their local operations to the newly built Toronto Maintenance Centre in New Toronto, freeing up the lands necessary for the planned revitalization. Work commenced after the demolition of the last railway buildings with the construction of SkyDome, which was completed in 1989. At the same time, a new network of roads, parks and infrastructure began to take shape. The project proceeded smoothly until an economic downturn caused many of the development plans to be shelved, and much land stood abandoned until 1997 when construction of the Air Canada Centre arena commenced. This began the third and final phase of CityPlace which called for a multipupose development of commercial, residential, and retail.

As of 2009, the lands have been nearly completely developed, with the remaining parcels of land soon to see construction.

The current CityPlace development

The current CityPlace development was conceived by Concord Adex developments, the same company that helped revitalize a large section of former Expo 86 lands in Vancouver.


Project Scope

  • Project Size: 44 acres (182 108.5 m²) including a 8 acre (32 375 m²) community park. 7500 residential units upon completion.
  • Residential development is divided into 10 street blocks, numbered from 1 to 10. Each street block contains a number of residential towers with its own sets of common facilities.
  • Block 1 was developed first with 4 towers, namely Matrix A/B and Apex C/D, all with Front Street West addresses. The street block features buildings directly facing the entertainment district and the closest walk to the Financial District.
  • Block 2 features 1 building (Optima) only, directly behind the Rogers Centre, fronting on Navy Wharf Court. It features a heightened privacy comparing to the other interconnected towers. Both Block 1 and 2 were completed before 2003.
  • Block 3 is the largest street block in the entire CityPlace complex, with 4 towers and a mid-rise building, as well as townhouses to decrease the tension of high density development. The project was named Harbour View Estates and was completed in 2006.
  • Block 4 features 2 towers and a mid-rise, mirroring the Harbour View Estates both in location and in design. The buildings are named as WestOne, N1/N2 and The Gallery, was completed in late 2007.
  • Block 5 contains one tower (Montage), completed in early 2009, and a mid-rise building (Neo), completed in late 2008.
  • Block 6 has further progressed in design as trend evolves, with 2 towers and 1 mid-rise, the project is named as Luna.
  • Block 7-8 (Parade) Two 38 story towers with a 2 story bridge at floors 28 and 29, 2 podium buildings and 2 mid-rise buildings
  • Block 9 An 8-acre (32,000 m2) park
  • Block 10 will contain the Panorama building with a 7 story podium/mid-rise and a luxury high rise. The high-rise will feature a number of 1500+sqft units with private elevators. Estimated completion for 2011.
  • Number of Units: over 5,000 residential units to date.

City Place Buildings

City Place
Canoe in City Place Park
Rank Name Height
Floors Year Notes Image
01.0 Apex[A] 273 ft (83.2 m) 28 2005 CityPlace Apex.JPG
01.0 Apex 2[A] 371* 36 2005
01.0 Harbourview Estates [A] 402 ft (122.5 m) 40 2006 HVE.jpg
01.0 Harbourview Estates 2[A] 503 ft (153.3 m) 49 2006
01.0 Harbourview Estates 3 North[A] 278 ft (84.7 m)* 26 2006
01.0 Harbourview Estates 3 South[A] 378 ft (115.2 m)* 36 2006
01.0 Luna[A] 413 ft (125.9 m) 38 2009
01.0 Matrix 1[A] 320 ft (97.5 m) 32 2004 MATRIXAB.jpg
01.0 Matrix 2[A] 274 ft (83.5 m) 28 2004
01.0 Montage[A] 476 ft (145.1 m) 47 2008 CityPlace Montage.JPG
01.0 N1[A] 425 ft (129.5 m)* 41 2007
01.0 TCHC Block 31 (seperate developer, but within the community)[A] 434 ft (132.3 m)* 43
01.0 Panorama[A] 315 ft (96.0 m)* 28 2009 Cityplacepanorama.jpg
01.0 Parade East[A] 366 ft (111.6 m) 39 u/c
01.0 Parade West[A] 418 ft (127.4 m) 44 u/c
01.0 West One[A] 486 ft (148.1 m) 49 2007 CityPlace West One.JPG

(*) - denotes estimate
See Concord Pacific Masterplan in External Links

Getting Around

With its location nestled between the Gardiner Expressway and Union Station, CityPlace is a very accessible area. The development is also serviced by the Toronto Transit Commission's 509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina, and 511 Bathurst streetcar lines.

In addition, a median is being set aside along Bremner Boulevard, the main thoroughfare through Cityplace, so that it can be used for a streetcar route by the TTC in the future.


Some planners, architects and politicians have questioned the prudence of the development's urban design. Critics have lauded the architectural excellence of the buildings themselves, but believe suburban ideals have been engineered into the streetscape. With little street life and few amenities, CityPlace favours those with a car. [1] While unopposed to high density, critics cite the project's isolation as a potential hindrance to the future health of the fledgling community. They believe that as with other Toronto high rise developments in the past, CityPlace's lack of interconnectedness with the surrounding city may lead to ghettoization of residents.[2] Others believe community prosperity may be affected by the upward mobility of current purchasers. A lack of large units deters families from choosing CityPlace as a desirable place to live, threatening to recreate the conditions experienced in St. James Town and Regent Park. [3] Some, even major figures in the industry, have stated the sustainability of such large projects is in doubt.[4] The result could be a CityPlace that remains unfinished until the economy recovers.

Another major criticism of the project is the developer's ample use of window-wall construction. This may lead to costly maintenance in the future. [5][6]

Facts and Figures

External links


  1. ^ Hume, Christopher. (July 14, 2007). City Place Hurt by New Spadina Expressway The Toronto Star.
  2. ^ Hume, Christopher. (April 21, 2007). "Some causes for concern in condo design." Retrieved on 2008-08-16
  3. ^ Tossell, Ivor. (September 1st, 2007). High Stakes The Globe and Mail.
  4. ^ Thorpe, Jacqueline. (June 2, 2008). Toronto's Condo Kings: Is their boom sustainable? The Financial Post.
  5. ^ Kuitenbrouwer, Peter (December 19, 2007). "Peter Kuitenbrouwer speaks to James McKellar". The National Post. Retrieved on 2008-08-16.
  6. ^ Weir, Stephen (December 1, 2007). "Curtain Rising on Glass Walls". The Toronto Star. Retrieved on 2008-08-16.

Coordinates: 43°38′24″N 79°23′43″W / 43.640044°N 79.395179°W / 43.640044; -79.395179


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