Core Tops Off at 160 Front West as Steel Framing of Crown Begins | UrbanToronto

2022-11-24 09:00:18 By : Mr. FengFu Li

The drama of Toronto's September skies set the stage perfectly for a case study highlighting the elegance of curtain-wall glass, and a new star of the show this year was one of UrbanToronto's most closely followed projects, 160 Front West.

Looking down from the CN Tower to 160 Front West, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor AlbertC Commercial Curtain Wall

Core Tops Off at 160 Front West as Steel Framing of Crown Begins  | UrbanToronto

The Cadillac Fairview development has captured the attention of architecture enthusiasts — and anyone who happens to walk by the building for that matter — with its unique, sophisticated design by AS + GG Architecture and B+H Architects, but the real success story of the project has been its realization in physical space, with what is proving to be a stunning exterior that is more than bringing its renderings to life. 

Looking up at the curtainwall on the southwest corner of 160 Front West, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Undead

As concrete forming transitions to steel framing to complete the tower’s curving crown, the 46-storey building is still pushing ahead to reach its final height of 240m. Since UrbanToronto’s last update on the construction of 160 Front West, the project has passed several milestones worthy of celebration, so today we are taking a closer look at them and at what comes next. 

Looking southwest at the completed design of 160 Front West in the night skyline, image from submission to City of Toronto

One of the aspects of the project that makes clear the building’s progress through construction has been the gradual installation of the arced metal frame that straddles the building’s lower southeast corner. The two curving lines that define the boundary between the angled tower-floor glazing from the flatter glazing that meets the preserved heritage walls, have been growing steadily upwards from the base of the southern and eastern facades, with their upward trajectories directly linked to the installation of the curtain wall system.

Looking up at the glazing at the southeast corner of the tower, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Riseth

On September 23rd, UrbanToronto Forum contributor mburrrrr captured an image of the moment that the apex point was installed, marking a relatively small victory in the grand scheme of the project, but one that is worth noting in the story of this dynamic exterior. 

Looking west at the installation of the apex of the arced frame, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor mburrrrr

Looking at the progress made in the building’s vertical climb, another noteworthy moment was documented a few days later, on September 29th, when UrbanToronto Forum contributor BermudaTO37 photographed the removal of the black TD-logoed forms that wrapped the building’s concrete core. This indicates that the core has now reached its final height of 46 storeys-plus, and with the steel-framed floors trailing closely behind, the forming of the building’s structure was entering the final stages.

Looking northwest as the black TD logo is removed from the building's core, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor BermudaTO37

Jumping ahead to early November, an image by UT Forum contributor Red Mars shows the a double-height floor framed in steel, the first of more atypical levels that will be constructed to complete the building’s crown. Containing only partial floors of commercial space and the mechanical penthouse facilities, the crown acts as more of an culmination of the building’s tapering figure, finishing it with a curved peak sloping west to east atop the already irregular mass. 

Looking east at the steel framing of the tower's crown, image by UT Forum contributor Red Mars

Meanwhile, a division of the crew at ground level have been overseeing the heritage work to restore the heritage facade that occupies the building’s southeast corner. The latest milestone in that process was captured by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Red Mars on November 12th, in an image that shows the new windows installed as part of the retrofit. The dark blue frames are reminiscent of the building’s original character, and are another element of visual interest in the already stimulating pedestrian realm. 

New windows with a dark blue finish are installed on the heritage building, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Red Mars

Of note above, the lower couple of floors of the heritage walls were held in place during construction, while the upper levels were disassembled, taken offsite for restoration, and returned for reassembly once new structure was in place behind them so that they could be affixed to it. Passersby should not be able to distinguish between the two approaches to restoration once all of the hoarding comes down: the work appears to be seamless.

New windows with a dark blue finish are installed on the heritage building, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Red Mars

Putting all of it into perspective, diagrams created by UT Forum contributor Contra show a useful timeline of the construction progress dating back to April of 2021. The light gray shows the building still to come, and as the newest diagram shows, the finish line is getting close. 

Diagrams show construction progress since April 2021, graphics by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Contra

UrbanToronto will continue to follow progress on this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more about it from our Database file, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Core Tops Off at 160 Front West as Steel Framing of Crown Begins  | UrbanToronto

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