crane collapse toronto

Crane atop Toronto condo collapses after years of issues and complaints

A uniquely-shaped condo tower in Toronto's downtown core was over the weekend the site of the collapse of a crane that has signified years of issues for residents — and an eyesore for the public at large.

Those who live in the L Tower at 8 Esplanade felt tremors resonate through the 58-storey, 600-unit skyscraper on Saturday when a service crane permanently affixed to its peak — technically a building maintenance unit (BMU) for window washing — crashed down onto the roof.

The BMU, though it appears similar, is not to be confused with the indisputably hideous crane that previously crowned the structure for more than six years — an annoyingly enduring remnant of the condo's construction — and was finally removed to the relief of residents in 2018.

Completion of the condo was actually delayed at one point due to worries about the crane's safety.

According to some resident reports on social media, though, the new machinery (which was built in Europe) had still yet to be used for its purpose before its 20,000 lb. counterweight fell and caused the machine to topple over, meaning tenants have been left with dirty windows for years now.

Significant damage was sustained to the roof, though original reports that the nearby Meridian Hall performing arts centre was also affected were incorrect.

Emergency crews responded to the accident around 2 p.m. on Saturday, and no injuries were reported despite the heavy counterweight falling 20 feet onto the roof.

Structural and civil engineers were also brought in to inspect the structure while nearby roads were closed and buildings evacuated, just in case. According to police reports via CBC, the incident means the crane is now being dismantled.

Building management declined to comment further on the event, which is one of a number of major crane collapses in the city as of late, though not nearly as dramatic as the ones that saw pieces of heavy machinery fall into busy downtown intersections last year.

Lead photo by

@Marcanadian at the L Tower in 2016


Latest Videos



Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

This is why Toronto's area code is 416

This is what Toronto looked like in the 1950s

The history of the nightclub at the CN Tower

That time when Ben Kerr was the king of Toronto buskers

10 notable businesses that closed in Toronto last month

Toronto is getting a cool new park with a sandy beach and views of the ship channel

This is why Toronto's airport code is YYZ

Dazzling colour photographs of 1950s and 60s Toronto at night