489 king street west toronto

Toronto's mountain range-shaped condo is turning heads with construction

Toronto appears to have reached the climactic peak of its years-long condo boom as several massive builds reshape the city's skyline. One of the many projects gunning for landmark status is doing so not with sky-scraping height, but instead with an ambitious design that evokes a verdant mountain range.

Known as King Toronto, this artificial mountainscape is well under construction at 489 King St W., between Spadina and Portland, soon to add new luxury condos, office, and retail space to a 140-metre stretch of the busy artery.

489 king street west toronto

The sprawling complex from developers Westbank Corp and Allied Properties REIT marks the first Toronto commission for acclaimed Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, or BIG, boasting a mountainous massing incorporating a group of preserved heritage buildings and facades.

A recent update shared by the project team reveals that work is rapidly heating up as crews move into the summer construction season.

Concrete forming for the sawtooth-edge floorplates recently reached the fourth level, which is the first of the residential floors, and is expected to be fully formed within the next month. Completion of the fourth floor will set the stage for the start of exterior cladding installation.

489 king street west toronto

The building's unique form is already adding visual interest to this stretch of King West, but unfortunately, its growth will mean the loss of a temporary art installation that has graced the site's exterior throughout construction.

A temporary steel structure propping up the retained building facades at 511-529 King West will soon be removed to facilitate the construction of the new structure to the rear.

That structure has been home to a colourful mural, Let's Happy by Douglas Coupland, which will come down along with the lattice of steel at the end of the summer.

The removal of the frame and mural will mark one of the final steps in the project's heritage reintegration, and the mountainous shape of the complex is expected to surge forward in the months to come.

Lead photo by

Westbank Corp/Allied Properties REIT


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