Reasons to Love Toronto 2014: #13. Because Yonge and Bloor Is Getting a Radical Makeover
For as long as most of us can remember, the southeast corner of Yonge and Bloor was the site of a pus-yellow eyesore housing a discount eyeglass store and a Harvey’s. Then, in 2008, some hope: a developer razed the building, promising to erect a soaring condo, only to cancel the project when funding dried up during the recession, leaving a dirt pit. A year later, the suburban developer Great Gulf Homes stepped in with a new proposal for a curvaceous, 75-storey tower. The building is designed by Hariri Pontarini, the architecture firm behind so many of Toronto’s glitzy new skyscrapers, including the glass shard–like Shangri-La on University, the white ribbon–wrapped Massey Tower rising on Yonge near the Eaton Centre and a proposal to redevelop One Yonge Street with six futuristic towers. The firm conjures up the kinds of graceful modern buildings that become instant landmarks. One Bloor East is only half built, but it has already classed up one of the city’s classiest strips.