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Steel Skeleton Shaping Up as CIBC Square Phase One Rises Taller

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The current building boom has brought a handful of new office towers to Downtown Toronto, with many more on the way. The largest and tallest currently under construction is Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines’ CIBC Square at Bay and Lake Shore, just across from the Scotiabank Arena. The first phase of the WilkinsonEyre-designed office complex is well on its way to a height of 49 storeys, working towards a planned 2020 opening.

CIBC Square, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Hines, WilkinsonEyre, Adamson, TorontoCIBC Square viewed from the south, image by Forum contributor skycandy

The most prominent element of the building visible to passersby is the tower core. This poured concrete volume is over halfway towards the final height, and is fast approaching the 30-storey mark. The central core supports the surrounding steel-framed office levels, now being formed below, while also housing essential building services including elevators and stairwells.

CIBC Square, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Hines, WilkinsonEyre, Adamson, TorontoCIBC Square viewed from the west, image by Forum contributor Toron

As forming of the core rises higher into the skyline, work is progressing on the podium and tower levels below. Last month, a massive post tension slab was formed for the 2nd level of the new GO bus terminal on the east side of the development. This task was carried out with two extended concrete pours, lasting a combined 32 hours.

CIBC Square, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Hines, WilkinsonEyre, Adamson, TorontoCIBC Square viewed from the south, image by Forum contributor Michael62

Steel assembly is also progressing, with structural steel now installed as high as the tower’s 8th level. The outside edge of the structural skeleton, which changes on every floor, is hinting at the diamond-like faceted glass exterior that will be the signature of the complex’s two towers. These angled projections are now easily seen from street level.

CIBC Square, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Hines, WilkinsonEyre, Adamson, TorontoSteel revealing diagrid pattern, image by Forum contributor skycandy

Large perimeter columns can be seen outlining the tower’s volume, while corrugated metal sheets are now being installed as decking to support upcoming concrete pours to form the office floors. Another recent change is the start of installation of a pair of exterior hoists that will be used to shuttle workers, material, and equipment until the main interior elevators are operational.

CIBC Square, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Hines, WilkinsonEyre, Adamson, TorontoSteel assembly and the start of construction hoists at CIBC Square, image by Forum contributor skycandy

Work on the first phase tower at CIBC Square is scheduled to be completed by 2020. The opening of the new GO bus terminal in the base of phase 1 will free up space occupied by the current terminal to the north, paving the way for its demolition and construction of phase 2. That tower at 141 Bay Street is planed to be completed by the end of 2023.

CIBC Square, Ivanhoé Cambridge, Hines, WilkinsonEyre, Adamson, TorontoCIBC Square, image courtesy of Ivanhoé Cambridge/Hines

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

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Real Estate

Do you know what kind of condo you’re buying?

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(NC) Condominiums can come in all shapes and sizes. But it’s important to know that not all condos are created equal when it comes to warranty coverage.

Whether you’re buying a condominium townhouse, loft-style two-bedroom or a high-rise studio, they are all classified as condominiums if you own your unit while at the same time share access (and the associated fees) for facilities ranging from pools and parking garages to elevators and driveways, otherwise known as common elements.

The most common types of condos are standard condominiums and common elements condominiums. The determination of how a condominium project is designated happens during the planning stage when the builder proposes the project and the municipality approves it.

When you’re in the market to buy, you need to know how your chosen condo is classified because it affects the warranty coverage under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Standard condominiums have warranty coverage for units and common elements, but common elements condominiums only have unit coverage.

How could this affect you as the owner? If your condo complex has underground parking and, for example, there are problems with leaks or a faulty door, the condo designation will determine whether there’s warranty coverage.

If your unit is a standard condominium development, then the common elements warranty may cover the repairs. If it’s a common element condominium development, then repairs might have to be covered by the condo corporation’s insurance, which could impact your condo fees or require a special assessment on all the owners.

To avoid surprises, you should have a real estate lawyer review the Declaration and Description attached to your purchase agreement to be sure that you know the designation and boundaries of the unit you’re looking to purchase. Find more information on the types of condos and their coverage at tarion.com.

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5 savvy renovations to make your kitchen look like new

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(NC) The kitchen is the heart and focal point of any home. But if yours is looking a little tired, a few simple renovations can change the feel of the entire space.

Whether you’ve just moved in, have been meaning to update for years or are experiencing life changes, remember that a kitchen uplift doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag. These small-scale projects could be the change your kitchen needs:

  1. Brighten it up.Adding LED lights below your cabinets will brighten your backsplash and counter and provide a warm glow. Place your favourite containers below to act as focal points – those copper canisters that are hiding under the island and the marble coasters you couldn’t resist can now all be on display.
  2. Swap the old with the new.The backsplash is the first thing you see, so replacing it can be enough to give the space a whole new look. Try a unique shape or colour to change things up, like turquoise or patterned tiles, hexagon-shaped tiles or even a full slab of stainless steel.
  3. Rework what you have.People often think new cabinets are necessary for a kitchen reno, but a lot can be done with what you’ve got. Repainting the cabinets and switching out the knobs to chic new handles will do wonders for a makeover.
  4. Don’t hide away.Try adding some open shelving in an unused spot, such as above the sink or window, or next to the cabinets. Display your most beautiful dishes and add some decorative pieces to give the space a modern, airy feel.
  5. Add new materials into the mix.Changing the island to a butcher-block counter adds warmth and practicality.

Taking on a renovation can often feel overwhelming. But if you talk to your contractor about budgeting and spreading out payments through services like The Home Depot Project Loan, it can be easier than you think. The service allows you to finance any home projects, big or small and is available at locations across Canada.

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How to afford a home renovation that fits your life

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(NC) Changing seasons always bring about the desire to update our living spaces. But your life stage and budget can influence what kind of upgrades you can make. Here are some tips to get you started.

Assess the investment. The first step is to gauge how much value your investment will bring, whether you’re looking to sell or grow into a family home. A common misconception among home owners is that all renovations will increase a home’s value; unfortunately, this is not always the case. It’s always a good idea to strategically renovate the space to fit your life plan and goals.

Plan for both long- and short-term value. As a homeowner, it is important to assess what kind of value items can contribute to your life plan. Searching for products that are energy efficient, like an eco-friendly washing machine or water filtration system, can help you save on your monthly bills. A long-term investment, such as hardwood floors or bathroom tiles, can spruce up a living space for years to come. While sometimes this require a larger budget, the project can be both appealing to future buyers and stand the test of time in a family home.

Create a renovation budget. Once you have a clear plan, you’ll need to create a budget to align with your financial goals. Always ensure your budget includes any interest you’ll be paying. Ask multiple sources for competitive quotes.

Use a payment plan. For those high-ticket investment items, consider using a payment plan. Payment solutions such as The Home Depot Project Loan can help with bigger renovations. This allows you to stick to your budgeting goals while using a flexible payment plan to make larger purchases more accessible.

Use DIY to offset costs. In addition to using a payment plan, taking on a few safe and simple renovation projects yourself is an easy way to offset renovation costs. Your local hardware store can help source materials and provide helpful tips to make those do-it-yourself projects, such as refinishing cabinets or sanding old hardwood floors, a breeze.

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