The corner of Church and Lombard streets in Downtown Toronto is home to the busy construction site of Minto Communities GTA‘s new condo tower. Dubbed The Saint in a nod to the nearby St James Cathedral, the 47-storey, Wallman Architects-designed project has been under construction since last Fall, and the early stages of construction are fast preparing the building’s footprint for an eventual rise of over 151 metres into the Downtown skyline. With work well underway, we’re taking a look back at the construction progress thus far.
The first signs of site activity were spotted last August, when demolition crews began to chip away at existing structures to free up the site for construction.
August, 2020: demolition at site of The Saint, image by Forum contributor AlbertC
Once the site was clear, a ceremonial ground breaking was conducted last August, as crews continued backfilling work to create a level work area for the upcoming shoring work.
September, 2020: The Saint ground breaking, image by Jordan Probst Photography
Backfilling continued into October, and construction activity officially kicked off with shoring the following month. Shoring work continued into late December, forming the below-grade retaining walls that would hold back the surrounding earth during the excavation that followed. A mix of caisson wall, as well as pile and lagging shoring systems, were used to manage the site’s varying groundwater conditions.
November, 2020: start of construction at site of The Saint, image by Forum contributor condovo
Excavation work was visible by January, and crews have gradually been working down towards the pit’s final depth of 20 metres. Late in January, the first horizontal drilling activity began, securing the shoring walls with steel tiebacks, or rock anchors.
January view looking northeast across site of The Saint, image by Forum contributor bilked
Excavation has been deepening in the months since. Now at five months since construction began with drilling activity, the pit is approaching its final 20-metre depth, creating space for the tower’s foundations and a six-level-deep underground garage that will serve residents, visitors, and retail patrons.
April, 2021: excavation at site of The Saint, image by Forum contributor bilked
The completed building will bring 419 new homes to the neighbourhood, along with new ground-floor retail space that will help to animate this stretch of Church Street.
The Saint, image courtesy of Minto Communities GTA
You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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