As construction continues at Toronto’s massive The Well development, Tridel officially kicked off the latest phase on Monday, June 3 by opening sales and marketing for three residential condominium buildings at the downtown site.
“The Classic Series offers the best of city living, situated right along Front Street and soaring 38 storeys above the retail of The Well,” Tridel executive vice-president Andrew Del Zotto said during a media conference at the 7.8-acre construction site to announce the launch. “These residences are guaranteed to offer spectacular views of the cityscape, the lake and (the proposed) Rail Deck Park, I hope, with geometric balconies that will stand out against the skyline.
“We also have the Classic Series II, which will have a similar location and presence along Front Street. This 22-storey tower truly anchors the southwest corner of The Well, with a glass- and stone-clad exterior that pays tribute to the neighbourhood’s heritage.
“Along Wellington you’ll find a second distinct lifestyle opportunity in Tridel’s Signature Series. This boutique 14-storey condominium is in a class of its own. A triumph of design, it’s composed of 98 generously sized suites complemented by contemporary interiors.”
The Well is bounded by Spadina Avenue to the east, Draper Street to the west, Front Street to the south and Wellington Street to the north. In total, it will comprise more than three million square feet of office, retail, condo and rental living spaces and amenities.
Condo occupancy expected in late 2022
Tridel executive VP Jim Ritchie told RENX after the media briefing that The Well will have approximately 750 condo residences. Occupancy is expected to begin in late 2022.
“The tallest building has the widest range, in terms of smallest to largest,” said Ritchie. “Our Wellington Street building is predominantly bigger condominium homes, ranging from about 1,500 square feet to about 3,500.
“It’s a bit of a niche for this marketplace. We think, in this particular environment, it’s something that there will be a market for.”
While a condo sales centre is being built on Wellington Street, sales will be handled at Tridel’s Dufferin Street head office until it’s completed this summer.
The Well’s office and retail components
Tridel executive VP Andrea Del Zotto said The Well will also feature more than one million square feet of office space and 500,000 square feet of retail and food experiences.
“One of the elements of the retail that we’re very enthusiastic about is the food market, which will be approximately 80,000 square feet and bring a whole host of unique food uses to this neighbourhood and to the city,” said Jonathan Gitlin, president and chief operating officer of RioCan REIT, which is responsible for the retail component of The Well.
Tridel is The Well’s exclusive condo developer and its construction arm, Deltera Inc., is building everything except for the 38-storey office complex. The office segment is being developed by Allied Properties REIT and built by EllisDon.
“With respect to the office space, we’re just about 70 per cent leased,” Gitlin told RENX after the media conference. “With respect to the retail, it’s still early days but we’re working on a lot of very strong and favourable tenancies.”
Rental apartments at The Well
“The residential apartments we’re building encompass a mix of one-, two- and much-needed three-bedroom suites,” said Woodbourne president Jake Herman. “The state-of-the-art amenity space will include a fitness centre and wonderful outdoor living spaces.”
Developers have also teamed up with Enwave Energy Corporation for a deep lake water cooling and hot water distribution system that will heat and cool The Well as well as a large portion of the downtown west area.
“We’ve added elements that we think will be forward-looking in many respects, including from an environmental perspective,” said Gitlin.
The Well’s impact on Toronto
Toronto Mayor John Tory was at the media conference. He said The Well is 10 times larger than the average condo development and will “be transformative for the downtown core and for the city.”
Tory noted that the project is creating 1,600 construction jobs and will employ 5,000 people in its office buildings and another 1,200 in its retail, commercial and restaurant components.
“The Well has more than 335 crew members on site, eight cranes in operation, and over 200 cubic metres of concrete are being poured every day,” said Andrew Del Zotto. “It’s an incredible effort to coordinate, and one of the most challenging and rewarding projects Tridel has ever undertaken.
“The collective effort to construct The Well will generate 22,300 person-years of employment by the time it’s completed. To put that in perspective, that’s almost equivalent to the amount of jobs provided by the entire pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in the province.”
$4.2 billion of economic activity
Altus Group analysts expect The Well will generate $4.2 billion in economic activity upon full completion.
The firm’s economic impact report reveals annual benefits from the ongoing operation of The Well’s commercial and retail spaces, and the management of the property, will generate more than $300 million in income by households. The estimated annual benefit from The Well will add up to approximately $939 million in economic activity.
Tory also used the media conference to reaffirm his commitment to Rail Deck Park, a proposed 21.7-acre project located directly south of The Well. It would be built above the existing railway corridor south of Front Street between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way. This part of Toronto is deficient in green space and Rail Deck Park would provide occupants of The Well and the entire city with lawns, gathering and play spaces, shade trees, water features, public art and more.
“We’re working very hard to secure the site and make sure that the infrastructure is in place and all of the details are sorted out,” said Tory.