Size 850,000 ft²
Cost $200 million
Owner British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC)
Development Manager GWL Realty Advisors
Architect Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Construction Manager EllisDon
Project Manager Pivotal Projects
Structural Consultant Halcrow Yolles
Mechanical Consultant The Mitchell Partnership
Electrical Consultant Mulvey & Banani International
Building Envelope Consultant Brook Van Dalen & Associates
LEED Consultant Halsall Associates
Landscape Architect Corban and Goode Landscape Architecture and Urbanism
The Toronto skyline is still a living thing, evolving with each development, and the new, 26-story, LEED Gold 18 York, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Tower, is a testament to an ongoing urban evolution. Designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB), the site used to comprise prime harbor-side land in the 19th century but was cut off from downtown by 20th-century infrastructural development. Now, with access to the PATH transit system and other urban amenities, such as the Air Canada Centre and the Rogers SkyDome, investors like British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), along with PwC, began to see the benefits of revitalizing this parcel of neglected downtown real estate. “[The building] proved to be so attractive to PwC and other forward-thinking tenants that the building was fully leased before construction was complete,” says Chris Couse, principal in charge at KPMB. “The building provides tenants with a supportive office environment that offers incredible access to daylight, seductive views, loft-like space, and a LEED Gold sustainability approach.”
humanistic / ‘hyü-mə-,nis-tik / adj.
Of or pertaining to human affairs, nature, welfare, or values. The sustainable design of the building at 18 York is fundamentally humanistic. Sheathed in high-performance glass cut to maximum size to reduce mullions and thermal bridge conditions, the PwC Tower allows for optimal daylighting while indoor temperature is moderated by thermal storage tanks held in the lowest levels of the building. An automated roller-shading system takes environmental cues to determine shade levels, and raised access floors with under-floor air distribution help to create a loft-like environment. An ‘urban forest’ garden makes up the third floor terrace of the tower. The garden is planted with indigenous plants and trees that recreate St. Lawrence Lowland ecology, and it is spotted with small seating areas to offer human points of natural connection.
impetus / ‘im-pə-təs / noun
A driving force. In addition to providing a strategic point of connectivity between Toronto’s forgotten harbor shoreline, or ‘South Core,’ as the developers call it, and downtown Toronto, the building at 18 York also serves as an impetus for continued development in the area. Noticing 18 York’s impact on the site and its access to downtown, investors from bcIMC acquired proximal South Core land and have begun marketing it as the Southcore Financial Centre. A second office tower on the site is complemented with a new, four-star Delta Hotel, and the entire building is being developed to similarly high sustainable standards. Additionally, across the way, Union Station, is refurbishing and enlarging its public spaces, and Waterfront Toronto has launched a plan to revitalize the harbor-side lands nearby.