Tucker Hi-Rise – One Bloor

After years of waiting, Toronto’s new One Bloor mixed-use development is finally preparing for its ribbon-cutting. The hard work of construction management firm Tucker Hi-Rise and its parent company, developer Great Gulf, is evident in the quality of the work as well as the enthusiastic response the new development has garnered already. 

The 75-storey One Bloor sits in a prime location along Toronto’s Mink Mile, where its scale will make it a major addition to the area. Close to major subway lines, existing retail and substantial redevelopment projects, One Bloor is expected to be a real feather in Great Gulf’s cap. The development’s 789 luxury condominium units were more than 90 percent sold as of earlier this year. 

Toronto-based Great Gulf Group had the experience and capabilities necessary to get One Bloor off the ground. The company has been developing and building homes and condominium projects in the GTA and North America for more than 35 years. Through its subsidiaries – commercial developer First Gulf and construction management firm Tucker Hi-Rise – Great Gulf had the expertise in-house to develop One Bloor as a successful mixed-use project. 

“The high-profile nature of the site as well as the sheer scope of One Bloor make it a standout project in Great Gulf and Tucker Hi-Rise’s portfolio of properties,” Project Director Peter Carello says. “This project is like the ultimate project – this is one of the biggest projects for them.” 

“We’re really proud of One Bloor, which was recently awarded the Best International Residential High Rise Development, in Dubai,” Great Gulf Residential President Christopher Wein says.  

Full Features

One Bloor sits at one of the busiest intersections in Toronto and all of Canada, and features a design worthy of drawing attention. Carello says the building features a sleek profile that includes undulating lines. “One of the main key components is the curtainwall system,” Carello says. 

The building’s exterior is clad in a curtainwall system not unlike those typically used on office towers, which not only gives it a modern appearance without typical window frames but also ensures better performance than typical window systems in terms of energy efficiency and resistance to stronger wind pressure. 

Inside, One Bloor features spacious floor plans that include luxurious, modern designs. Suite types range from studios to one- and two-bedroom layouts that can include a den. Amenities include a seventh-floor swimming pool as well as a workout centre, lounges and a spa. On the Lower P1 level, ground level, 2nd floor, One Bloor features approximately 90,000 square feet of retail space.

Overcoming Challenges

“The height of the building is a challenge,” Carello describes. “The building’s curving shape means floor plans change on each level, and managing the vertical alignment of the 75-storey tower has required a great deal of planning and coordination.”

Carello explains that Tucker Hi-Rise and Great Gulf Homes have utilized a quality-control program on the project that has surveyors from within the company and outside take measurements before and after concrete is poured on each level. “This ensures that each level is in precise alignment. This is especially important for the building’s high-speed elevators, which need their shafts to be true and plumb to ensure the most effective operation.

“Close coordination has also been essential to the assembly of the exterior cladding. The curtainwall system is being assembled outside Toronto and brought onto the site to be installed.” 

The site also provided additional challenges, as it included several underground aquifers that weren’t detectable before construction began.  As a result, construction had to deal with some wet soil conditions. Fortunately, Great Gulf’s relationships with the best subcontractors in the market gave it unparalleled expertise on-site, and the company’s experience with building information modeling software made it possible for it to plan around challenges in advance by building the project in a virtual environment first. 

Moving Ahead

The site had gone through a long period of zoning and planning through other developers before Great Gulf got involved in 2009. Previous developers experienced difficulty in financing a project on the site, which presented Great Gulf with the opportunity to step in and get involved in a project the company had its eye on for a while. 

The project team expects to have the roof of the building topped off by fall 2015 with the lower floors commencing occupancies by early 2016. 

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