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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The top 10 new buildings in Toronto for 2015

new buildings torontoToronto's top crop of buildings from 2015 was bolstered by the arrival of the Pan Am Games, which graced the city with a variety of legacy projects. But it was our university campuses that were the major beneficiaries of new structures this year, with stunning projects coming to fruition at Ryerson, York, Centennial College, and U of T Scarborough.

These are my picks for the top buildings to arrive in Toronto this year.

new buildings torontoScarborough Civic Library
Toronto's 100th library might just be its nicest, complete with soaring windows and exposed wood beams. The LGA Architectural Partners-designed space is as stunning on the inside as it is from outside and will surely age well given its minimalist but warm design.

new buildings torontoBergeron Centre
My pick for the most beautiful facade of the year, the new Bergeron Centre is no slouch when it comes to well-designed interior space. Nicknamed the cloud, the entire building flows seamlessly from one learning space to the next. This is a big deal for York University with the subway on the way in 2017. Perhaps the campus has finally turned the corner on the architectural front.

new buildings torontoRyerson Student Learning Centre
Two words: indoor beach. Expectations were high for the new Student Learning Centre at Ryerson if only because of the historical baggage the building carried from the start. As it turns out, the replacement for Sam the Record Man is a lovely addition to Yonge and Gould, and the old neon sign will find a better home atop Yonge-Dundas Square.

new buildings torontoPan Am Athletes' Village
Soon to be the Canary District, the Pan Am Athletes' Village served as a noble host space for the thousands of competitors who visited Toronto for the Games this summer. The pool and athletic space will become a YMCA, the athletes' housing is soon-to-open as condos and rental units, and an entire neighbourhood has been added to the city's east side.

new buildings torontoQueen Richmond Centre
The soaring 70 foot atrium punctuated by x-shaped delta frames that hoist the Queen Richmond Centre above existing heritage structures is certainly a showstopper. This is yet another example of how Toronto is slowly learning to make heritage preservation an advantage to new structures. Full marks to Sweeny & Co. for the design.

new buildings torontoCentennial College Student Hub
Another enviable academic space to arrive in Toronto this year, the student hub at Centennial College functions as a library, study space, and to announce the campus in a similar way that Graduate House does for U of T. It's a sleek glass structure that has immediately become the nicest that the school boasts.

new buildings torontoScarborough Pan Am Centre
Toronto's former suburbs had a banner year for development in 2015, with Scarborough's Pan Am Centre one of the crown jewels. Adorned with BGLs vertical swimming pool installation in front, the space actually excels in more pragmatic areas, with an Olympic-sized stadium pool and diving facilities as well as a climbing wall, running track, and a shiny basketball court.

new buildings torontoTheatre Park
One of the more recognizable buildings to grace the Toronto skyline this year, the zig-zag pattern of the facade of Theatre Park is both iconic and subtle. Toronto's glass condos don't always hit the mark, but this one gets two thumbs up.

new buildings torontoRiver City Phase 2
My vote for the most interesting ongoing residential development in Toronto, River City is now two thirds complete. The second phase might not be quite as bold as the soon-to-be-built final stage, but compared to other Toronto condos, the architectural vision on display here from Saucier+Perrotte is as understated as it is inventive (the in-room amenities alone blow most conventionally designed condos out of the water).

Ice Condos
Possibly the most controversial addition to this list, Ice Condos (top photo) won't be to everyone's aesthetic taste, but for residential skyscrapers, their design is at least ambitious. The Swiss cheese-like crown atop each building just looks cool, and their rounded edges set the development apart from so many of Toronto's boxy glass towers.

What did I miss? Add your picks for Toronto's nicest new buildings in the comments.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

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