TORONTO – Canada’s largest urban development project broke ground today on a central feature of the emerging downtown precinct in the City of Vaughan. The PwC-YMCA Tower designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects will combine Class-A office space, amenities and services and be situated at the heart of SmartCentres Place. The developers are Smart Real Estate Investment Trust (SmartREIT) and Mitchell Goldhar.
The 236,000 square foot mixed-use tower will be home to professional services firm PwC Canada, a 100,000-square-foot YMCA, a 20,000-square-foot public library, 10,000-square-foot community space and 3000 square feet of retail.
“The PwC-YMCA Tower further illustrates the architectural quality and urban design excellence that is a hallmark of this smart, pedestrian-friendly precinct,” said Donald Schmitt, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects.
In this 5-min video, stakeholders including developer Mitchell Goldhar, Chairman of the Board, SmartREIT, architect Don Schmitt and City of Vaughan mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, share their vision for this game-changing transformation to create an urban centre for the 21st century.
The eight-storey building will rise adjacent to the Diamond Schmitt-designed SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal, to be operated by York Region Rapid Transit Corporation, and the terminus of the Toronto Transit Commission’s extension of the Spadina subway line. Both transit nodes open later this year.
“A two-storey galleria in the tower is conceived of as the Great Hall, a gathering space for the community connecting the transit hub to the future residential neighbourhoods,” added Michael Szabo, Principal, Diamond Schmitt. Interlocking forms distinguish the building and provide a series of roof terraces for the community, the Y and the office tenants. A frieze of gold anodized aluminum fins wraps and unites the diverse programming of this mixed-use building.
Together, SmartREIT, Mr. Goldhar and other partners will develop a 100-acre master plan designed by Diamond Schmitt and integrate approximately 17 million square feet of commercial, residential and retail space around a nine-acre central park.
“The PwC-YMCA Tower is the cornerstone of this future community that prioritizes public infrastructure and amenity space to create a highly desirable, 21st-century urban centre,” said Mitchell Goldhar, Chairman of SmartREIT.
The tower is the second commercial project at SmartCentres Place, following the opening of the KPMG Tower in 2016, also by Diamond Schmitt Architects, and is expected to open in 2020.
Diamond Schmitt Architects (www.dsai.ca) is based in Toronto. Informed by urbanism, driven by design, the firm’s extensive portfolio includes performing arts centres, residential and commercial buildings, research and academic facilities. Current projects include the design for David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City; the restoration of Ottawa’s heritage Government Conference Centre to include the interim home of the Canadian Senate; and the transformation of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.