Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments’ Karma condos has reached street level. Crews have poured the structure for 21 Grenville Street’ underground parking garage. The minimalist glass tower northwest of Yonge and College is now rising towards the sky. It will stand next to the historic John Irwin House—the Second Empire-style home of a 19th century Toronto contractor and politician.
To build Karma, the developers had to move the 141 year-old house to another location on the property, where it ultimately rests strikingly on two concrete columns over the parking garage. Though time-consuming, the developer’s preservation solution should secure the house’s future—it will be restored and reused for a business like a restaurant or shop.
Karma’s minimalist glass façade was designed by architectsAlliance. Rising 50 storeys, the building will have 495 units. Residences range from 490 to 819 square feet—all with floor-to-ceiling glass. Karma will have traditional smooth finish ceilings.
The condo offers a choice of natural stone or composite countertops for kitchens, with several glass backsplashes available. Refrigerators and dishwashers will be cabinet covered for a more refined design. With a concierge to greet visitors, the building will also feature amenities such as an exercise room, steam room, theatre, games and party rooms, a rooftop terrace and guest suites.
The location near Yonge and College is a quick walk to public spaces like Queen’s Park, College Park and Allen Gardens. The Metro Central YMCA is also located in the neighbourhood. Nearby grocery stores include Metro at College Park, Sobeys on Bay Street and the flagship Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens.
Though not located directly along Yonge Street, Karma will add people to help revitalize Toronto’s main artery. With the parking garage’s concrete structure poured, the podium will be formed with concrete framing in the coming months. The tower will then quickly rise—the process of preparing and pouring the floors of a standard tower is repetitive and efficient.
Whether or not you believe in karma, the effort to preserve the historic John Irwin House was impressive. It takes dedication to preserve a building this way, and it can cement a passion for quality contemporary construction among builders. Karma has the makings of a successful project on a historic downtown side street.