Toronto has been waiting for The One. All winter the sleek tower has been soaring skyward against a gray-cloud backdrop, the champagne-tinted matrix of its supporting exoskeleton rising ever higher.
But when time slowed during the pandemic, the pace of construction on the super skyscraper slowed as well.
This was not unique to The One, but expectations were high for this future landmark. Connoisseurs of design have been eager to see its intricate design become a beautiful Toronto architectural centerpiece. Retailers are ready to open upscale stores in the prime shopping location. Residents and tourists alike are excited to experience the quiet elevator ride to the park at the crown, or stay in the tower’s hotel, or just wander in awe of the design grace notes evident throughout the interior.
Now, 2025 will be the year of The One, the moment developer Sam Mizrahi will open his tower to the world, putting an emphatic exclamation point on a statement he has been making over and over again: Toronto is a world-class city, with a spectacular future.
The One is a unique development that combines luxury residences, a hotel, and retail space, all within a 306-meter tall building with 85 stories. The construction of the building is a massive undertaking that has required careful planning and execution.
Building a super tall skyscraper involves many technical challenges, including designing a structurally sound foundation, installing advanced mechanical systems, and ensuring the building can withstand high winds and seismic activity. To tackle these challenges, Sam Mizrahi assembled a team of top architects, engineers, and construction professionals.
COVID disrupted the construction plans, causing delays and increased costs. Across Canada, construction sites needed to comply with stringent safety protocols to protect workers from the virus. This meant reduced crew sizes, increased sanitation measures, and extended timelines.
The pandemic had a broad impact on the Toronto construction industry. Many other development projects were affected. For example, the CIBC Square, which consists of two office towers standing at 49 and 50 stories tall, has also been delayed. Similarly, the Eau Du Soleil, a 70-story mixed-use tower that will include residential units, a hotel, and retail space, is behind schedule.
If anyone could be prepared for such unexpected delays, it was certainly Sam Mizrahi. After years of experience developing quality projects, he knew how important it was to have a Plan B and even Plan C. And when obstacles arose, he knew where to find the best talent that could devise unique and practical solutions for each challenge.
From the start, his team has been composed of the best and brightest. London-based Foster + Partners created the unique design, in close collaboration with Mizrahi, and the contractors on the ground are the finest in Canada. An example of the creative thinking involved is the choice of an exoskeleton to support the tower, rather than interior columns or pillars. This allows for an airy, expansive feel inside, which many retailers have wanted.
Construction crews have proven equally adept, devising new ways to continue construction during rough weather, and finding practical solutions for connecting The One to underground subway lines. Even when COVID put many of their plans on hold, they forged ahead wherever they could, recapturing valuable time from the viral invader.
“Although no one would want to relive those difficult months and years of the pandemic, looking back, the challenges we overcame have made our progress to date so much more satisfying,” says Mizrahi.
“After all, without challenges, life would certainly lose much of its meaning, and all of its surprise. When the tower fully takes its place on our city’s pedestal, it will stand as a monument not just to its extraordinary design, but also to the exceptional efforts that took it from dream to reality.”