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COVER STORY: Sugar Wharf

Sugar Wharf by Menkes a well-connected waterfront community

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Sugar Wharf by Menkes a well-connected waterfront community

Bitter winds and harsh climates are an inescapable fact of Canadian living. And when the cold is a predominate part of life, connectivity becomes a much sought-after luxury. Perhaps more than ever before, people are looking to invest in communities where everything they need comes with convenience – sans slush and cutting wind.

Enter Toronto’s indoor PATH pedestrian system – the world’s largest underground shopping complex. On cold winter days you can walk to work, do your banking, visit the doctor and even see a movie without ever having to set foot outside.

This 30-kilometre network includes 1,200 shops and services, restaurants, and endless entertainment; the epitome of convenient urban living. The PATH is truly the heart of Toronto’s financial and entertainment districts, with connections to 80 buildings, six downtown subway stations, 9 hotels and direct access to the Scotiabank Arena, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto Eaton Centre shopping centre, and CN Tower.

As Toronto continues to thrive, its global appeal is helping it attract more than 100,000 new residents per year, and many of these people want to work and live downtown. Given this rapid growth, it’s no wonder that the world’s largest underground city is about to get even bigger as well. As part of the new Sugar Wharf community by Menkes, the PATH network is set to expand east of Yonge Street, into the emerging Waterfront Innovation District.

Outdoor Terrace
Outdoor Terrace

Menkes is reimagining Toronto’s Waterfront with Sugar Wharf Condominiums, part of an 11.5-acre community that will include luxury residences, offices, restaurants and shops, a two-acre park, and new school. Once complete, Sugar Wharf will be the largest mixed-use development on the Toronto Waterfront; home to 7,500 residents and 4,000 office workers.

Party Room
Party Room

The comprehensive project aims to seamlessly connect residents and office workers to all parts of the downtown core through the PATH, adding to the 5,000 people who already work in the PATH and more than 200,000 commuters that pass through it daily. The PATH also provides access to Union Station, with connections to the TTC subway, GO Train, Via Rail, and the UP (Union Pearson) Express.

Hammock Room
Hammock Room

Residents living at Sugar Wharf on the PATH will be able to take advantage of the UP Express to travel to Pearson International Airport in a quick 25-minute ride. Traveling to your dream tropical destination during the winter months will be easier than ever before. Imagine being able to wear shorts and a t-shirt from home right up until the moment you board your flight without ever putting on your 10-pound winter jacket!

Lobby
Lobby

With Sugar Wharf’s PATH extension, it will be possible to walk indoors from the waterfront, all the way to Toronto’s world class Financial District. Equally connected to the city as it is to nature, Sugar Wharf will revolutionize how Torontonians live, work and play.

SUGAR WHARF’S WALKING HIGHLIGHTS

CIBC Square: 7 minutes

Union Station: 11 minutes

Scotiabank Arena: 13 minutes

Harbourfront Centre: 15 minutes

Jack Layton Ferry Terminal: 7 minutes

For more information visit menkes.com/sugarwharf


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Menkes unveils installation attributed to Banksy

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Menkes unveils installation attributed to Banksy

Menkes Developments, unveiled a public art installation in downtown Toronto on February 13, featuring a stencil attributed to the anonymous British artist Banksy, referred to as “Guard with Balloon Dog.”
Designed in the stenciled approach to graffiti art associated with works by Banksy, the piece was originally applied to the rear facade of the vacant building previously situated at 90 Harbour Street in May 2010, when Banksy visited Toronto following the release of his film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. The same weekend in May, six other works attributed to the artist appeared throughout the city.


In 2011, the Harbour Street property was purchased by Menkes for redevelopment and demolition of the building commenced. Aware of the Banksy work on the building’s facade, demolition crews were instructed to protect the panels of limestone on which the art was applied.  Subsequently, Menkes had the slabs removed, preserved and professionally restored in anticipation of finding a new home for the piece in the public realm.
“Banksy’s visit to Toronto was well documented, so we were aware of the presence of ‘Guard with Balloon Dog’ on the building when we began the process of purchasing the 90 Harbour property,” says Jared Menkes, vice president of the highrise residential division of Menkes. “As soon as we were able to do so, we took steps to protect the piece and were able to preserve and remove the slabs from the building during the demolition process.”

Art conservator Alexander Gabov of CSMO restores the Banksy piece, removing graffiti that was painted on it after the original Banksy was created. (Photo by Paul Casselman)

The 90 Harbour Street site was redeveloped into a mixed-use project encompassing two million square feet of residential and commercial space. The project features a 66- and 70-storey condominium tower, known as Harbour Plaza, and a 35-storey AAA commercial office building called One York, all situated on top of a four-storey retail podium directly connected to the PATH system.
Menkes sought to place the Banksy piece in a public space and eventually selected a location in the PATH network adjoining One York. The PATH is downtown Toronto’s pedestrian walkway network that spans 30 kilometres and features approximately 1,200 shops and services, as well as connections to all the major office towers in the financial core, major tourist and entertainment attractions, six subway stations and the Union Station railway terminal. The network is primarily underground but south of Union Station it moves above grade. As it crosses One York, the PATH is on the second floor on the north side of the project and this is where the Banksy installation is situated.

Restoration experts work to reassemble the Banksy piece following its removal from the building at 90 Harbour Street prior to its demolition. From left, forklift operator George Dickson, Matt Meagher of Museum Pros and structural engineer Ira Idzkowski of Torcon Canada. (Photo by Paul Casselman).

“This Banksy piece represents an exciting contribution to the public art landscape in Toronto and we wanted to reintroduce it to the public in a manner that was respectful to its origins,” Menkes said. “In 2015, we commissioned a limited design competition seeking ideas for its installation, and ultimately selected the concept proposed by Toronto-based designer Johnson Chou.”
Named “Speculum” (the Latin word meaning “an instrument to behold”), Chou’s proposal met the original objectives of both protecting the Banksy piece while displaying it in a publicly accessible way. It also included the creation of a companion piece, which would, according to the designer, serve as “a critique of the act of viewing art, that of an apparition of the original.”

Assistant conservator of CSMO Emily Ricketts applies finishing touches to the Banksy installa-tion in the PATH system at One York Street. (Photo by Paul Casselman)

“As an apparatus for viewing, “Speculum” is created to evoke the past, define views and movement and create an immersive and interpretive installation,” added Chou, noting that “as one walks west along the PATH, one sees “Speculum,” a mirrored, polished stainless steel cantilevered form that not only guides one past the underside of the escalator, but reflects what is to come around the corner.”
Around the corner, in the recess, sit the three limestone slabs containing the Banksy work in its raw form, extracted from the original building’s facade.
“The slabs are set off from the marble-clad wall that not only evokes the lobby and horizontality of the original building,” said Chou, “but draws passersby around to the back of the work, creating a space away from the flow of pedestrian traffic. This allows one to view an interpretative panel on the history of the building, at one’s leisure.”

Watching the curtain drop, from left designer Johnson Chou, Alan Menkes, Peter Menkes and Jared Menkes. (Photo by Paul Casselman)

The restoration of the Banksy, its re-installation, and the fabrication and installation are all part of a $2 million public art package included by Menkes in the Harbour Plaza/One York project.
http://www.menkes.com/

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