After years of planning and anticipation, world-renowned, Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry’s homecoming project, Forma, is officially on its way to becoming a reality. An outdoor ground breaking ceremony, held on Wednesday, June 7th 2023, marked the start of construction for Phase 1 of the iconic project. In attendance, representatives from Great Gulf, Westbank Properties, Dream Unlimited, as well as Frank Gehry himself, shared opening remarks on stage before shovels hit the ground.
Located in Downtown Toronto along King Street West at Ed Mirvish Way, the long-awaited development dates back more than 11 years to the Fall of 2012, following the announcement that David Mirvish would be partnering with Frank Gehry to design the project. At the time, three towers were proposed at 86, 84, and 82 storeys with developer Projectcore at the helm. In 2016, developer Great Gulf had taken over the project, partnering with Dream Unlimited and Westdale Properties soon after. A new design was approved in 2021, for an 84-storey / 308 metre west tower and 73-storey / 263 metre east tower, launching under the name ‘Forma’ — meaning ‘form, shape or appearance’ in Latin and Italian.
Sales for the project commenced in June 2022, with the launch of Forma’s 864-unit East Tower. “In 51 weeks we have sold one billion dollars worth of real estate.”, said Mitchell Cohen, Chief Operating Officer at Westdale Properties. While a formal date has not been announced, Forma’s taller 1,170-unit West Tower is set to launch in the near future.
Frank Gehry also took the stage, to share his vision for the project.
“You think about the buildings in other cities like Rockefeller Center, where there’s an ensemble of buildings that create public spaces at the ground, and still exist years later… I believe this (Forma) will have the same impact.” - Frank Gehry
Forma is a mixed-use development that will contain residential condominiums, commercial offices, institutional spaces, and retail at grade, with interiors designed by Studio Paolo Ferrari.
“I can’t wait. I’m only 94, so I expect to be… 102 I think — so pray for me!”, remarked Gehry, recognizing the immense amount of time it takes to construct projects of this scale.
Once completed, Forma will be amongst the tallest buildings in Toronto, and the tallest Frank Gehry-designed buildings in the world. If past projects are any indication of what can be expected here, Forma will become an architectural landmark for generations to come, in a city very near to Gehry’s heart.
Stay tuned to Urbanize Toronto we follow Forma closely through its various stages of construction.