On-Site Magazine

Redeveloped West Block building opens in Toronto after five years of construction

September 17, 2020   By On-Site Staff

A comparison of the original versus revitalized West Block building. PHOTO: Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Contractors have officially capped off a $400 million heritage redevelopment project near the foot of Bathurst Street in Toronto.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. announced the reopening of the nearly century-old West Block building Sept. 11 after approximately five years of construction.

The mixed-use redevelopment work, headed by EllisDon as general contractor, included the brick-by-brick restoration of the original warehouse and construction of two residential towers with 850 units.

“When the building first opened in 1928 it was hailed as the most modern warehouse of its kind,” Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw, said in a release. “Our task was to reconstruct a space that represents Loblaw’s exciting future and properly captures the essence of both its history, and that of the city.”

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Originally home to the first Loblaws Groceterias, the retailer occupied the site until the 1970s, when the building was handed over to the Daily Bread Food Bank. The facility was vacant between 2000, when the food bank relocated, and 2015, when restoration work began.

Along with the new residential space, the revitalized site at the northeast corner of Bathurst Street and Lake Shore Boulevard houses a Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart and five floors of office space.

Wittington Properties served as the developer for the project, which is owned by Choice Properties REIT.


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1 Comment » for Redeveloped West Block building opens in Toronto after five years of construction
  1. Elizabeth from Etobicoke says:

    Recently – on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 – I visited the new Loblaws supermarket at Bathurst Street and Lakeshore Boulevard. When I rode the escalator from street level up to the store, there’s murals of the building’s and neighbourhood’s history – including Loblaws food featured at the Canadian National Exhibition. I strolled through the aisles, and even bought a few groceries that day. The Loblaws supermarket and the adjacent twin condominium towers are a ‘new kid on the block’. Across the street, there’s one condo building with a Subway Sandwiches and another condo building with a Starbucks Coffee. At the north end of the Bathurst Street Bridge, there’s the Stackt Market, made from shipping containers converted into stores.

    When I visited (loblaws), the “511 Bathurst” route was still operating with buses when I visited the store and the Bathurst Street Bridge wasn’t yet open to vehicular traffic, so I walked along the pedestrian sidewalk on the Bathurst Street Bridge after stepping off the bus (it was about to detour via Front Street, Spadina Avenue, and Fort York Boulevard). A few days later, between Christmas and New Year’s, the bridge opened a few days ahead of schedule (and the buses stopped detouring), and on Sunday, January 3, 2021, the “511 Bathurst” route not only switched to streetcar operation but also back to its regular routing by way of Fleet Street to the Exhibition Loop, so now streetcars trundle past the new Loblaws. On that Sunday, I rode the “511 Bathurst” streetcars and looked at the Loblaws through the windows.

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