On-Site Magazine

Work starts on 52-storey overhaul of old MacLean-Hunter building in Toronto

September 14, 2020   David Kennedy

A rendering of the ground floor of the restored building. PHOTO: Davpart Inc.

Work is officially underway on a major project in downtown Toronto that combines a heritage restoration with a new high rise.

Armed with sledge hammers, Davpart president and CEO, David Hofstedter, and other officials, ceremonially marked the start of construction on The United Sept. 10. The 52-storey mixed-use tower will incorporate and rise out of an office complex that housed MacLean-Hunter Publishing throughout much of the 1900s.

“The existing structure is an example of a commercial building from the interwar era and is the result of many bold design influences, from Beaux-Arts to Modern Classical,” Hofstedter said in a release. “While restoring the exterior, we will complete the interior to the highest standard of contemporary office and retail available today, so their current uses can continued.”

The retention and restoration work covers two nine-storey adjoined buildings at the site. Retail will occupy the first storey of the rehabilitated tower, while floors two through nine will be converted into modern office space. 709 new condo units will occupy floors 10 and up in the new tower.


EllisDon is leading the combined demolition and construction project at the northeast corner of University Avenue and Dundas Street as general contractor. The design team includes B-H Architects, ERA Architects Inc. and Tomas Pearce Interior Design Consulting Inc.

At peak construction, Davpart expects about 300 workers to be on-site.

The build team is aiming to complete the project by late 2026.

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