July 22 Update: The 1 Bloor site at Yonge and Bloor is apparently up for sale according to the Toronto Star. If this is true, this would put the future of the tower in serious jeopardy.
1 Bloor was the most celebrated and most reviled symbol of Toronto’s recent real estate boom.
Realtors lined up for weeks (or paid students and homeless people to do so) for the chance to buy units there only to learn that the developer increased prices by 25-50%Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â from what they were told they would be paying. It didn’t matter as they bought anyway and hundreds of units were sold in a matter of days at prices in the $1000 per square foot range.
Now, more than 2 years after the initial hype began, no shovel has hit the ground and no one is moving into their piece of Toronto real estate history any time soon. Still the million-dollar question remains:
Will 1 Bloor actually get built?
The latest rumours news on the project is this: it will be built, only it is going to be scaled back to 68 stories instead of the original 80. This is according to the Globe and Mail. So that would mean it is no longer Canada’s tallest residential building, and purchasers who bought units on floors above 68 are…screwed.
But hold on, because The Toronto Star has a remarkably different article in their paper today which says that 1 Bloor is going into receivership and that the current Kazakh financial backers of the project are in mired in a massive scandal. That doesn’t sound like the recipe for building a 68 storey tower to me.
So who is right? I have no idea, but this corner of Toronto deserves a landmark, be it 1 Bloor or something else. My fear is that if plans for 1 Bloor are scrapped, something mediocre will be built in its place. When it comes to condos, Toronto already has plenty of mediocrity but greatness is in short supply.
For a trip down memory lane, check out some of my old blog posts on the 1 Bloor development from when I was a contributor to BlogTO.