Anyone who knows Toronto but who has been away for the last few years would be amazed by the transformation that has taken place - and which is continuing - around the intersection of York Street and Bremner: it was not that long ago that there was little of anything south of the rail tracks immediately west of Union Station. There's a growing instant city there now, and it won't be too many more years before it's done, full, and fully integrated into our notion of what Toronto is.

We measure milestones in the area by sodturnings and topping offs, but it has also been a great area for new public art. Installations by Toronto's Michael Awad at Telus House and United Visual Artists of London at Maple Leaf Square have been of particular note. The most prominent artwork at the intersection though is now New York-based James Carpenter's Lake Light Threshold, which forms the north wall of the new PATH bridge linking Telus House to the PricewaterhouseCoopers Tower at Southcore over York Street. The illuminated installation now makes the northward drive into the city from the Gardiner more of an event.

Lake Light Threshold lines the PATH connection over York Street, TorontoLake Light Threshold lines the PATH connection over York Street at Southcore Financial Centre, image by Craig White 2012.02.23

Carpenter was on hand for the unveiling, flanked below by local Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan (left) and Paul Finkbeiner (right), President of GWL Realty Advisors, co-developer with bcIMC of Southcore Financial Centre.

Adam Vaughan, James Carpenter, and Paul Finkbeiner as Lake Light Threshold opensAdam Vaughan, James Carpenter, and Paul Finkbeiner at the inauguration of Lake Light Threshold, image by Craig White 2012.02.23

Finkbeiner introduced Carpenter and his work while speaking about the Southcore project. “Southcore has become a vibrant neighbourhood in a very short period of time. This bridge will enhance the area’s connectivity by providing easy and convenient access to Union Station, the GO Bus Terminal, the PATH network and the rest of the downtown core.” Carpenter seeks to animate the walk across the bridge through the illuminated wall: light passing through the prismatic glass will seem to come in waves as pedestrians cross. Art consultant Karen Mills who coordinated the installation of the work, produced the video below to further explain the work. 

Lake Light Threshold lines the PATH connection over York Street, TorontoLake Light Threshold lines the PATH connection over York Street at Southcore Financial Centre, image by Craig White 2012.02.23

As the ceremony progressed, work continued on the next two towers at Southcore Financial: the 30-storey Bremner Tower designed by KPMB Architects, and the 45-storey Delta Toronto Hotel designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects are both full-steam-shead.

Southcore Financial Centre's Bremner Tower and Delta Toronto under constructionSouthcore Financial Centre's Bremner Tower and Delta Toronto under construction, image by Craig White 2012.02.23

Southcore Financial Centre's Bremner Tower and Delta Toronto under constructionSouthcore Financial Centre's Bremner Tower and Delta Toronto under construction, image by Craig White 2012.02.23

Cranes for Southcore Financial Centre's Bremner Tower and Delta TorontoCranes for Southcore Financial Centre's Bremner Tower and Delta Toronto, image by Craig White 2012.02.23

When the cranes have lifted their last construction materials skywards here, the complex will resemble the rendering below.

Southcore Financial Centre, Toronto, courtesy of GWL Realty Advisors and bcIMCSouthcore Financial Centre, image courtesy of GWL Realty Advisors and bcIMC

UrbanToronto's dataBase entry for Southcore contains many more images and includes the link to the official website. If you want to get in on the conversation about this project, choose the associated Forum link.