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Shangri-La Toronto
Shangri-LaToronto2.jpg
General information
Type Hotel and residential
Location 188 University Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M5H 0A3
Coordinates 43°38′56″N 79°23′10″W / 43.649°N 79.386°W / 43.649; -79.386Coordinates: 43°38′56″N 79°23′10″W / 43.649°N 79.386°W / 43.649; -79.386
Construction started February 2008
Opened October 2012
Height
Roof 214 m (702 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 68
Floor area 81,129 m2 (873,270 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 17
Design and construction
Architect James K. M. Cheng
Architecture firm Hariri Pontarini Architects
Developer Westbank Projects Corp.

Shangri-La Toronto is a luxury hotel and residential condominium building in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was designed by James K. M. Cheng and built by Westbank Projects Corp.; they also designed and built the Living Shangri-La in Vancouver. The building is 214 meters tall and is one of the fifteen tallest buildings in Toronto. The hotel component is run by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and has 202 guest rooms and suites. The condominium portion occupies the upper floors of the building and consists of 393 units. Excavation of the site started in 2008, and work on the parking garage began in early 2009.

History

Shangri-la cropped
The building in April 2013

Shangri-La Toronto is located on University Avenue and Adelaide Street, in an area just west of the Financial District that has seen rapid growth in recent years. The site was previously home to a number of smaller structures, most notably the historic Bishop's Block. The Bishop's Block was built in the 1830s by John Bishop, who built a series of Georgian row houses on the site.

Most of the buildings were eventually torn down and replaced with a large parking lot. The one exception was a structure that served as one of the city's first hotels and then for many decades as a pub, the Pretzel Bell Tavern, which became a popular hangout of the Maple Leafs. It too was abandoned for several decades, but as a heritage structure, it was not torn down. This building was disassembled for the construction of Shangri-La Toronto, but the developers had pledged to rebuild and restore the Bishop's Block as part of the project.

Prior to excavation, the site was the subject of several months of archaeological exploration, and many artifacts from the city's early history were found. At 102 ft (31 m), Shangri-La Toronto was the second-deepest excavation for a building in Canada's history, with only Scotia Plaza being deeper. This was done to create an eight-level below-grade parking garage.

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