The Palace Pier


The Palace Pier

The Palace Pier is the site of Palace Place and Palace Pier, both tied for the 27th-tallest building in Toronto.

Location

Address: 2045 Lakeshore Blvd W., and 1 Palace Pier Court, Toronto, ON, Canada

Overview

The complex consists of two luxury condomimium towers, Palace Pier (North Tower) and Palace Place (South Tower). Both towers, while completely separate condominium corporations, form a major architectural gateway for the west end of Toronto's waterfront and are considered the eastern border of the affluent Humber Bay Shores Neighborhood of Etobicoke, now part of Toronto.

The original Palace Pier Tower (North Tower) was completed in 1978. Designed by Edward I. Richmond, the 46 floor residential structure was the tallest residential structure in Canada at the time. The Palace Place Tower (South Tower) was completed in 1991. Both towers offer exceptional views of the Toronto skyline, Lake Ontario, as well as the western suburbs. On a clear day, residents have unobstructed views across the lake and can see the mist rising from Niagara Falls as well as the Niagara escarpment.

Both towers are known for being two of Toronto's most luxurious condominium residences and home to several professional athletes (Maple Leafs Hockey, Argonauts Football, Raptors Basketball, Blue Jays Baseball), business leaders, film and TV celebrities, singers, and socialites. It is not uncommon to see paparazzi staged at the gates of both complexes during film shoots. One of the major factors for these two towers being a popular residential choice is the high-level of security and the restricted accessibility to the property by the general public.

Both Palace Pier and Palace Place are surrounded by exceptional greenspace engulfing 9 acres. This makes these condominium properties unique in that they are located in the city and are only feet away from Lake Ontario.

Residents are often seen playing tennis, hosting outdoor engagements, practicing their golf swing or simply laying in the gardens.

History of Palace Pier Site

The name for the Palalce Pier complex comes from the original amusement pier located on the site of the current twin towers.

Costing $1.25 million in 1927 dollars, the development was proclaimed as one of the biggest landmarks to ever be built on the Toronto waterfront and would be similar to the many amusement piers found along the coast in England. However, it was to be much more costly to construct and certainly more impressive than its namesake in Brighton, England – according to the promoters at the time.

The development was to be financed with public funds raised by an England-based company, Provincial Improvement Corporation. The financial prospectus, used to finance the project by the public sale of $10 shares, described the new four structure facility as a “Palace of Fun” - sitting atop an illuminated pier stretching nearly a third of a mile out into Lake Ontario.

The proposed pier would include a convert|30000|sqft|m2|abbr=on. ballroom that would accommodate 3,000 couples, a roller rink (converted for ice skating in the winter months), 1,400-seat theatre, an outdoor Band Pavilion seating 1,500, and several restaurants and souvenir stores. The pier would also allow for steamer ships to dock along side the structure, easing congestion for the 50,000 people a day the prospectus claimed would attend the amusement facility.

The financing of the project went slowly, with the cornerstone of the first building being dedicated by former Canadian prime minister Hon. Arthur Meighen in 1931. However, as with many projects of the time, financial difficulties would have an impact on the project and in the end, only a few hundred feet of pier was built.

Only the first phase of the redesigned amusement pier, 90 metres long, was opened on June 10, 1941 and it became popular as a major dance hall of the big band era during World War II and the postwar years. Hollywood celebrity Bob Hope, who was in town promoting his latest film, officially opened the new Palace Pier by doing a few laps around the roller rink in front of fans. As big band music faded away, boxing and wrestling matches, religious revival meetings, country and western concerts, and high school proms became the major events to frequent the Palace Pier.

The pier was designed by Craig & Madill with various structures in a flamboyant Moroccan style of architecture. The firm was better known for the many cathedrals and public buildings they built, frequently in the Georgian Revival style.

The pier was destroyed by fire in 1963, and the site later redeveloped into condominiums and a public park. A 1994 Etobicoke Historical Board plaque on the Waterfront Trail just west of the mouth of the Humber River is attached to what is left of the original Palace Pier dance hall.

[cite web|accessdate=2008-03-13|url=http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=palaceplace-toronto-canada|title=Palace Place |publisher=Emporis.com ] [cite web|accessdate=2008-03-13|url=http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=2562|title=Palace Place |publisher=SkyscraperPage.com ] [cite web|accessdate=2008-03-13|url=http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=palacepier-toronto-canada|title=Palace Pier |publisher=Emporis.com ] [cite web|accessdate=2008-03-13|url=http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=2561|title=Palace Pier
publisher=SkyscraperPage.com
]

Luxurious Palace Pier - 5 Star Amenities

* 24 hour Concierge Service providing integrity and quality service to residents and guests. Daytime deliveries accepted by staff. * Full Security Systems - closed circuit T.V. system monitor=s common areas and provides individual suite alarm. Security guards on duty 24 hours a day. * Supervised underground parking for residents and visitors, Valet Parking for residents and guests. * Car wash bay, bicycle storage area, Daily dry cleaning service. * Shuttle Bus to Union Station, Loblaws, Queens Quay, St. Lawrence Market, Sherway Gardens and Cloverdale Mall. * Atrium Indoor Pool, Fully equipped Health Club with 2 Squash Courts, golf driving practice area, Weight Room, Aerobics Room, Saunas, Whirlpool and indoor Jogging Track, Palace Pier Spa, a relaxing environment located on your doorstep. * Billiard Room, Table Tennis Room. Guest Suites. Arts and Craft Room, Carpentry Room, Library. The Wurlitzer room for parties. * Meeting Room. Convenience food store on-site. * State of The Art VDSL TV system together with high speed internet. * Nine acres of lakefront gardens adjoining lakeshore boardwalk and pedestrian bridge over the Humber River. True Country Estate in the City on the Lake. Lakefront bicycle path at your door. Barbecue facilities - 5 barbecues with 10 picnic tables. * Outdoor Tennis Court and putting green. * Glass enclosed Continental Restaurant offering superb dining and intimate seating for 64 persons, exclusively for residents and guests. * Private catering services available. Roof Top Club with intimate library & bar - available for private parties. Roof Top Sun Decks.

Recent Upgrades Done In the Building

* Main entrance canopy and main foyer renovated in 2002. * New elevator cabinets with new mechanics. * Brand New hallways throughout entire building in 2008. * Country Estate in the City on the Lake - given by the landscape enhancement with architectural fence around the property and gates. * Quiet Elegance & Prestige achieved by a totally renovated lobby with fresh flowers presented weekly. * Leading-edge technology - building was rewired by BELL to provide VDSL system with access to 200 digital TV channels and high speed internet access. * New computerized keyless security access system. * New energy-efficient cooling towers and chillers. * Integrated building automation system (IBAS). * Renovated & improved loading dock. * Renovated 4 levels of parking hallways - 2005. * 5 brand new barbecues & picnic tables, Tennis court recently re-surfaced. * New management in the restaurant, improved food and service. Private catering is available. * Five Star Resort on the Lake - with all luxury of modern living.

What’s in The Neighborhood?

A lakeside location is paradise for active individuals who love the outdoors. In Toronto, the waterfront is blessed with the Martin Goodman Trail, which invites walking, jogging, bicycling and inline skating along a 22 km pathway that leads through scenic parkland as well as the 300-km Lake Ontario Greenway Waterfront Trail. Marinas, the yacht club and boating opportunities are just minutes away as well as some of the city’s finest dining, entertainment and cultural amenities, which are situated within walking distance. There is easy access to QEW and 427, seconds away from the TTC Humber loop, minutes from downtown Toronto and shops of Bloor West, Kingsway Village and Sherway Garden, as well as minutes from the airport.

Working together, the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation Department and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority have enhanced the natural environment in the area with the introduction of a new waterfront park, the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat, enhanced wetlands and fish habitats, trails and more.

Less urban than Toronto’s central waterfront, Humber Bay Shores will offer peace and tranquility for its residents, yet remain in an environment easily accessible for the busy individual.

References

[http://www.palacepiersc.com Palace Pier Social Committee]


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