A prominent developer is installing protective mesh on balconies of some of its downtown condominium buildings over concerns of deficient glass.
Residents in three relatively new condominium high-rise buildings in the CityPlace complex near Front Street and Spadina Avenue received letters from Concord Adex earlier this week informing them of plans to install protective mesh on their glass balconies.
The developer's concern is prompted in part by a rash of incidents late last year when panes of tempered glass fell from downtown high rises and onto the street. The supplier to those buildings is the same one that Concord used for their three affected buildings, which were constructed in the past two years.
"I can’t speculate at this point as to what the cause of it is and therefore we’re taking a proactive measure to protect the community while we’re doing an investigation to make sure that the safety of our residents are not jeopardized," said Arash Beheshti, the vice president of construction for Concord Adex.
Raylene Knutson, one of the residents at 15 Iceboat Terrace, has had her balcony wrapped in mesh. She said she is happy the developer is taking protective steps, but added: "These are new condos, so you would hope you're going to enjoy them in their original beautiful aesthetic."
The mesh will stay in place "until a permanent industry solution is identified," according to the letter from Concord. Concord did not identify the supplier, or say where the glass is coming from.
John Barber has been producing glass for 30 years and said more suppliers and developers are looking for tempered glass built with cheaper materials.
Barber said tempered glass has been used for 50 years with little problem, but more glass is now being imported from suppliers in Asia.
"We're seeing an influx of glass with no controls, no mechanism at all for quality," he said.
Concord Adex says it plans to inspect all the affected balconies to determine the source of any problem. The company has plans for the construction of 25 new condo buildings around the city.