Construction kicks off on Bay Street mega-development, set to include towers, bus terminal, park

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for a major new development at the foot of Bay Street that will house the global headquarters for CIBC and incorporate a bus terminal and one-acre park built over the railway tracks.

CIBC Square, located next to Union Station, is slated to be completed by 2023

CIBC Square will house the headquarters of CIBC, and will include a bus terminal that links with Union Station transit and a new park. (Ivanhoé Cambridge)

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for a major new development at the foot of Bay Street that will house the global headquarters for CIBC and incorporate a bus terminal and one-acre park built over the railway tracks.

The public-private development, previously called Bay Park Centre and now renamed CIBC Square, will see two office towers erected at 81 and 141 Bay Street, south of Front Street.

The two towers set to be built are on the far left and far right of the image - and the new park is set between them. (Ivanhoé Cambridge)

Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca described the inclusion of a bus terminal, called the Union Station Bus Terminal and linked to GO trains, TTC and Via Rail, as  "fundamentally important" for Toronto.

Mayor John Tory was also on hand for the ceremony, saying: "I love the towers, I love the transit connections, I love the jobs… but I'm particularly interested in the park."

The CIBC Square groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, featuring municipal politicians, the provincial transportation minister and representatives from private partners Ivanhoé Cambridge, CIBC and Hines Canada. (CBC)

Tory said that the one-acre park will prove the feasibility of the much-larger Rail Deck Park project, located to the west of CIBC Square.

"This park is going to prove that technologically, we know it can be done, it's been done in many other cities," he said. "I'll be looking at it as a bit of a test bed but also as an example to people."

Rail Deck park, as proposed by Mayor John Tory, would involve a deck built over the downtown rail corridor further to the west of the CIBC development. (Jennifer Keesmaat/Twitter)

The first tower, at 81 Bay Street, will be completed in 2020. The second one, along with the park, is set to be completed by 2023.