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Minto WaterGarden: a behind-the-scenes look at construction of our 3D model

It may not look like much right now, but what you see above is the brand new 3D model for Minto WaterGarden from the team at Peter McCann Architectural Models, the company behind such models as the Frank Gehry designed AGO and the Burj Dubai (now Burj Khalifa).The model of our new Thornhill project is only 10-15% complete right now, but we stopped by Peter McCann’s studio to get a sneak peek at how a 3D model is built and were treated to a very interesting tour by Manager Joshua Coulis.
Take a look at these exclusive pictures for an idea of how those models you see in sales centres are actually made!
The build of a 3D model can range from 4-12 weeks, depending on the size

The WaterGarden model is a 6-8 week project for the team. A typical project will have 5 or 6 people working on it at any given time, but this can go up to 12 people depending on the the circumstances.

The designers use architects’ drawings as an underlay

They create their own set of shop drawings which take into account the thickness of the materials they use. Everything has to fit very precisely together. It’s more of a structural drawing then a set of building plans and once all the parts are generated it’s like assembling a 3D puzzle.

Most of the model is composed of acrylic, a Plexiglas-like material which is then painted

Certain parts are hand made, such as these trees, which are made of speaker wire that is molded, painted and soldered to fit and then topped off with a special material which is bought in bulk.

One of the biggest advancements in scale model construction in the last 15 years is the advent of laser cutting machines

Above, you can see the intricate details that the laser machine is cutting into the acrylic. All of the etching used to be done by hand, so these machines save countless hours in labour.

It’s lucky that these machines are very durable – the McCann studio has 3 of them.

The building is drawn up using computer programs before cut sheets are made which are then cut with the lasers.

The material is cleaned off and each individual piece is precisely cut using the laser cutter
“You have to think in three dimensions.”
According to the team, you have to have a certain mindset to build models:
“You have to think in three dimensions. You’re working in plan and elevation which are flat plains, so you’re working on the front of the building or the layout. When you’re creating these parts you’re building in 2D plains but have to think about the relationship between the parts. It’s probably the most demanding part of the job.”
There are thousands of pieces that make up the WaterGarden model

All the pieces are all very delicate. A lot of tender care has gone into putting it together, and with the bulk of assembly left to do, we’re in great hands with the highly skilled team at Peter McCann Architectural Models.
The team has been working away for the past several weeks and are almost ready to get the rest of the assembly underway. We’ll be back in their studio next week to get another look at how the model is progressing, so be sure to check back again soon! We’ll also have exclusive project renderings to share on the blog very soon……

Thanks to Joshua and the rest of the team for inviting us along! We for one can’t wait to see the finished model!

Construction update: minto775 finishes excavating the foundation

Welcome to the second minto775 construction update!
Work is well underway on our new condominium project at King and Tecumseth. This week we can officially announce that the foundation is 100% excavated.
Here’s an overview of what the King Street West site looks like now.
An overview of various stages of construction at the Western end of the site

Slab on grade is the first concrete layer to go down, and it’s about halfway to completion. It should be done within the next month.

Setting the lightning grounding wires in preparation for slab on grade

The site is fully prepared for the installation of suspended levels.

Placement of reinforcing steel, electrical conduit and mechanical sleeving for the suspended slab

At the Northwest corner, the P2 level concrete slab is almost ready to go.

Pouring the P2 level concrete slab at Northwest

Construction update: minto775

Thanks for dropping by! Among other things, we’ll be using this blog to keep you updated on the progress of our projects where construction is, well, in progress.

We’re excited to make minto775 at King & Tecumseth the subject of our first construction update. There’s tons going on on the site right now.

View of Southwest corner pre-suspended slab forms

The formworker is forming the suspended slab at the Southwest, the lowest corner of the site, while excavation of final footings continues at the Northeast.

In the areas in between, placing steel and pouring concrete for footings & foundations, walls and columns is ongoing. We’re installing the all-important underground drainage and plumbing as well as placing the clear stone subgrade and concrete for slab on grade.
Foundation waterproofing, reinforcing steel placed and ready for formwork and concrete at perimeter foundation wall
Stone delivery via slinger & bucket
Boxouts for rakers for slab on grade
Delivery of steel for suspended slab
Prepping stone for slab on grade
Hoisting excavator
Hoisting generator


Thanks for checking out our first construction update! We’ll have plenty more to come so you’ll know what’s going on with all of our projects. we’ll also be updating Facebook albums as we go so you don’t have to miss anything.

Welcome to the official Minto condos blog!

Welcome to the official Minto Condominium blog!

Here you will get the most up-to-date information on all of our Toronto Condo projects including exclusive pictures, videos, construction updates and other news about all of our current and future projects in the city.

Be sure to check the our blog daily for updates, announcements and regular features. To get to our main page, click here.

We’re looking forward to keeping you in the loop with everything that’s going on in the Minto family. If you have any ideas or suggestions for what you’d like to see on our new social media sites then please let us know!

Follow us on twitter and facebook, and feel free to engage and interact – we want to hear from you. Click the icons to go to our networks, and thanks for following!