With a vision like this you have to take photos. Standing on the 69th floor of the Stantec Tower, which is now the tallest tower in western Canada, while the ICE District celebrates the last refueling of the tower in Edmonton on Friday, November 16, 2018.
Look up – all the way – and look a little more.
Eventually, you'll find yourself at the top of the 69-story Stantec Tower in downtown Edmonton where members of the local company, Katz Group Real Estate, and the City of Edmonton met on Friday to celebrate the start of the 251st Skyscraper meters. the highest highrise in Canada outside of Toronto.
"Sixty-nine floors up, it seemed to be sitting in the sun … a little warmer and you could have had a beer and enjoyed the view," said Katz Group Real Estate President Glen Scott. "You despise every element of the city – the refineries of Strathcona to the east, you can see the entire campus of the University of Alberta looking down at the Kinsmen Field House in the river valley, you may despise. It's spectacular.
The view was doubly special for Stantec president and CEO Gord Johnston, who grew up in the Edmonton area, but moved away for 25 years before taking over as Stantec boss a year ago.
"I've never seen the city from this perspective before," Johnston said. "I returned to Edmonton in January 2018. But to be able to see, in every direction, how far the city has grown, how much that has changed over that period of time … is quite an experience."
The commercial level of the tower was completed almost exactly a year ago on November 17, 2017, with the first 29 floors of the work space dedicated to 1,500 Stantec employees who have just moved into their new excavations over the weekend.
Previously, Stantec's staff was sprawling across four or five different locations, Johnston said, and the move to consolidate the workforce was slow to arrive.
"For us, that's really what we want to do as part of that," Johnston said. "Not just to commit to the city, but to rebuild our Stantec family here in Edmonton."
Scott would not tip his hat about any special ad in the future, but he mentioned the idea of adding "special elements" to the top of the tower when it is complete.
"We hope to cheer the top … something that will be a fairly visible lighthouse for the Ice District and downtown and will be a real asset to anchoring people downtown," Scott said.
The Sky Top Residences, which is due to be completed in the fall of 2019, will have 483 condos as well as an outdoor patio, fireplaces and grills, hot tub, kitchen, gym, billiards room and other amenities.
The construction crane is expected to leave the tower next April, with the building completed in its entirety by the end of 2019.