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Edmonton’s tallest tower reaches milestone Thursday

Edmonton skyscraper set to create a stir in Ice District
WATCH ABOVE: When plans to build the soaring Stantec Tower in Edmonton's Ice District were announced, it was an ambitious plan. As Vinesh Pratap reports, while the local economy may have tumbled, the tower's upwards progress continues.

The Stantec Tower, described as what will be “one of Edmonton’s most iconic landmarks,” marked a construction milestone Thursday: the last cement pour before it meets grade.

The 66-storey tower will be the tallest building in Edmonton and Western Canada. In fact, once completed, it will become the tallest building in the country outside Toronto.

“Together, we’re taking our city and its skyline to new heights,” Bob Gomes, Stantec president and CEO said.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Gomes said it was an exciting time to see this project taking shape.

“It’s the beginning of a new era for our great city.”

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READ MORE: Canada’s tallest building outside Toronto under construction in Edmonton 

Construction plans for the tower in the downtown’s Ice District – the area around the new arena – were released nearly two years ago.

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Stantec will occupy 19 floors. The company is also serving as the tower’s designer, engineer and project manager.

The building will serve as the world headquarters for Stantec and feature office space as well as residential condo units.

The tower will be built to LEED gold standard.

Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016.
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016.
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016.
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016.
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016.
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016.
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News
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Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016.
Officials marked Stantec Tower being above grade, Aug. 4, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

Stantec and WAM Development Group thanked the mayor and city council for their support.

Don Iveson said he’s been meeting those people working on the construction of the tower, “building it with the heart and soul of Edmonton,” putting an “unavoidable stamp on our city.”

“There is such pride… in this project,” Iveson said.

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“It’s 66 storeys of useable space and then 67 to 69 are mechanical floors,” Downtown Business Association executive director Jim Taylor said in September 2015.

“Already the Stantec building meant a great deal for us, because a 62-storey building in Edmonton when our highest is about 36 with mechanical floors–-that’s a huge leap–so this was a very important building.”

The Stantec Tower under construction in the city's Ice District will become the tallest building in the country outside Toronto.
The Stantec Tower under construction in the city's Ice District will become the tallest building in the country outside Toronto. Tonia Huynh, Global News
The view from the 25th floor of the Kelly Ramsey Tower. Many years down the road, this view will be blocked by the Stantec Tower.
The view from the 25th floor of the Kelly Ramsey Tower. Many years down the road, this view will be blocked by the Stantec Tower. Vinesh Pratap, Global News
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that  will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Global News
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that  will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Cliff Harris, Global News
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that  will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Global News
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that  will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014.
Stantec and WAM Development have unveiled the design for a new 60 storey tower that will be constructed in the Edmonton Arena District, Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Stantec, Supplied

WAM Development Group is the owner and developer of the 224-metre building, working in conjunction with the Katz Group. CEO Daryl Katz said at the time the design was unveiled the tower would benefit Edmonton for generations.

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READ MORE: Design unveiled for record-setting 62-storey Edmonton tower 

“The building is going to be an absolutely exceptional piece of architecture and an extraordinary addition to Edmonton’s skyline,” he said.

It’s expected to open in late 2018.