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Canada’s tallest tower west of Toronto opens in Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: All 69 storeys of the Stantec Tower were celebrated downtown Edmonton Wednesday. Vinesh Pratap has more from Ice District.

It’s official: Canada’s tallest tower west of Toronto is officially open in downtown Edmonton.

The 69-storey Stantec Tower celebrated its grand opening in Ice District on Wednesday morning.

Soon to be home to Stantec’s 1,500 Edmonton-based employees, the company’s new global headquarters includes 29 storeys of commercial workspace. The building also houses 483 condo suites and more than 20,000-square-feet of amenity space.

“We’re excited to be part of the transformational revitalization in downtown Edmonton,” Stantec president and CEO Gord Johnston said.

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“Stantec was founded as a one-person operation in Edmonton in 1954. Now a Top 10 global design firm, we are excited to confirm our commitment to the city where our company began.”

READ MORE: Edmonton ironworkers with nerves of steel pose atop Stantec skyscraper

What makes the building unique is that it was designed and built by Stantec employees. Several years ago when the company was looking at consolidating its office spaces, there were several options on the table including building in the suburbs.

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Watch below: Edmonton’s newest office tower has opened. Stantec Tower happens to be the tallest of its kind west of Toronto.Vinesh Pratap reports.

Edmonton’s tallest office tower opens its doors
Edmonton’s tallest office tower opens its doors

However, the decision was made to be downtown and make a point at the same time.

“You want to make a statement and you want to show your commitment, so you want to do something that’s never been done before,” said Bob Gomes, former president and CEO of Stantec.

“I think that’s what the city really needed. Edmonton has always been that city that maybe settled for something that was second best. Well, let’s do something that’s better than anyone else, let’s do something that’s larger. And larger is one way of equating better.”

READ MORE: Stantec Tower now the tallest building in Edmonton — and it’s still growing

Mayor Don Iveson said having a large company like Stantec choose the downtown core for its head office speaks to the vibrancy of the growing downtown area.

The Stantec Tower and neighbouring JW Marriott Hotel — which stands 55 storeys high — are part of Edmonton’s long-time vision for a more vibrant downtown.

The tall towers rise much higher than anything that’s been built before in the capital city.

For years, Manulife Place held the top tower crown, standing at 146 metres tall. The JW Marriott tower will be just over 190 metres, and the Stantec Tower will top off at 251 metres.

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Below: Flip through the photo gallery to see pictures from in Stantec Tower

Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
Inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News
A view of Ice District from inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018.
A view of Ice District from inside Edmonton's Stantec Tower on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Global News

READ MORE: Downtown Edmonton reaches for the sky as Ice District towers rise up

Construction on the building is ongoing. The tower is expected to reach its final height at the end of the year. Employees are expected to move into the building in October, with the condos ready for residents by fall 2019, the company said in a media release Wednesday.

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