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^ I was under the impression that the backside of the building was window wall and was pleasantly surprised when I saw all that glorious curtain wall glass gleaming in the sunshine. It would almost look like an office tower from that angle if it were'nt for all the balconies.
About that, I think I have seen some office buildings which do have "balconies" oddly enough. The new Epcor Tower in Edmonton looks like it does. Also, in Burnaby the taller of the two gold office towers looks like it has a couple as well.
^Not sure what you mean by, " what are they for?" A balcony is a balcony even if they are few and far between in commercial developments. In Toronto, balconies on residential developments count towards the required amenity space and I'm sure it is similar in other jurisdictions. Otherwise, I think we'd see far more balcony-free residential buildings .
Excavation/shoring of a multi-level pit is stage of construction. No one in their right mind would pay all this money if the plan wasn't to fill it immediately.