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Cover Story: TRUE Canadian Gems – Murray McLauchlan & Denise Donlon

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Cover Story: TRUE Canadian Gems – Murray McLauchlan & Denise Donlon

By Cece Scott www.cecescott.com

At the age of 69, Murray McLauchlan is affectionately referred to as Murray Many Heads. His wife, Denise Donlon, agrees. The recipient of 11 Juno Awards, including Country Male Vocalist of the Year for a total of five times, McLauchlan may be best known as a musician and an award-winning song writer, but he is also a painter, a pilot, a husband and a father – and possesses a wonderful sense of humour.

McLauchlan’s song catalogue includes Farmer’s Song (1972), Down by the Henry Moore (1975), On the Boulevard (1976) and Whispering Rain (1971) – all of which have stood the test of time.

Denise Donlon, now 61, is a Broadcast Hall of Fame inductee, and a Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music. She was the anchor for Much’s (formerly MuchMusic) Rockflash News (CityTv,1985), as well as the host and producer of The New Music (1986 to 1993) on the same network. Donlon has witnessed, firsthand, the changing face of pop culture through music videos, and has done more than 1,000 interviews with the likes of Keith Richards, Joni Mitchell, Sting and Leonard Cohen – to name a few.

Donlon’s 2016 book, Fearless As Possible (Under the Circumstances), chronicles her impressive, and storied career, on the front lines of the media and music industries. Donlon toured as a publicist with popular bands like Headpins, Whitesnake, and Doug and the Slugs. In the book, she also goes into detail about her business, and personal, relationships as the first female president of Sony Music Canada, and as the general manager and executive director of CBC English Radio.

McLauchlan the pilot; son, Duncan, McLauchlan and Donlon; Bruce Cockburn and McLauchlan.

Both McLauchlan (1993) and Donlon (2004) have received the Order of Canada, which recognizes their outstanding achievements, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

McLauchlan’s and Donlon’s home property abuts the Don Valley ravine in the east end of Toronto. During the interview, a coyote saunters into the backyard. As a child, McLauchlan dreamed of being a wildlife illustrator and a painter. “I had this wildly romantic idea of doing covers for Sports Illustrated magazine, as well as studying under the preeminent landscape painter, Doris McCarthy.”

McLauchlan did study with McCarthy, and also attended lectures given by Canadian naturalist and wildlife painter, Robert Bateman. “I went to Central Tech and studied and studied, and then realized that I didn’t want to be a commercial artist.”

Stevie Wonder and Donlon, 1982; Donlon and Leonard Cohen, 1981; McLauchlan and Donlon in Tuscany, 2013.

It was around this time, that the-then 17-year-old McLauchlan headed for the hippie haunts of Yorkville and started performing at various coffee houses. In 1966 he performed at the Mariposa Folk Festival, followed by stints in New York’s Greenwich Village. McLaughlan’s songs have been performed by the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Tom Rush.

Donlon and McLauchlan met in the late 80s, married two years later and then welcomed their son, Duncan, into the world in 1992. Mclauchlan admits to feelings of angst when he calculated how old he’d be when his son would be in his teens. “I was worried about becoming a father at 43, because somewhere in my mind I had an idea of my golden years,” says McLauchlan. “But then, there comes the realization that you are no longer the centre of your own life. I was in the love bubble.”

After Duncan’s birth, McLaulan took time off, and Donlon went back to work after three months. Donlon’s career continued on an upward trajectory, and she became the first female president of Sony Music Canada in 2000. Soon after, Napster (a filesharing, internet service that emphasized sharing audio files) was launched. It wasn’t long before Napster ran into legal difficulties, but the damage was done.

It changed the landscape of the music industry, and, as a result, Donlon’s lack of confidence was triggered. She admits that she suffered from Imposter’s Syndrome. “In my private moments it was really tough sledding, but in my public moments it was about leadership and inspiration – I had to be there for my artists.”

Upon the completion of her book, Donlon reassessed her perspective on life. “I’m taking a deep breath and putting it out to the universe to see what comes back,” says Donlon. “My tendency has always been to put the pedal to the metal, and to try and fill everything up with busyness. So, I am trying to spend more time in the moment, fill my life with things that give me pleasure, and not be as frantic as I once was.”

Morning Stoney Lake, by Murray McLauchlan.

Donlon never shied away from much – in both her professional, and personal, life. She’s rappelled down the side of a building, driven a 40-ton German tank and has tried bungee jumping. These days, she’s keeping closer to the ground, and is spending a great deal of time on her yoga mat. “The things on my list are now more about endurance. I’m trying, desperately, to keep my yearly, one-mile swim to under 30 minutes.”

Involved in the martial arts when he was younger, McLauchlan no longer practices combat training. “Basically, the body can’t take it anymore. Life, in general, is extremely active between keeping up the house and the cottage. And, of course, there’s the keeping up with Denise.”

When in his 40s, McLauchlan’s agent suggested to him (jokingly) that he was getting too old for the market. “I felt the whole idea was appalling and colossally stupid. I still do,” says McLauchlan. “There is a weird phenomenon in the music industry that ridicules old rockers – like the Rolling Stones. The media doesn’t talk about their music, just how wrinkled and prunelike they are.”

McLauchlan has performed at many concerts and benefits over the course of the past year, and has additional shows booked in 2018. “It has always been about reinvention for me – finding new ways to make contact with my music.”

Storm Stoney Lake, by Murray McLauchlan.

“My best days are ahead of me,
even if I do hurt in the mornings.” – Murray McLauchlan

Giving back, in many different ways, is important to both of them. Donlon is currently involved with War Child Canada, MusiCounts and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, amongst others. “As I look at my third act, the fundamental priority, for me, is that I must make a contribution,” says Donlon. “It would be a waste if you didn’t make a positive contribution based on the wisdom acquired throughout your life.”

McLauchlan strongly believes that music has a profound effect on memory. He is on the board of the Room 217 Foundation, which trains medical professionals to utilize music in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Traveling, wine, laughter, nature and time are all high priorities for Donlon. “And don’t forget the seniors’ discount,” says McLauchlan.



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Cover Story: Ken Welsh

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Cover Story: Ken Welsh

By Cece Scott www.cecescott.com

Acting is in his blood.

Just as I am about to knock on the white door of Ken Welsh’s country home, my eyes spot a sign that epitomizes his wry sense of humour – Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

Photography by Jake Martella

At the age of 75, Welsh’s career has spanned a half century. He’s played countless roles, onstage and on screen, and is the recipient of many awards, including fi ve Geminis, a Genie for the best supporting actor in Margaret’s Museum, the Earle Grey Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2004 Welsh received the Order of Canada.

Photography by Jake Martella

Born and raised in Edmonton, Welsh graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in drama, and then attended Montreal’s National Theatre School. Not many actors can claim that they spent the first seven years of their career at the Stratford Festival. Following this stint, Welsh left in 1973 and went on to appear at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and then spent many years on Broadway.

At the age of 26, while at Stratford, Welsh was cast as Hamlet. Other plum roles include starring in Piaf on Broadway, and the 1987 production of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune with Kathy Bates.

Touted as one of the hardest working actors in Canada, Welsh wrote and performed the celebrated off-Broadway cabaret musical Standup Shakespeare. “My favourite characters are ones that have heart and play to a complicated range of emotions. I like to find the soul of the character, where the sensitivities lie,” says Welsh. “Humour is definitely an important element in any role I play. If you can’t have a good laugh, what’s the point? I laugh out loud to myself all the time – of course that could be senility.”

In 1989, Welsh’s performance in Love and Hate: The Story of Colin and Joanne Thatcher, about a former Alberta rancher and politician who is convicted of killing his wife, won him a Gemini.

Welsh’s favourite Hollywood movies were all made in Canada, and include Loyalties, 1987; Margaret’s Museum with Helena Bonham Carter in 1995; and a hilarious flick about opera and hockey with Robbie Coltrane called Perfectly Normal, 1991. A compilation of Welsh’s work wouldn’t be complete without highlighting one of his favourite parts, the villainous Windom Earle in the 1980s hit series Twin Peaks. “Windom was one of my favourite television roles,” says Welsh. “People remember the character because he was so evil.”

(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) Corrine Farago, (Devon’s mother), Ken and Devon, 1988. -Cyrano de Bergerac, 1980, Goodman Theatre, Chicago. -Paul Benedict, Ken Welsh, Kathy Bates, Terrence McNally, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, 1988. – Doctor Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles, TV movie, 2000.

During his illustrious career, Welsh has performed alongside many well-known actors, but especially enjoyed working with Stockard Channing, Kathy Bates, Olympia Dukakis, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep and the late Ron Silver.

In his 50s and 60s Welsh says that he was still in top form when it came to memorizing his lines, but concedes that he’s finding it a bit more challenging in his 70s. When it comes to physical endurance on stage, he says that it hasn’t been a problem, because the audience’s energy gives him the adrenaline charge that he thrives on to outperform himself.

“There aren’t as many roles available for actors my age, and what roles do come up are being filled quickly. Guys my age are dying off, but not quick enough,” says Welsh drolly. “Whenever I am asked, I will act. I just did an episode of The Blacklist in New York. It really only took me a couple of days to learn the lines.”

Welsh is also committed to helping out young directors, and those who are up and coming – often appearing in independent films for very little gratuity.

The pride and joy of Welsh’s life is his son Devon, now 28. With his then wife, Corinne Farago, they moved to the rural Ontario property where he has lived for the last 28 years. It was here that he brought up his son, often on his own.

After living in New York for 12 years, a small community appealed to Welsh. “My neighbours are all really great people. I like watching the kids play as the generations roll out. Certainly, I enjoy being a part of it all. I read poetry with the choir and sometimes I perform Shakespeare,” says Welsh. “In fact, ever since 1974 when I was in Chicago, I’ve done exclusive Shakespearean performances. I have a big sign that has 30 characters on it and I let the audience choose. Sometimes I do a soliloquy. Sometimes I do the entire first scene with all the characters in it.”

Welsh is an avid gardener and has planted more than one hundred trees of assorted varieties on his pastoral property. This year, his vegetable garden is expected to yield beans, potatoes tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli and herbs. “I have always loved gardening,” says Welsh. “I need to have things growing around me.”

Welsh has no plans on slowing down. Part of his ongoing regime includes going to the gym on a regular basis, walking 5,000 steps a day, practicing yoga, eating properly and meditating. “I’m in pretty good shape for a guy my age. I don’t ever plan to quit.”

He also has a few things that he still wants to check off of his bucket list, which have to do with singing and playing the trumpet. “When people have a birthday, I play Happy Birthday on my trumpet. It’s become a tradition,” says Welsh with that mischievous twinkle in his eye.

Photo By Jake Martella

The minute I got on stage and got a few laughs, I knew that acting was my destiny. – Ken Welsh

Welsh would love to make an album of jazz songs that feature the melodies of his favourite musical icons like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney. At the top of his list would be the opportunity to sing the anthems at a major league baseball game. “I love sports and I go to the batting cage. And, yes, I hit the ball. I’ve still got it.”

Good health, good friends and, in particular, his son, Devon, are the things that Welsh cherishes. Devon is a musician and currently lives in Montreal. His hit song, Downtown, won him a Juno. Regular visits, which include the odd Raptors’ game, keep them connected. “I love my son very much. We maintain close contact and I see him as often as I can. He has a beautiful voice and works very hard. He is a lovely man,” says Welsh in his melodious Shakespearean cadence.

(LEFT) Standup Shakespeare, created by Ken Welsh and Ray Leslee at Theatre 890, NY, 1987. Photo by Jake Martella (RIGHT) Ken and his dog Zoltan. Photo by Charles Dennis.

Welsh appreciates all that life has bestowed upon him and spends no time bemoaning his youth. “I don’t miss anything about my youth – youth was youth. I did a lot when I was young, so there is nothing to regret. My youth was fabulous, but I certainly enjoy what I do now.”

In one of his more serious moments, Welsh says that spirituality is a key component in his life. “It gives a great respect as to why we are here. I’m not a philosopher – I just live life.”

And with that he turns to the photographer and agrees that a photo shoot in the backyard would definitely work. “It’s breezy out there, and my hair looks good blowing in the wind.”


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Cover Story: Editor's Choice: Remington Homes

Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: Remington Homes

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Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: Remington Homes

It’s all about choice

Homebuyers can choose from an endless list of builders and developers, communities and home styles. So why do so many choose Remington Homes? What is it about this homegrown Canadian company that makes it stand out from the pack?

As Canada celebrates its milestone birthday, Remington Homes is celebrating another year of providing homeowners with outstanding homes in the GTA’s most desirable communities. In almost three decades, Remington has build more than 10,000 homes and with vast land holdings the company will continue to build exceptional communities well into the future.

This true-blue Canadian company has roots deep in the Canadian soil. As part of the Remington Group, Remington Homes has built distinctive and dynamic communities from Oakville to Markham and throughout the GTA.

Remington communities share innovative home designs, superior craftsmanship and unparalleled service. This is why so many new home purchasers consider Remington Homes to be among the very best homebuilders in the GTA.

What distinguishes Remington is their commitment to functional home designs and their reputation for constructing exceptional communities in amenity-rich locations. These two factors have been the hallmark of their success from the very beginning. But this is not the only thing that makes Remington Homes the builder of choice for so many. The company provides award-winning customer service that gives homeowners extra peace of mind from purchase to move-in and beyond. Remington recognizes that happy homeowners build great communities. Perhaps this attitude is one of the reasons that Remington Homes has consistently earned a rating of Excellence from Tarion.

Remington Homes is committed to balancing design and construction with environmentally friendly considerations to create greener living environments. The company is deeply committed to reducing its impact on the environment. They have been at the forefront of building Energy Star qualified homes that offer healthier and more comfortable living environments while reducing both energy consumption and household carrying costs.

The company has grown to include extensive residential, retail, commercial and condominium developments. Presently, the company has many fine communities at various stages of sales and construction.


Remington Homes is getting ready to launch its newest community, The Brightside in Brampton. The Brightside is a family community within the beautiful Mayfield Village neighbourhood. Here Remington is building a spectacular collection of towns, semis and singles on 32-, 38- and 43-foot lots.

This perfect setting, located at Countryside Drive and Bramalea Road, is surrounded by glorious nature and is close to all of the conveniences of Brampton. Here homeowners will enjoy beautiful parks, fabulous places to hike, bike, skate, swim and explore as well as shop and dine. Excellent schools and a wonderful selection of cultural amenities make The Brightside in Brampton the perfect new community. The Brightside joins an illustrious group of prime communities developed by Remington Homes.


Located in the heart of Markham Centre, Remington’s Downtown Markham is expected to be the largest collection of LEED-certified buildings in North America. When completed, the community will include 15,000 residents, 3.4 million square feet of premium office space and 2 million square feet of retail.

Part of this incredible community is a $25 million public art program spearheaded by The Remington Group. The signature piece of the collection is the Pride of Canada Carousel, which features 44 rideable sculptures made by Canadian artist Patrick Amiot. Each piece is cleverly crafted from reclaimed materials as a tribute to Canada and a nod to sustainability.


Remington Homes’ Captain’s Cove in Midland is a community of 50- and 75-foot bungalows along the shores of Georgian Bay. Here residents can escape the hustle and bustle of big city life filled with traffic and noise.

Captain’s Cove offers a relaxed, serene vacation lifestyle with four seasons of stimulating activity. From boating, swimming, walking and birding in the summer to cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and community sports in the winter. Captain’s Cove’s will soon be releasing a new phase of charming bungalows in this picturesque waterside community.


Remington will soon be releasing an outstanding collection of 45- and 50-foot detached home lots in Oakville’s highly sought-after Preserve community. When Remington Homes started developing plans for The Preserve, it was an opportunity to take decades of insight and create new home designs that would not only be functional and liveable but also offer 360 degrees of beautiful design. The results reflect the superior quality that defines the Remington brand. The finishes at The Preserve provide a level of luxury that sets these homes apart.


Hello Georgetown, Remington Homes’ family-friendly community in Georgetown builds on the company’ long history of home building in this ever-growing neighbourhood.

Remington is getting ready to release their next collection of 40-foot detached homes this fall. The first two phases of this popular community sold out quickly and given the continued demand, this next release will undoubtedly follow suit.


At Wigston Green Estates in Thornhill, Remington Homes has a limited selection of beautifully crafted homes remaining on 60-and 80-foot lots, priced from $3.2 million. This magnificent community of estate homes is located in Thornhill’s most desirable neighbourhood off Bathurst Street south of Highway 7.

One of the remarkable things about Remington Homes is the variety of residential communities it offers. From estate lots to charming townhomes and a wide variety of home and condo styles in between, Remington truly offers something for every life stage and lifestyle.


Go online to find out more and to register for the community of your choice.



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Cover Story: Waves Of Colour

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Cover Story: Waves Of Colour

Designer Anne Hepfer turns a grand, old Muskokan cottage into a fun, vibrant family retreat

Photography By Virginia MacDonald

Muskoka cottages conjure images of wood, classic colour schemes, Canadiana inspired accessories and, often, all-out luxury. Vibrant hues are rarely part of the picture. But for one Connecticut family that summers in Ontario each year, their cottage is whimsical and fun, making for a truly unique destination. “One of my first questions to the client was ‘what is your favourite colour?’ says interior designer Anne Hepfer. “She said lime green and raspberry.”

The Toronto designer was thrilled with that unexpected answer, excited to match her client’s enthusiasm for something bold and a little bit different. Hepfer herself is known to love colour, her projects have graced several magazine pages and won many hearts on Pinterest with their bold mix of colour and pattern. And, as luck would have it, Hepfer had just returned from a trip to India where bold colour combinations are de rigeur.

A playful mix of highly saturated colours adds a cool, summery vibe to the wood-panelled sitting area.


The setting for the project is beyond reproach; a six-bedroom island cottage in a prime location. “It’s one of those truly special places,” says Hepfer. The cottage is the only one on the 10-acre island and has sweeping views of the lake from the wraparound porch. It’s also a heritage building, rife with history and character that the family was keen not to erase, and in fact, spent four years restoring it. “There’s so much incredible history in these old cottages. There are stories coming out of the walls.

You don’t want to mess with that,” says Hepfer. She rescued much of the 19th-century cottage’s original character including all the fretwork in the living and dining room. “We layered geometrics and florals for a casual, fun, and whimsical style. It fits in with the age and style of the home.”

The covered veranda pairs bold green Forest chairs by Janus + Cie and a custom pedestal table complete with a built-in lazy Susan. An organic chandelier made of grapevines hangs from a ceiling painted in a light-blue tone to mimic the sky.


Fun details are everywhere. In the entryway, bright pink ottomans tuck under a whimsical console table with animal legs.

And while the past was preserved, the project was very much about the future and creating new memories for the owners, a lively family who arrives each summer, with cats and dogs in tow, for two blissful months on the water. Hepfer used the owner’s favourite lime green for mod, tree-inspired chairs on the veranda, and on full-height drapes in the sitting area. Mixed with hot-pink cushions and bold, juicy prints, the rooms exude joy. It’s hard not to feel happy surrounded by all the summery colours. Hepfer used it to revive old furniture, too. The cottage came with several old rattan and wicker pieces, which she painted in watermelon pinks and watery blues. She left some natural, too, but livened them up with fresh prints on the seat cushions.

Unexpected hot pink weaves its way through this busy, family cottage. In the living area, multiple seating zones ensure everyone has a cosy spot to land.

“This was a family who really wanted something unique and curated and layered. They love pattern and colour, a real joie de vivre style,” says the designer. And, why not? It is a vacation home after all. The dining room is where this effect really takes hold. A vintage dining set in aquamarine blue anchors the space, while an eye-popping chevron print on the curtains adds a layer of interest to the wall of tall windows. A similar zigzag shape reappears on the custom light fixture designed by Hepfer that uses porcupine quills to achieve its two-tone look. A plain, light-toned rug anchors the room. “We have a lot of pattern on the walls and textiles, so we didn’t need it on the floor. It lightens it up and acts as a clean canvas and landscape.”

In the master bedroom, Hepfer used a soft water-blue colour scheme to conjure a luxurious resort feeling by layering patterns and textiles.


The historic cottage’s original woodwork shines paired with eye-popping curtains and a lively, blue-painted dining set.

The look is very decorated but it’s also practical, something Hepfer and her team thought a lot about in this busy, family cottage. Area rugs in the dining and living rooms, for example, are actually large rubber mats by Bolon, which can handle a whole glass of spilled wine that can easily be soaked up with a sponge. The seat cushions are covered in easy-to-clean ultrasuede, and with large, loud family dinners in mind, the round, dining table on the porch has a built-in lazy Susan—small things that are true game-changers.

Mirrored seating areas define the cottage’s wraparound veranda. Vintage wicker pieces were given new life with paint and bright, casual fabrics.

It’s hard to deny the almost retro feel of some of the spaces where the original wood panelling and wicker mixes with vintage hues and floor-to-ceiling drapes. It conjures up those great spaces of years gone by where every detail was considered—a nod to the past but with its feet firmly planted in the here and now. A bold mix of prints lends a layered yet uncluttered look, and the mix of custom, vintage and new furnishings blends into the spaces, as if they’ve always been there.

Most people wouldn’t take such risks when decorating a Muskokan cottage, but the result is one of those effortlessly cool spaces that, hopefully, inspires us all to think outside the box in our own homes to make them truly special backdrops to the better things in life.


Catherine Sweeney is a Toronto-based writer and editor who focuses on art, design and architecture. She has worked for numerous publications including House & Home, Designlines and Azure.


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Cover Story: Concord Canada House

Cover Story: Concord Canada House

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Cover Story: Concord Canada House

Concord Adex unveils its final piece of the Concord CityPlace community – an iconic tribute to Canada

Concord has revealed the crowning jewel of its Concord CityPlace community.

Concord Canada House features two Canadian-themed residential towers that will stand on the existing Presentation Centre location, completing Concord’s commitment to the CityPlace community. As the final development, Concord Canada House will redefine the Toronto skyline, and will complete the 45-acre masterplan community that began over 20 years ago.

“In 1997, we began transforming Toronto’s former railway lands and the CN Tower area into the vibrant community you see today,” said Dennis Au-Yeung, Chief Financial Officer at Concord. “This year marks Concord CityPlace’s 20th Anniversary and we’re proud to have played a part in the spectacular change that has taken place in this neighbourhood in the last two decades.”

Today, Concord CityPlace is a vibrant and mature community, with parks, restaurants, libraries, day care, a future community centre and school, and other services. With the addition of Concord Canada House, Concord CityPlace will be the largest residential development created in the City of Toronto, consisting of 31 residential towers, 10,000 homes, and more than 20,000 residents.

Concord Canada House is a celebration of Concord’s commitment to redeveloping Toronto’s downtown. To represent this, each of the towers of Concord Canada House will feature a signature maple leaf motif, which will be illuminated at night to showcase the iconic Canadian theme. Along with the illuminated towers, various elements throughout the project have also been meticulously designed and incorporated into the project to pay tribute to Canada, its culture and incredible landscape.

Located at 23 Spadina Avenue and Bremner Boulevard in the heart of Downtown Toronto, Concord Canada House will include 1,400 condominium residences, 26,000 sq. ft. of office space, and 21,000 sq. ft. of dynamic shopping, dining and entertainment that will wrap around the entire base of the project. The two iconic residential towers will reach 68- and 79-storeys, providing residents with unmatched views of Lake Ontario, Toronto Island and the city, and create two new landmarks in the Toronto skyline.

“Understanding the significance of its location, history and the vibrant Concord CityPlace community, we decided to build our crown jewel as a tribute to Canada, Toronto, and the neighbourhood we’ve spent the last 20 years growing,” says Gabriel Leung, Vice President, Development at Concord. “We decided to take this condo development one step further and set out to bring iconic Canadian elements to life.”

Along with a community that is already within walking distance of Canoe Landing Park, the Rogers Centre, restaurants and the entertainment district, Concord Canada House will add a significant collection of amenities. Building on the underlying Canadian theme, this community will add 60,000 sq. ft. of amenity space that will include a resort-style spa and indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness gym, and a spectacular rooftop lounge. Concord Canada House will set new heights in its amenity design — the roof top level will be the highest residential amenity in Canada. Concord Canada House’s SkyGym and SkyLounge on the 68th and 79th floors will give residents panoramic views of the city and Lake Ontario. Whether it’s taking in the views from the hot tub, watching the sun rise during your morning workout, or watching the sunset with your friends in the banquet lounge, residents will have exclusive access to one of Canada’s truly unique amenities.

Along with the SkyGym and SkyLounge, Concord Canada House will have another one-of-a-kind amenity for its residents to enjoy, an iconic outdoor space above the 10-storey podium that will include a Rideau Canal-inspired ice skating rink that will transform into an outdoor pond in the summer. With amazing views in every direction, Concord Canada House will also feature oversized outdoor living rooms with wood grain decks and built-in heaters so residents can enjoy the great outdoors all year round.

With a host of luxurious amenities that will make Concord Canada House a remarkable and dynamic place to live, there is also a collection of features that make it effortlessly practical. There’s an automatic touchless car wash system and a wheelwash station to ensure your car and the parkade always look their best, and in keeping with Concord Green Initiatives and commitment to the environment, the parkade will also feature electric vehicle charging.

From its distinctly Canadian-themed architecture and design, incredible amenities, luxurious residences and iconic location, Concord Canada House will be a spectacular tribute to Canada, and is destined to redefine luxury living in Downtown Toronto.

For more information, visit ConcordCanadaHouse.ca.


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Cover Story : Jamie Kennedy – There is Life After Restaurants

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Cover Story : Jamie Kennedy – There is Life After Restaurants

By Cece Scott www.cecescott.com

Touted as one of Canada’s first celebrity chefs, Jamie Kennedy is also a member of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of the 2010 Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table.

Kennedy’s appetite for gastronomy was sparked some 50 years ago at the age of 10 when his father moved his family to Connecticut. In his senior year, Kennedy was the the president of the cooking club.

Photo, Jo Dickins

Following his high school graduation, and the family’s return to Canada, Kennedy was at a crossroads. He hadn’t applied for post-secondary education, so decided to work in order to fund his desire to travel. Cooking was something that he was genuinely interested in, so it might be said that it wasn’t a coincidence that he wandered into the legendary Windsor Arms Hotel at exactly the right time on that specific day. “I was fortunate to have arrived at the hotel between the lunch and dinner service,” says Kennedy. “Had I arrived closer to noon or the dinner service, it would have been a different reception. There was time to look at a young candidate. Ultimately I accepted a job offer as apprentice cook, which determined my life for the next three years.”

Photos courtesy Jamie Kennedy

Once Kennedy earned his certificate as a cook through his apprenticeship and in-school training at George Brown College, he pursued his dream and travelled throughout Asia and Europe. After returning to Toronto, Kennedy started working at Scaramouche in 1980 with partner chef, Michael Stadtländer. “It was an incredible experience for one so young,” says Kennedy. “It was the foundation for my career in Toronto.”

Kennedy’s entrepreneurial trajectory began in earnest after he left Scaramouche in 1982. He opened a series of eating establishments that Torontonians from every walk of life enjoyed for decades.

One of Kennedy’s greatest fans, Toronto criminal lawyer Clayton Ruby, once stated that Kennedy was the heart of Canada’s food movement – a nod to Kennedy’s dedication to the sourcing of local and sustainable ingredients. It was Ruby who successfully nominated Kennedy for the Order of Canada in 2010. “It has been my life’s work to create regional dishes and encourage others to do the same thing in their areas,” says Kennedy.

Serving at the Summer Dinner Series in PEC – Photo, Jo Dickins

Known for his culinary innovation, Kennedy’s creativity flourished. He opened a series of restaurants, which included Jamie Kennedy Menus Gastronomiques, as owner and chef. He did two stints as a partner and chef at Palmerston Restaurant, and was the Chef de Cuisine at the Founder’s Club. At J.K. ROM he was the owner and executive chef, and the owner and president of Jamie Kennedy Kitchens. He was also the owner and executive chef of Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner, as well as the owner and executive chef at Gilead Cafe & Wine Bar.

During this period Kennedy was also authoring several cookbooks, which included Jamie Kennedy’s Seasons, Whitecap Books, 2000; Great Soup Empty Bowls, Whitecap Books, 2002; J. K. The Jamie Kennedy Cookbook, HarperCollins, 2014. Kennedy also dedicated his time to many causes within the industry, including co-founding Slow Food Toronto, 2003. In 2011, Kennedy received the Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Gold Award from the Ontario Hostelry Institute.

I approach each day with an attitude of – what am I going to achieve today? -Jamie Kennedy

Kennedy’s culinary stardom rose to such a height that at one time he had three active restaurants, a booming catering business and 100 people on the payroll – all of which were pulling him in a myriad of directions. “It didn’t really work for me,” says Kennedy. “It was a tough go. I made a couple of classic entrepreneurial mistakes and it threw me into a tailspin.”

Photography by Jo Dickins

In 2014, Kennedy handed over control of Jamie Kennedy at the Gardiner. “It took a lot out of me, but I was determined to keep going,” says Kennedy. “And I did. The solution for me was to get back to a business model that I was comfortable with.”

Jamie Kennedy’s Summer Dinner Series Photography by Jo Dickins

For Kennedy, it wasn’t that he lost his passion for his craft, it was more about the financial challenges that he was facing. After a quiet year of recovery, Kennedy was back with a more reasonable framework that included a small restaurant and a catering sideline. “I really strove to find a comfortable work model – one, in which, I didn’t feel overwhelmed or drained by – rather, that I could flourish in.”

After 40 years in business and a lifestyle that had come to define him, Kennedy closed the Gilead Cafe & Wine Bar on March 31st, 2015 and transitioned to his 115-acre rural property in Prince Edward County. “After Gilead closed, I moved all of my pots and pans to the farm,” says Kennedy. “Having this property has helped me to decompress and relax. My farm projects keep me busy and happy, and give me more balance.”

Photography by Jo Dickins

That balanced lifestyle includes more hobbies. Kennedy planted an acre of vines to familiarize himself with the process of growing grapes and making wine. “Taking the grapes and transforming them into wine through fermentation is a magical process. I have a whole other appreciation for wine now because I know what it took to grow the grapes. It is something that occupies my time and gives me physical work. I get right in there and cultivate the vines. I would encourage others to find something that turns them on.”

Retirement is not attached to an arbitrary age for Kennedy. He recognizes the struggles and limitations that other people have, and appreciates that he’s in good health. “I don’t regret not being young, but I do understand the expression – youth is wasted on the young – more than I did when I was young,” says Kennedy. “At this age, what we yearn for the most is that level of energy and flexibility that youth had.”

When the work week is over, Kennedy enjoys returning to the city of Toronto with his Aussie Shepherd/Border Collie, and taking in cultural events that have nothing to do with cooking. “I want to stay working as long as possible,” says Kennedy. “It’s good for your mind and your sense of self and well-being. And, because there is a physicality to cooking, like any craftsman, the longer you do it, the better you become. I have a more confident approach and calmness about my cooking now, as opposed to 20 years ago.”

Kennedy admits that his biggest challenge was finding a balance between his work and his private life. These days he spends more time with his children who range from 21 to 33. One daughter lives in Los Angeles, and the other three are within reasonable proximity.

As an avid supporter of environmental issues and involved in a wide variety of community work, Kennedy was a pioneer in the nationwide farm-to-table movement. Once again, he will be hosting his five-course Summer Dinner Series at Hillier Farm, which is held in a rustic barn setting and features a feast of local organic delights. “I look around and I see a future here,” says Kennedy. “I feel incredibly lucky to have stewardship of this place.”

Niçoise-Style Salad with Local Smoked Whitefish

Photography by Jo Dickins

Giving classic French dishes a new regional Canadian flavour is something that has interested me for many years. Salade niçoise is a beautiful creation, full of sunny reminders of the south of France, where it originated in the sun-drenched city of Nice. Although the dish itself is arguably already perfect and I have great respect for tradition, in the interest of creating a local version that reflects our terroir, I have used the original to inspire this version. It uses one of my favourite ingredients, local smoked whitefish. It is especially delicious using fresh eggs, tomatoes, herbs and greens from my farm.


  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 100 grams fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 4 small field tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 30 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into thin rounds
  • 20 niçoise-style onions
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 350 – 400 grams of smoked whitefish, skin removed and cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 60 ml fine olive oil


  • Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Cook the beans in a pot of boiling water until tender. Remove the beans, refresh under cold water, drain and reserve. Add salt to the water and cook the potatoes until just tender; drain and cut into slices.
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters and season with salt and pepper. Stir together the shallots and white wine vinegar.
  • Divide the lettuce among four plates. Arrange the prepared vegetables, onion slices, olives and eggs in a pleasing pattern on the plates. Top with the smoked whitefish. Sprinkle each plate with the shallot vinegar mixture and basil. Drizzle the olive oil over each plate. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.




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Bianca arrives on the new Dupont

Cover Story: Bianca arrives on the new Dupont

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Cover Story: Bianca arrives on the new Dupont

Tridel Introduces Distinctive Architecture and Luxurious Terraces to Toronto’s Annex

While the northern border of Toronto’s vibrant Annex neighbourhood has seen its fair share of changes through the last century, the Dupont Street Corridor is once again poised for new growth — and this will be its most dramatic transformation yet.

Tridel will be among the first developers to make its mark on Dupont and breathe new life into this formerly industrialized area with the introduction of Bianca.

Located on Dupont, west of Spadina at Howland Avenue, Bianca is a stunning, boutique-style luxury condominium that will be in the centre of the rejuvenated downtown stretch being dubbed “The New Dupont”. This corridor is planned to be a new destination for arts, culture, food and entertainment, and will include an enhanced pedestrian experience, more green spaces and parks, among other improvements.

Designed by Teeple Architects, Bianca is a nine-storey midrise residence with a distinctively white façade and gently sloping exterior. Punctuated by expansive terraces and balconies, these spaces invite residents to the outdoors and offer a private space for personal leisure or to entertain guests in style.

“This is a unique opportunity to buy a luxury home in the coveted Annex neighbourhood. At Bianca residents will get a condominium home, complete with all the conveniences of downtown living, without any of the maintenance of a detached home,” says Jim Ritchie, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Tridel. “Bianca is truly one of a kind, with spacious suites and architecture that’s second to none.”

Undoubtedly, the architectural highlights of Bianca are its inviting large balconies and open-air terraces with beautiful south-facing views of downtown Toronto, but residents will be equally impressed by the spacious suite designs inside.

Available in three distinct collections, the majority of the thoughtfully-designed suites at Bianca are between 1,000 and 2,000 square feet, and are available in a variety of floorplan layouts, including two and three bedroom plans, many with the option of a den. In addition, a select number of one bedroom and one-plus-den suites will be available. With views of Casa Loma to the north-east and the downtown skyline to the south, each of the collections will appeal to a variety of purchasers. Prices will range from $500,000 to $2.9 million.

For those looking for the utmost in luxury, look no further than Bianca’s upper-most grand penthouse and sky penthouse floors where the suites range up to 2,482 square feet, with the largest terraces in the building.

The stunningly rich interiors and sophisticated, urban amenity areas have been artfully crafted by the award-winning designers at II by IV Design. Bianca will boast a stunning rooftop terrace with panoramic views of downtown, complete with an outdoor pool, cabanas, barbeques and an outdoor fireplace lounge. Indoors, Bianca has an inviting two-storey lobby with fireplace lounge, a state-of-the-art fitness centre with yoga and stretching studio, and is also home to multi-function entertainment spaces including a party lounge and bar, and an elegant private dining room.

“While we have included a number of private and luxurious amenities at Bianca, the Annex, Dupont Street and the surrounding area offers residents even more entertainment and lifestyle options,” notes Ritchie. “The New Dupont may be poised to be Toronto’s next great urban residential neighbourhood, but with some local gems, it’s already pretty special.”

Vibrant with a wide variety of local shops, trendy restaurants and community green spaces, the Annex and the Dupont Corridor is also home to a number of schools, fitness facilities, and more, including convenient access to the Dupont and Spadina TTC subway stations.

“With so much in store for this neighbourhood, when it comes to living on Dupont, the timing couldn’t be better,” he adds.

Visit the Presentation Centre, located at 4800 Dufferin Street (Entrance B). The Presentation Centre is open
from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and
from noon to 6 p.m. weekends.

(416) 649-2328


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Cover Story : Beauty In Abundance

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Cover Story : Beauty In Abundance

Photography By Larry Arnal

Sculptural, serene and sophisticated, a layered lakeside garden provides changing and spectacular views all year long.

Some homes have great synergy with the landscape—the plants hug the house, and the ivy nestles in comfortably. When Sarita and Arthur Peltomaa bought this charming lakeside house in 2004, it had lots of curb appeal, but the yard came into its own years later after an extensive overhaul. “It was beautiful, with mature trees and shrubs, but the landscape was old and tired. Our vision was to freshen it up, add some living space and give it a style that better reflected the owners,” says landscape designer Adrian Bartels, who owns Cedar Springs Landscape Group in Oakville, Ontario.


The owners, a creative pair with two teenagers, wanted a place to relax and entertain, and to add curb appeal to their wide corner lot. Sarita is a psychologist who brings a Zen approach to the garden, while Arthur is a lawyer and sculptor, whose work is displayed prominently in the new design. “We integrated a large rock by the archway to display his various pieces,” says Sarita. In fact, a lot of heavy rock was moved in that transformed the space with visual interest and texture. The stone, along with well-placed evergreens, forms the structure behind the low-maintenance garden, breaking up the large lot into smaller, cosier spaces.


It all adds up to a very sophisticated design that isn’t trying too hard—upscale but not ostentatious. “It’s somewhat eclectic—a transitional blend of natural, Japanese and traditional English garden,” says Bartels. First the overgrown shrubs were removed, and then a series of new plantings went in to revive the ailing yard. “The varieties and styles are very much English garden with boxwoods, hydrangeas, and vinca groundcover,” he says.

FRONT EAST SIDE: hills yew hedge with phantom hydrangea trees in between (brunnera and blue hosta in front), begonias (annual), tropical oleander trees, let’s dance moonlight hydrangea, vinca ground cover, little Henry itea, rose glow barberry, and hosta


Sarita found herself very involved in the process. “I grew more interested in plants and became more aware of my own preferences in terms of colour, and the types of flowering plants that I like,” she says. Her input and the family’s personal touches really make the space sing. It’s a reflection of how they live here. “We can sit in the courtyard nestled away, and listen to the pond; we can walk out from our kitchen into a private, gardened breakfast nook that has some lake views; and we can roast marshmallows in the firepit,” says Sarita.

POND AREA AND BACKYARD: sedum in the rocks, bobo hydrangea, hinoki cypress, icee blue juniper, begonias (annual), cascading japanese maple, boxwoods, tricolor beech tree, cedar hedge backdrop behind arbor, and hosta


FRONT SOUTH SIDE: bobo hydrangea flower carpet roses, yews, begonias (annual), dwarf hinoki cypress, little Henry itea, christina source (flanking the side door), blue hosta and japanese maple. Blue spruce, hosta, vinca ground cover and yellow hosta.


To carve out dedicated entertaining space, a new patio was laid. “We used natural square-cut flagstone, which was designed to be quite geometric in shape. We relied on the plantings to soften it up,” says Bartels. “The idea was to create a patio that transitioned from the house to the dining area and also cantilevered the koi pond.” The pond, which was also modernized, is a favourite feature of most people who come here. “Since water is “nature’s laughter,” it tends to be the highlight of many gardens, and I think this one is no exception. I particularly like how the patio integrates up to the edge of the pond,” says Bartels.


Landscape designer Jenna Earle from Bulow’s Garden Centre and Landscaping was also heavily involved as the years went on, adding in new garden beds. Earle used plantings in keeping with a woodland garden. She mass-planted hydrangea for maximum impact and colour all summer, and used hardy yews and versatile hostas, all low maintenance, to great effect. “A really neat gem of the garden is the parade yews against the house in the backyard. They are the perfect evergreen for a narrow space. The form on them is spectacular,” says Earle.

Designer Lou Ward created a serene vintage garden-room using a mix of antiques and a bold Ralph Lauren floral wallpaper. The sunroom also acts as a pass-through to the home’s bedrooms on the other side.


With each season, the garden changes, giving the Peltomaa family beautiful vistas year-round. The house was fitted with expansive new windows with views to the garden from almost every room. A favourite spot is the Frenchinspired sunroom, decorated by local designer Lou Ward to complement the outdoors and to embrace Sarita’s love of French antiques. The elegant and serene space is swathed in a botanical print and drenched in sunlight thanks to a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and double doors. It’s hard to think of a more ideal spot to sit with a cup of tea in the morning and take in the lush greenery beyond.

Outside, the large yard, divided into smaller “rooms,” works well for moments of quiet relaxation or hosting a louder, larger crowd. And with a stellar lake view, and the bubbling sound of the pond, it’s quite therapeutic. It seems the house isn’t the only thing in harmony with the beautiful new garden. “I just love that it’s peaceful and calm. We can enjoy nature all around us,” says Sarita. “It feels like a sanctuary.”

SOURCES INITIAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN: Cedar Springs Landscape Group EVOLVING GARDEN: Bulow’s Garden Centre SUNROOM: Lou Ward FURNITURE: Petit et Jolis; WALLPAPER: Kravet; CUSHION FABRIC: Bilbrough; MIRROR: The Millionaire’s Daughter; ACCESSORIES: White Pear Studios and Pier 1

Catherine Sweeney is a Toronto-based writer and editor who focuses on art, design and architecture. She has worked for numerous publications including House & Home, Designlines and Azure.


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Mattamy Homes

Cover Story – Editor’s Choice: Mattamy Homes

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Cover Story – Editor’s Choice: Mattamy Homes

A Mattamy home is a home you’ll value for a lifetime

It’s no accident that Mattamy Homes is Canada’s largest homebuilder. They’ve spent nearly 40 years carefully planning communities and creating spaces that people love. The precedent for quality was set early, with the first Mattamy home ever built housing the same family for over 25 years. Since then, Mattamy has gone on to build over 90,000 more homes in hundreds of communities across Canada and the United States.

But it’s not just the number of homes that illustrates Mattamy’s success; it’s the amount of research, planning, and design that truly sets them apart. Mattamy is rigorous about every single aspect of community planning. Mattamy assesses the landscape and determines what natural elements can be preserved, then, anticipating how people want to live and play in their community, they introduce amenities like parks, trails and other features that deliver anything families might enjoy. The result is a plethora of well-planned, distinctive communities that are fully integrated into their natural surroundings.

Also unique to Mattamy is the remarkable amount of thoughtful design that goes into every square foot of each home. This approach has become Mattamy’s signature, giving homes distinctive architectural characteristics that make the spaces completely functional and aesthetically brilliant. Features like breakfast bars in spacious kitchens, perfect for a Sunday brunch with the whole family; open concept rooms with high ceilings and large windows, keeping rooms bright and inviting; or Mattamy’s famous Stop & Drops, coat hooks and cubbies that make coming home fast and easy. These are hallmarks of Mattamy’s commitment to designing and building functional homes for real people.

Mattamy’s exclusive Architect’s Choice Options gives homeowners an abundance of options in designing their home to suit their specific needs and wants by offering them the option to make pre-approved structural changes before construction even begins.

Additionally, Mattamy’s extraordinary Design Studio offers a magnificent array of finishes and features that let purchasers create a home that better reflects their personal tastes. Known for their attention to superior customer service, Mattamy thoughtfully assigns everyone their own Design Studio consultant to provide expert guidance through the wealth colours, textures, and style options.

Whether you’re looking for a live/work Townhome in an established master-planned community, or an upscale 60-foot luxury home in a prestigious neighbourhood — or anything in between —Mattamy has a home that’s just right for you. Mattamy makes homes you’ll value for a lifetime.

More communities coming soon:

VITA TWO in Etobicoke
Kleinburg Summit in Kleinburg
Richmond Green in Richmond Hill
Condominiums of Cornell in Markham
Topper Woods in Kitchener
River Mill in Cambridge
White Pines in Bracebridge



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Cover Story: YSL

Cover Story: YSL

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Cover Story: YSL

Yet Another Iconic Cresford Landmark on Yonge Street

There are few main streets worldwide that combine the luxury, glamour and sophistication worthy of a global destination. New York’s Fifth Avenue and London’s Bond Street come to mind. Increasingly, Toronto’s Yonge Street is being included in this elite league, thanks in no mean measure to Cresford Developments.

Over the last decade, Cresford has put Yonge Street on the world map through its innovative architecture, fashion-forward design, sophisticated living spaces and signature attention to detail. One after another, Cresford’s iconic condominiums in the Yonge and Bloor corridor have transformed this neighbourhood into Canada’s most valued and treasured real estate district. All of Cresford ‘s condominiums are situated at the epicentre of diverse, vibrant, cultural hotspots. Residents enjoy easy transit and subway access, and are mere minutes from the waterfront, entertainment and financial districts.

Cresford’s unique strategy of associating with leading global luxury brands as well as celebrity architects and design gurus has yielded one great landmark after another. Starting with the CASA trilogy, quickly followed by the dynamic VOX, the bejeweled Clover and the Baccarat-inspired Halo, Cresford has not only made a lasting impact on the Yonge and Bloor corridor, it has elevated the neighbourhood to world-class status.

Now Cresford is proud to announce its most groundbreaking project ever, YSL Residences. Coming soon to Yonge and Gerrard, the proposed 98-storey mixed-use tower will be the tallest residential building in Canada. For a project of this scale and vision, Cresford has tapped the expertise of one of the world’s most highly regarded architecture firms, New York based Kohn Pedersen Fox, renowned for designing the tallest towers in various countries.

KPF’s portfolio includes Lotte World Tower, the tallest in Korea (2015); the International Commerce Centre, the tallest in Hong Kong (2011) and Tour First, the tallest building in France (2011). Celebrated worldwide for their design excellence and innovative buildings, KPF will complement Cresford’s commitment to quality, design and luxury, and the partnership will deliver a new landmark building that will further raise the profile of Yonge Street and put Canada on the world stage.

Initial renderings for YSL depict a sleek, slender, sculptural tower rising above a multi-storey podium at 363- 391 Yonge Street and 3 Gerrard Street East. Distinguished by clean lines and an iridescent facade, the tower will be anchored by high-quality retail that will connect it to the bustling vibrant neighbourhood. This is Canada’s premier business, shopping, educational and leisure district, and Cresford’s YSL Residences will be the defining beacon that will set this community apart.

Cresford’s newest project is poised to become an iconic landmark on Toronto’s skyline. Register now at YSLresidences.com to be among the first to know more about this exciting opportunity.

Cresford and Yonge Street – it’s a symbiotic relationship, one of cosmopolitan luxury and international glamour. A bond symbolized by Cresford’s towering icons of elegant living, a passion for design and attention to detail. These are Toronto’s signature addresses, and they epitomize the allure of Yonge Street and the unmistakable stamp of excellence that is Cresford.


Inspired by Baccarat, Halo will be a rare jewel in an incomparable setting. Reminiscent of the pomp and luxury of the court of King Louis XV, Baccarat is the pinnacle of French beauty and elegance. Expect the same level of design, detail and craftsmanship from Halo Residences.


Inspired by the beauty and craftsmanship of French jewellery icons Van Cleef and Arpels, The Clover offers unprecedented luxury, privacy and prestige in a triple-A location. From the lush green park to its stunning lobby to its designer suites, The Clover epitomizes global refinement.


VOX Condominiums follows Cresford’s unique tradition of integrating high fashion with lifestyle, and design with urban living. Here, Cresford has partnered with European fashion powerhouse Diesel Living to offer a casual, yet chic individuality. VOX is dynamic urban living at its very best.


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