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Playground Condos

Playground Condos

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Playground Condos

Cityzen Development Group, Fernbrook Homes and Greybrook Realty Partners are Taking It Outside

Urbanites long for a little green. A 2014 study, conducted by Sasaki Associates, a Massachusetts-based design and planning firm, found that after good restaurants and food markets, outdoor parks and public spaces ranked high on their preferred list. In fact, when asked, 65 per cent of city-dwellers said their favourite experiences took place outdoors — in a park, or on a street.

It makes sense — with more than 80 per cent of the North American population living in cities, outdoor space represents a therapeutic balance to the pressures and complications of modern life.

But Toronto is one city with it all — fine dining, farmers markets and gourmet food trucks, as well as an international retail shopping experience. But it’s also a city rich in natural landscapes, from the lakefront stretching its entire length, and three rivers that course its north-south lines, to the 600 km of hiking and biking trails, and 1600 parks on 8000 hectares.

This veritable playground of natural and created riches stretches from east to west, but only recently became available to everyone. Because of last century’s rapid industrial growth in the city’s west end, the neighbourhoods near King Street weren’t designed with connection in mind and it became challenging to get in and out, says former councillor Adam Vaughan.

That’s all changed, thanks to Garrison Crossing, a pedestrian and cycle bridge built over the railways that run south of King Street and Liberty Village. The bridge, which is the first ever stainless steel structure of its kind in North America, is expected to open this summer. Designed as two bridges, with spans that arch in opposite directions for a dynamic visual experience, the bridge will allow pedestrians and cyclists to access Fort York to the west, the waterfront to the south, and South Stanley Park Extension to the north, as well as the future Ordnance Park.

Into this cornucopia of urban delights, enters Playground Condos, developed and built by Cityzen Development Group, Fernbrook Homes and Greybrook Realty Partners. Highlighted by a four-acre park in its backyard, the project is near the pedestrian bridges, steps to King Street’s shopping and dining mecca, a stone’s throw from Trinity Bellwoods Park, and a ten-minute walk to entertainment such as BMO field, the CNE, Budweiser Stage, Echo Beach and Ricoh Coliseum.

Designed by renowned architecture firm Hariri Pontarini, the glass-clad building promises to be an architectural icon for that area of the city. Approximately 300 suites will range from $319,900 to $899,900, feature European inspired kitchens, party rooms, billiard space, fitness centre and spa, theatre, children’s lounge (because increasingly families are choosing to live downtown), and outdoor pool with barbecues. While floorplans and square footage haven’t been finalized yet, a variety of floorplans and square footages will be available, including studios, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom, and two-bedrooms plus dens.

The pedestrian bridge is one more step in the liveability and vibrancy of the downtown core and was an “integral part of the city’s plan to revitalize and connect up the waterfront,” says Toronto’s mayor John Tory, who recently unveiled the Under Gardiner Project – a series of walking paths, parks and public spaces under the Gardiner Expressway.

For information on Playground Condos, visit PlaygroundCondos.ca.


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Harbour Plaza

Harbour Plaza

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Harbour Plaza

Luxury reaches new heights in Menkes’ soaring penthouses

The excitement and curiosity about the new residential landmark by award-winning builder Menkes Developments has grown since the completion of construction at Harbour Plaza. With the final phase of occupancies expected this spring, the ultra-luxurious penthouse suites are buyers’ last chance to join the developer’s incredibly successful waterfront project – but just a few select suites remain. Located in the South Core, the city’s most popular new neighbourhood to live, work and play, Harbour Plaza stands proud with two stunning 66 and 70-storey glass towers.

A Prime Location with a Wealth of Amenities

“Harbour Plaza has been a winning project from the first day of sales,” says Mimi Ng, vice-president of sales & marketing at Menkes. “Buyers are drawn to this project for so many reasons. Here, you get an amazing location just steps from the waterfront. But at the same time, with the direct connection to the PATH system, you can walk to work indoors anywhere in the Financial District, plus you can access TTC subway and regional train service from Union Station.”

Buyers at Harbour Plaza will enjoy all amenities and conveniences of living in Toronto’s vibrant downtown community. With direct access to the downtown PATH system, residents will have indoor, weather-protected access to the largest underground shopping complex in the world – covering 30 km (19 miles) and approximately 1200 shops and services – and connections to over 50 buildings and office towers in the Financial District.

Located in Toronto’s South Core district, Harbour Plaza is part of an exciting new mixed-use neighbourhood that combines leading-edge office development, architecturally-stunning residential skyscrapers and world-class restaurants. Top it all off with close proximity to entertainment venues such as the Air Canada Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, the Rogers Centre and the Metro Convention Centre.

Luxury Penthouse Suites Now Previewing

Menkes is now previewing an exclusive collection of Penthouse Suites on the top two floors of Harbour Plaza starting from $2.3 million. With gorgeous unobstructed views of Lake Ontario and the city skyline, luxurious features and finishes, and spacious layouts, these residences promise to be the most desirable address in Toronto.

Working closely with award-winning interior designer Cecconi Simone, the Penthouse Suites at Habour Plaza were thoughtfully-designed, with generous and functional living spaces. Buyers will find layouts that give them the flexibility to entertain guests and host social gatherings, or to simply retreat and enjoy the tranquility of their home. The penthouse residences range in size from 905 sf one-bedroom plans up to 1907 sf three-bedroom plus library layouts.

The Penthouse Suites at Harbour Plaza will incorporate the finest features and finishes, including soaring 10′ smooth finish ceilings, engineered hardwood flooring and gas fireplaces. Gourmet kitchens feature custom-designed cabinetry, soft-close drawers, a separate pantry, and premium built-in appliances by Miele. Spa-inspired bathrooms feature custom-designed vanities with full-width mirrors, a choice of porcelain or stone tile flooring, luxurious soaker tubs and semiprivate water closets.

The amenities at Harbour Plaza make it difficult to ever want to leave home. Residents will be able to enjoy a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a relaxing indoor pool, a fireplace lounge, games room, and party room. An expansive outdoor landscaped terrace with a reflecting pool, will offer lounge seating, barbecues and dining areas.

Menkes is one of the most well-known and trusted home builders in Toronto, with over 60 years of history and more than 25,000 units built. The company has been recognized as one of the top builders in Ontario for quality and customer service, and is also the builder of the super-luxury Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville district.

Visit the Menkes Condo Centre, located at 770 Bay Street. The Condo Centre is open from noon to 6 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and from noon to 5 p.m. weekends; closed Fridays.



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The National Home Show & Canada Blooms

The National Home Show Continues to Meld Home and Design

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The National Home Show Continues to Meld Home and Design

by Dena Gouweloos

“Okay Google, make me some coffee.”

Imagine a morning where you didn’t have to roll out of bed, struggle to locate your slippers, shuffle to the kitchen and to painstakingly make yourself a cup of coffee just to get motivated in the morning. What if you could make a freshly-brewed pot from the comfort of your bed? Or, clean the house without having to lift a mop and getting your hands dirty? Or change the channel without a 15-minute search for the ever-elusive remote?

You can see why the concept of a hands-free, tech-filled home is appealing, but did you know it is also possible? Homes are getting “smarter,” more efficient and, above all, with small upgrades, new technology and connected appliances, homes are now reflecting our lifestyles and needs like never before.

“Tech-integrated homes are the way of the future,” says Denise Hayward, show manager for the National Home Show, presented by RE/MAX and co-located with Canada Blooms. “Connecting our living spaces through voice-activated controls and creating self-cleaning rooms are things we once thought only possible in sci-fi movies, but the reality is that it’s easier than ever a turn your space into a handsfree smart home.”

From automatic environment monitoring to voice-controlled everything, our homes have become an extension of our on-the-go lifestyles. The invention of home-automation systems like Google Home and Amazon Echo have revolutionized the way we live, with the option to integrate A.I. such as ‘Alexa’ and ‘Siri’ into everything from our kitchen appliances, thermostats, TVs, garage doors and much more. Gone are the days of coming home to a freezing cold house or forgetting your grocery list at home – press a button and the contents of your fridge are accessible at your fingertips.


March 9 to 18, 2018

Enercare Centre
Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Boulevard



“New tech adds an unprecedented level of convenience to the way we live, order food and even shop, so it seems fitting to access these tools in our homes,” adds Hayward. “Whether it’s a simple addition of a no-touch faucet to help keep hands germ-free and clean, or as complex as a new fridge with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities that sends a text when you’re low on milk, it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come and how smoothly and seamlessly these new tools can be integrated into the design of your home.”

While we’ve yet to reach a Jetsons-level of high-tech furniture and conveyor belt floorboards, it’s hard to believe that total home automation isn’t the end goal for developers. Technology and innovation companies are continuing to build and improve upon connectivity and automation in household appliances, and consumers across every market are eager to discover what’s next for their homes.

The trend isn’t going away anytime soon, either—contractors, interior designers, builders and trade shows are featuring more home tech than ever before as new connections and hands-free tools are created. You can see how integrated tech and home design come together seamlessly at the Best Buy feature at the 2018 National Home Show.


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Neighbourhood Watch: Midtown Toronto

Neighbourhood Watch: Midtown Toronto

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Neighbourhood Watch: Midtown Toronto

by Gale Beeby

The neighbourhood is booming thanks to the condo craze and improved transit

Housing Options

Forest Hill, Deer Park, Casa Loma and Summerhill are some of the most upscale neighbourhoods in the city and boast some of the most exclusive residences, both new and historic. Davisville Village is a sought-after neighbourhood, home to many residential highrise apartments and boutique shops. Its many large Victorian and Tudor homes are among the most expensive residences in the city.

The centre of Midtown is Yonge and Eglinton, which has been undergoing a condo boom of late, which has resulted in a surge of commercial building and a massive influx of young urban professionals and families. In the next decade, there will be many new condos built in the neighbourhood. Click here for a full list of condos for sale.

Casa Loma
Casa Loma

Leisure Pursuits

The new Eglinton Crosstown LRT is making the area hot again after a decade or two of neglect, so expect to see new clubs, restos and area amenities boom in the next few years.

Casa Loma is a Gothic Revival-style house and gardens built as the residence for financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt between 1911-1914, and designed by E.J. Lennox (Old City Hall and the King Edward Hotel). It is one of Toronto’s great landmarks and is always worth a visit. The Spadina Museum, a historic manor on Spadina Road, is now a museum that has preserved the house much as it existed in the 1860s.

Parks & Rec

There are many small parks in Midtown, but the largest swath of green space is the historic and pastoral Mount Pleasant Cemetery and the hidden St. Michael’s Cemetery. The cemeteries encourage visitors, walkers and hikers to use its many paths and benches.

Yonge & Eglinton
Yonge & Eglinton

Retail Therapy

The area is ripe with shopping areas, but only has one large mall, the Yonge Eglinton Centre, which boasts an enormous Chapters store as well as a multi-screen Cineplex. With all the new developments underway, major U.S. retailers are moving into the area, including Restoration Hardware and Urban Outfitters.

Davisville Village, Forest Hill and the strip of Bayview Avenue south of Eglinton boasts great boutique shopping, florists, bakeries and cafés, but it’s Yonge and Summerhill that’s famous for its gourmet food stores and the flagship LCBO outlet, built in an old train station — worth the visit if only to see the amazing architecture.

Easy Access

Subway, streetcars, all-night buses and soon the Crosstown LRT service the area. Union Station is just a short hop away on the subway, giving commuters access to GO Transit. Highway 401 is just to the north, the Allan Expressway to the west and the DVP is east, making commuting anywhere in the GTA easy.


Walk Score: 96

Bike Score: 66

Ride Score: 92



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The best winter destinations outside of Toronto

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The best winter destinations outside of Toronto

You don’t have to escape Ontario to start enjoying the winter season; here are our favourite spots within driving distance of Toronto.

Winter isn’t over yet but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Rather than fighting it, why not embrace it? The winter season can be a great way to get out and explore some romantic spots outside of Toronto.

Pack your bags, grab your boots and hop in the car. We’ve rounded up our favourite spots for enjoying the snow and fresh air outside of Toronto.

Blue Mountain

Located only two hours outside of the city, Blue Mountain is the perfect spot for snow sport lovers. Modelled after Tremblant and Whistler, you’ll find posh restaurants, great shopping and tons of ski hills to keep you busy all weekend. With the season winding down, you may get some great rates to enjoy that last little bit of snow. Don’t forget to check out Scandinave spa if you’re going to be in the area — their outdoor “hot springs” and relaxing massages will definitely have you forgetting your weekly stresses.


Known for being a great spot in the summer for wineries, Niagara-on-the-Lake is also a fantastic spot in the winter. Many of the wineries are still open and as an added bonus you won’t have to fight the crazy crowds like you often do in the summer months. Make sure to wander around the main strip in Niagara-on-the-lake for some shopping and fine dining. Enjoy afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel or get pampered at one of the glamorous hotel spas.

Ottawa Valley

Looking to get a little further outside of Toronto? Try the Ottawa Valley. The four-hour drive is worth it once you get there. Blanketed in snow, peacefully quiet and more fresh air than you can handle, the Ottawa Valley is a great trip for those who love the outdoors. A fun activity to try is Nordic skiing at the Opeongo Nordic ski club. This volunteer-run organization is free for everyone to use and absolutely gorgeous. You will also find some gorgeous snowshoeing trails at the Shaw Woods Outdoor Education Centre. Home to North America’s oldest forest, you may even find some amazing wildlife wandering around.


Let’s face it; some people just hate winter so much they want to escape from it. Where else would be best to go (besides down South of course) but Buffalo? Hiding inside the many different shops and malls in the area will make you forget the horrible weather outside. Plus, we all know that shopping is way more fun in the United States. If you plan your trip right, you may even catch the Leafs playing the Sabres for a good price.

What are you waiting for? Get booking!

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveller based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone, you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at www.therestlessworker.com


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New release of suites and incentives at Pemberton Group’s latest downtown Condominium

There’s good news at Social, Pemberton Group‘s 52-storey point tower situated at Church and Dundas in downtown Toronto. You’ll now find a new collection of suites priced in the $400,000s, plus act now and you can take advantage of the newly reduced deposit structure.

Suites showcase Pemberton's renowned features and finishes.
Suites showcase Pemberton’s renowned features and finishes.

Boasting a 95 Walk Score, and 100 Transit and Bike Scores, Social embodies a partnership between amenities and convenience just steps to Ryerson University, St. Michael’s Hospital, Yonge and Dundas Square, Eaton Centre and Dundas Subway Station, and the multitude of shopping, restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues in the surrounding area.

Pemberton’s renowned top-quality features and finishes include – all as per plan: 7 ½-inch wide laminate flooring, smooth ceilings, and 9-foot ceiling heights in the principal rooms, custom-quality kitchen cupboards with under-cabinet lighting, stainless steel finish kitchen appliance package, front-loading stacked washer and dryer, and spa-inspired bathrooms. Suites come with roller shades for windows and patio or balcony sliding doors.

One of two landscaped terraces with outdoor lounge.
One of two landscaped terraces with outdoor lounge.

There will be two storeys of onsite amenities totalling 14,000 square feet on the 5th and 52nd floors. Health and wellness facilities include a wraparound landscaped terrace with outdoor lounge; large well-equipped Fitness Centre with cardio equipment, strength machines and free weights; Men’s and Women’s change rooms with showers, a steam room, sauna and locker room; yoga/Pilates studio. The stunning Social Club includes: Outdoor lounge with dining and barbeques; expansive party room with private dining, bar and catering kitchen; amenity lounge with a TV and reading area with cozy seating; billiards/ping pong room with TV and bar; two Wi-Fi study rooms each with seating, desks and docking stations; Multimedia room with widescreen TV; men’s, women’s and universal washrooms.

Stay connected in Social's Wi-Fi study rooms.
Stay connected in Social’s Wi-Fi study rooms.

Suites range in style from studios, to one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom, two-bedroom plus den, and three-bedroom layouts, and in sizes from 420 to 915 square feet. First occupancy is slated for Summer 2022.

Prices and specifications are correct at press time. See a sales representative for full details. You can also follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

The sales office is at 183 Front. St. East, at Sherbourne. For more information, call 416.419.9553.

To register for Social and learn more about Pemberton’s many fine communities, visit pembertongroup.com.


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Aoyuan Property Group to develop its largest project in Canada

Aoyuan Property Group to develop its largest project in Canada

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Aoyuan Property Group to develop its largest project in Canada

Plans to redevelop Newtonbrook Plaza site backed by a robust portfolio of residential developments in China, Australia and Vancouver.

Aoyuan Property Group, a pioneer of mixed-use community developments in China, is now bringing their broad lifestyle intelligence to Toronto with the redevelopment of the 8.6-acre Newtonbrook Plaza site at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue.

Aoyuan’s acquisition of Newtonbrook Plaza was one of the largest real estate deals in Toronto in 2017.

Founded in 1996, Aoyuan was the first developer in China to integrate residential real estate with sport and recreation amenities. Their first sports-themed development, named Olympic Garden, was based on the idea that exercise and a healthy lifestyle started at home. The concept was celebrated by the International Olympics Committee, ushering in a new standard for residential communities in China.

Two decades later, the Hong Kong-based company has demonstrated their ongoing commitment to building healthy lifestyle communities with a current land bank of over 200 million square feet and 100 major residential and commercial properties in over 30 cities across China, Australia and Canada.

Aoyuan’s philosophy of healthy living has also expanded to the creation of six different business arms ranging from e-commerce to hospitality. Innovative projects include a mobile app that integrates e-commerce with property management, and a large-scale — and every kid’s dream — chocolate theme park.

“Aoyuan’s entry into Toronto is very exciting news for the development community, says Vince Santino, senior vice president, development (Eastern Canada), Aoyuan Property Holdings (Canada) Ltd. “Aoyuan brings a unique approach to the way we think about the built environment and real estate. Building healthy lifestyle communities was part of their DNA from the beginning,”

“Aoyuan knows real estate is not only about giving people a two- or three-bedroom unit. They have a corporate intelligence about the way people live, which gets baked into their master plans,” says Santino, who has 25 years of experience in Toronto’s real estate development industry.

The 8.6-acre Newtonbrook Plaza site at Yonge and Finch will be Aoyuan’s largest master-planned community in Canada. Plans include five residential towers, 180,000 square feet of office and retail space, as well as a daycare and community centre. The new community will be 100 metres from the Yonge and Finch TTC subway station and the Finch GO Transit station. A portion of the lands that is currently a parking lot will be transformed into a new park and playground. Aoyuan has also embraced the city’s desire to encourage larger suites for families of all shapes and sizes.

“The magnitude of what Aoyuan has accomplished is incredibly diverse and this gives them a very broad perspective,” says Josie Arcella, senior sales and marketing manager (Eastern Canada. “Aoyuan takes into consideration exactly how purchasers will be affected by every decision they make. Aoyuan’s designs are not based solely on global trends, but on the functionality of the entire community and what buyers really need.”

Fundamental to Aoyuan’s international success is their hyper-local on-the-ground approach. In every city, Aoyuan handpicks local talent who understand the development landscape and nuances of the local market. As a result, Aoyuan’s international portfolio is diverse and their projects are very successful with local purchasers.

“Aoyuan’s diverse business arms allowed them to develop a deep understanding of people’s lifestyles and behaviours and build a strong service-oriented approach to real estate development,” says Fan Yang, deputy general manager (Eastern Canada). “I am excited to be part of the local team that is bringing Aoyuan’s expertise to Toronto. The Newtonbrook Plaza site has all the right ingredients, and Aoyuan has what it takes to help make Toronto more liveable for families.”



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Four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto

Four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto

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Four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto

by Madisyn McKee

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to make a good return on your investment, you need to consider these Toronto neighbourhoods

The amount of change and growth happening in Toronto is evident by simply looking at the skyline. Many have joked that the bird of Toronto should be the crane and it’s not hard to guess why; everywhere one looks there are new developments being created, proposed, approved and built.

With housing prices skyrocketing and the new mortgage rules taking effect, many Torontonians are looking for alternative ways to get on the ladder. One of the best ways to get the most out of your money is to start looking at neighbourhoods that are in the process of gentrification.

Take a look at four up-and-coming neighbourhoods in Toronto that will likely put you in a good position to make a decent return on your investment:

Regent Park

Don’t let the history of this neighbourhood scare you off. A 2017 MoneySense article claims this area is going through a dramatic change at the moment. One of the main reasons this area has stayed so affordable for so long are the number of low-income properties, but things are starting to shift. The new aquatic centre is a great example of the positive changes happening to the community.  If you have the patience to wait for the city to catch up, you could make a good return on investment.


Despite this area getting attention for a couple of years now, it’s not too late to get in. In fact, TorontoRentals.com noted this area as being one of the best for first-time homebuyers. The new York Community Centre that opened in April 2017, and the Stockyards Open Mall have made this quite the hotspot. While it’s not the best location for transit at the moment, the Eglington Crosstown isn’t too far away from opening and, once it does, this area will certainly grow in price.

East End-Danforth

Many of the homes in this neighbourhood have been loved for years but are now getting much needed makeovers. The area is close to both Woodbine beach and the TTC making it a smart place to invest money. Many builders are snapping up older homes in the area for quick renovations and selling them at a large profit. It’s a great spot for young families and first-time home buyers as the area has a vibrant nightlife. There are also plenty of independent shops and restaurants to enjoy.

Yonge and Sheppard

This Toronto neighbourhood has seen drastic changes in the last number of years and shows no signs of stopping. Many homebuyers will find affordable pricing here as many still deem it as “too far North.” Situated close to the TTC, residents are only a 25-minute subway ride into the downtown core. Don’t forget there is also plenty to do in the area so as not to warrant a venture into the city.

Madisyn is a freelance writer and social media obsessed traveler based out of Toronto. Always looking for her next adventure but glued to her phone you can contact her at madi@therestlessworker.com or visit her at therestlessworker.com.


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Theatre District Condominiums

Theatre District Condominiums

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Theatre District Condominiums

Landmark architecture and a coveted location set new Plaza condominium apart

As its name suggests, Theatre District Condominiums is a dream location for anyone who enjoys the arts, entertainment and a sophisticated urban lifestyle.

The project, coming soon from Plaza, is in the coveted Entertainment District, in the midst of some of the city’s most desirable shopping, nightlife and dining options. It’s a highly walkable neighbourhood that’s well served by transit and offers easy access to the PATH system.

Theatre District promises to be a landmark development, incorporating three distinctive elements: a south residential 49-storey tower, six historic rowhouses at 8 Widmer Street, and a north tower at 28 Widmer at the corner of Adelaide that will include a new international 26-storey hotel and 23-storey residential condo. Widmer is a quiet residential street just steps from the action of the Entertainment District and the excitement of the annual Toronto International Film Festival.

Theatre District Condominiums will respect the King West neighbourhood’s heritage flavour while exemplifying the best in urban living, says Les Klein, principal of Quadrangle Architects. Quadrangle has played a vital role in the revitalization of Downtown West, with key projects that helped to define the community identity, including 299 Queen Street West (originally home to CityTV and MuchMusic) and Studio on Richmond, an elegant two-tower condo development.

The materials, scale and detailing of Theatre District towers’ 11-storey podium pays tribute to the 1920s Art Deco-era Commodore Building immediately west of Adelaide in what used to be the Fashion District. The slender towers above the podiums use faceted, shaded metal panels within an elegant pattern to accentuate the verticality of the structures and offer expansive windows to emphasize the views. The hotel and condominiums of 28 Widmer are seamlessly interwoven in the tower design, and the upper level residential suites enjoy expansive downtown views. 8 Widmer’s tower employs a similar architectural vocabulary, rotated 90 degrees to the main axis of 28 Widmer to maximize views, says Klein.

The towers’ individual lobbies are connected internally and they share amenity spaces at the ground floor and the third floor of the podium at 8 Widmer.

“Thinking about the two towers, we wanted to make them feel like part of a family, not to be identical or even fraternal twins,” says Klein. He says one of the cool things about Toronto is that “you can turn a corner and have a completely different experience. In some neighbourhoods, around every corner there is delight and surprise. We love to build on that sense.”

The six rowhouses that are part of the Theatre District Condominiums site provided the opportunity to create that surprise. They will be restored to their former glory in accordance with heritage guidelines and offered as live-work units. Klein says one dilemma was how to pay homage to the rowhouses in the centre of the development and not have the north tower block the view of them from the corner. The answer was to literally cut out the first two floors of the podium and create a large canopy that forms the entrance on Adelaide.

“It’s a lovely time warp and the canopy hangs over it in a magical way. All of a sudden, you go around the corner and you’re suddenly on an 18th century street,” says Klein. “These are going to be restored as proud examples of worker housing, but with a modern flavour catering to the worker of today who wants to integrate work, live and play. There will be six distinct addresses and will be a unique opportunity. Plaza has a vision of how this will provide an opportunity for incubator businesses and entrepreneurs.”

Tower residents will enjoy first-class exclusive amenities at Theatre District Condominiums, including an outdoor pool, fully-equipped gym and party room, says Scott McLellan, Plaza’s senior vice president. They’ll also be able to appreciate the amenity-rich neighbourhood that includes some of the city’s best retail stores and restaurants.

The suites are priced so a wide variety of buyers will be able to take advantage of the city lifestyle in a Triple A location.

“We have junior one-bedroom suites priced from $375,000 to $400,000, perfect for first-time buyers and empty nesters who want to have a place to hang their hat in the Entertainment District,” says McLellan. Those units will also attract investor interest.

Plaza has enjoyed great success with its well-designed two-bedroom, two-bath suites at other projects, and these will be part of the mix at Theatre District (including corner units), 625 to 650 square feet in size, priced from $595,000 to $625,000. A generous 15 per cent of units has been allocated to three-bedroom units of 812 to 884 square feet in size, priced from $775,000 to $990,000, including the penthouse and lower penthouse floors.

With its juxtaposition of heritage and contemporary elements, sophisticated residential living and dynamic street, Theatre District epitomizes the best in urbane city living.

To register, visit PurePlaza.com/Toronto-Condos/Theatre-District/Register.


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Cover Story: MORE is MORE

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Cover Story: MORE is MORE

Personality, not square footage, drives this design

By Vicky Sanderson • Photography By Asa Weinstein

Asked if executing maximalist design in small spaces is particularly challenging, Meredith Heron shrugs.

Two stools are tucked under the table (made by Heron’s mother) in the foyer also serve as extra seating at the dining table.

All it really takes, explains the Toronto-based designer, is extremely close attention to the scale, depth, and height of furniture, an appreciation of architectural constraints, an ability to weave pattern and texture through window treatments, seating, and rugs in a layered tonal palette, and the deft blending of art and accessories into an interesting, personally meaningful, and handsome mix.

Simple, right?

Heron’s own economically-sized Victorian home in downtown Toronto, less than 1,000 square feet and with a living/ dining area just nine feet wide and 21 feet long, accomplishes all that effortlessly, proving that small spaces are not necessarily best served by unrelenting understatement.


“Of course, there are personality types that thrive in a minimalist environment. Those are not my people,” says Heron, who shares the home with life/work partner, Asa Weinstein, and their son Luke, eight.

“I could not put three things in a room—of any size—and call it done. Besides, that’s not how people live. Where do guys put their pocket change and keys? A maximalist style makes it easier to disguise clutter, which is always going to happen.”


Heron, who bought the house with Weinstein 14 years ago, explains that a clumsy 1970s renovation had, among other things, hidden original mouldings under a drywall ceiling that gobbled up about 12 inches of the room’s 11-foot height.

Dining chairs are covered in fabric designed by Meredith Heron through JF Fabrics

The water-damaged original moulding underneath was completely replaced, except for the original medallion in the foyer. “We liked that it looked old, and wanted to keep that charm and speak to the antiquity of the house.” Vinyl floors were replaced with in herringbone oak.


The colour conversation for this space starts with walls washed in Benjamin Moore’s Full Moon 2119-70

The colour conversation for this space starts with walls washed in Benjamin Moore’s Full Moon. Technically an off white, it has enough pigment that it’s “heading toward pale blue or iris,” and is well-suited to silver, purple, and periwinkle tones, says Heron.

A Thomas O’Brien chair from Century Furniture in soft-blue leather provides extra seating.

Hints of purple and cornflower blue turn up in the sofa, custom-made by Gresham House to ensure that it did not exceed 33 inches front to back (standard is 36 inches).

“We worked really hard to minimize the guts of the back to allow for the maximum seat depth,” says Heron. “That’s one of the benefits of working with people who can customize within a framework—it doesn’t really have to add to the cost.”

Decorative boxes hide everything from toothpicks to candles and lighters on a glass coffee table that allows the eye to follow the pattern without interruption.


The piece is covered in a Bargello (flame) stitch in a family-friendly Crypton fabric that Heron thinks is assertive but not aggressive.

“People think they should not put a busy pattern on a sofa, so they put a tiny Herringbone or fretwork woven fabric. But the patterns are often way too small and they just make the piece seem dinkier and too traditional.”

Plaster mouldings are a more ornate design than would have been seen more frequently in Victorian homes in New York rather than sedate Toronto.

Patterns on pillows for the sofa both play with scale and connect with other elements in the room. Tones of the embroidery on a pillow with a modern Greek-key design echo the sofa, for example, while the grey on the back of the Robert Allen burnt-velvet leopard print, which Heron uses “all the time, in every project,” is a colour cousin to the draperies.

“All those tone together, so that it’s all quite complementary. That kind of sliding scale makes your eye move across the room, and makes it seem bigger,” she says.

A sofa tucks neatly into the space, while a pair of vintage Vladimir Kagan chairs “soften” an angular bay window.

Pattern, says Heron, can be “your best friend” in a small space, if kept within a consistent colour palette. Here, the living room rug is a bold trellis in an anchoring blue of Heron’s own design, which she favoured in part because “when you put a grid down on the floor, your eye follows the pattern and it spreads out and (space) seems bigger.”


There are lots of personal touches, including piles of books, and a crowd of photographs of family and friends on an entranceway table. Art includes a print of a photograph taken of a very young Luke on a beach, the sunny blue of his gingham shirt mirroring lampshades that sit opposite.


Storage that is “really well thought-out” will be key in a small space, says Heron, who designed a shallow buffet/bar console to provide a crucial 12 inches of storage. Made from printed acrylic sheeting from fabricator Lumigraf on a plywood-box construction, it was built by a “brilliant” cabinetmaker who was bedevilled—but not defeated—by the intricate bevelling she requested.


Heron, who says good lighting is always a worthwhile splurge, prefers “over scale, dramatic lighting” in small spaces, especially those with higher ceilings. In the dining area, Heron likes that a large, spikey bronze fixture “feels like sculpture rather than sparkle.”

“A lot of people think that removing personality makes a space feel bigger and brighter and more open. But no matter what size your house is, it needs to reflect you. If it doesn’t, you are lying to yourself. And to everyone else, that is not who you are.”

SOURCES Most items were sourced through Meredith Heron Design LIVING ROOM: RUG: Ellwood through Meredith Heron Design, Thomas O’Brien CHAIR: Century Furniture CHANDELIER: Arteriors through Meredith Heron DINING ROOM: Dining CHAIRS FABRIC PATTERN designed by Meredith Heron through JF Fabrics LIGHTING FIXTURES: Kelly Wearstler through Meredith Heron FOYER: Hide RUG from Meredith Heron Collection

Designer and television host Meredith Heron characterizes her work as an extensive conversation with colour, form, pattern and texture. meredithheron.com


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