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.