All posts by Regina Gadacz

SkyTower at Pinnacle One Yonge

Pinnacle raises the bar at SkyTower at Pinnacle One Yonge – a legendary address

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Pinnacle raises the bar at SkyTower at Pinnacle One Yonge – a legendary address

The wait is nearly over for those hoping to make Pinnacle One Yonge their new residential address. Coming soon, Pinnacle International‘s striking new 95-storey development, now in pre-construction, will rise up from the very heart of downtown Toronto at the foot of Yonge Street – where the storied thoroughfare meets the lake.

The impressive project and the tallest residential building in Canada, with its 2,500 condominium homes, will pump even more life and excitement into this desirable area. Pinnacle One Yonge’s 4.4-million sq. ft. community with 1.5 million sq. ft. of office, 160,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and a 250-room hotel with meeting spaces and a ballroom will certainly strengthen the pulse of this iconic waterfront neighbourhood. Plans further include 2.5 acres of park space, and 50,000 sq. ft. of community centre. This famous address will have everything a sophisticated urbanite could desire.

Transit arteries will run directly from the landmark location to a PATH connection and a variety of travel options, awarding SkyTower at Pinnacle One Yonge a Transit Score of 100 out of 100. And with some of the city’s finest cultural offerings within walking distance, SkyTower will be the most perfectly located community in the city.

This bold and progressive vision by Pinnacle International will draw residents who want the ultimate lifestyle with every transit option, major sports venues and the entire financial and entertainment districts right outside their door. It’s a landmark address for a true landmark building.

“There’s an importance to this site,” notes Pinnacle’s Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Anson Kwok. “We appreciate the history of the location and so we wanted to embrace it. As a result, we’ve worked with the city for seven years to ensure that we could plan something really special for Pinnacle One Yonge.”

That measure of planning has paid off, as the design of Pinnacle One Yonge is as extraordinary as its location.

The impact of SkyTower, springing up 95 storeys from the ground, will be to transform Toronto’s skyline, providing unparalleled views for its residents and earning the distinction of being the country’s tallest residential tower at more than 1,000 ft. high.

As designed by architects Hariri Pontarini Architect, the curved structure won’t just impress from the outside. The elegantly appointed lobby will feature a 24-hour concierge and suites will have impeccable finishes with functional and creative layouts.

SkyTower’s suite design will be second to none. In addition to the breathtaking views that are unmatched in the country, the suites will be bright and airy. Elegant and distinctive interior features include custom kitchen cabinetry, sleek integrated appliances, smooth ceilings, and wide plank laminate flooring.

Living this large is worth sharing with friends and family, and SkyTower’s chic kitchen design affords residents the space and aesthetic to entertain in style. The custom kitchen cabinetry is sleek and smartly designed for maximum storage. And with the track lighting and under-cabinet lighting, concealed hood fan, brand name appliances, quartz countertops and backsplashes, and pull-out pantry, prepping meals will be an inspired event.

Pinnacle understands that active residents want more than simple comfort and the chance to entertain. Today’s discerning homebuyer expects an amenities package that accommodates their healthy, active lifestyle.

“We’re standing behind Pinnacle One Yonge being more than just luxury buildings,” says Kwok. “In addition to the large units and phenomenal views, residents will enjoy a community that one would expect for modern conveniences.”

Pinnacle has indeed delivered on that promise, as SkyTower will feature not just an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, but a serene yoga room, a terrace with barbecue facilities, a games room and a designer-decorated party room with a kitchenette.

True to its word, the developer has recognized the value and potential of the surrounding land, envisioning a build that is both community-oriented and forward-thinking.

Future developments also include Pinnacle’s commitment to designing 2.5 acres of public-access green park space.

Says Kwok, “One of the things that defines Pinnacle, and the Pinnacle One Yonge project in particular, is our ability to locate and build upon huge parcels of land. We like to work on large-scale projects: Mixed-use communities that enhance not just the residential sector but address the greater community needs as well.”

To be one of the first to learn more about this lifestyle opportunity, register now online.


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Ashgrove Meadows

Ashgrove Meadows has picture perfect living in Port Perry

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Ashgrove Meadows has picture perfect living in Port Perry

Picture Homes has a personal history with Port Perry, having been a contributing builder to the town for the past 50 years. For this reason, alone, they are intimately aware of choice locations and all that the area has to offer. Their newest neighbourhood is called Ashgrove Meadows.

Few towns are known for their desirable location, and have retained their downtown core, like Port Perry. Located on the shores of Lake Scugog, this community checks all the boxes for those who are looking for a simpler way of life in a charming, small-town setting, but with convenient proximity to urban amenities.

Stylish designs

Situated just west of Simcoe Street and south of Highway 7, Ashgrove Meadows introduces a collection of bungalows and two-storey homes on 30-, 37-, 40- and 50- foot lots. While the homes are suitable for a wide range of buyers, empty nesters are finding them especially appealing. Architectural elements on the exteriors include dimensional facades, contrasting textures and oversized windows.

Inside, single family layouts feature nine-foot ceilings on the main floor, country kitchens and spectacular master suites. Select designs include dramatic two-storey foyers, double-sided fireplaces and Juliet balconies as per plan.

Homes are priced from $539,900, and also feature fine finishes throughout, which include hardwood floors, ceramic tiles, quartz countertops in the kitchen and glass showers in the bathroom.

The good life

Step back in time and stroll the main street of Port Perry. Here, you will discover boutique-style shopping in historic buildings, restaurants and coffee houses – all with personalized customer service by the local shop keepers.

Within the town, you’ll find a great library, sports facilities, public pools, a museum and leisure areas. The main street ends on the shores of Lake Scugog, where you can stroll the shoreline or have a picnic in one of the waterfront parks.

When exploring the surrounding area, be sure to stop off at artist studios, antiques’ and farmers’ markets. Multiple golf courses are close at hand, and with three conservation areas nearby, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and birding enthusiasts can enjoy their pastimes to the fullest.

Port Perry also boasts a thriving cultural community. Residents and visitors promote live performances in the historic Town Hall, as well as the Borelians and the Scugog Choral Society.

A little further afield on Scugog Island is the Great Blue Heron Casino, as well as a local brewery and a farm winery.

Slated to become one of Port Perry’s most charming communities, home purchasers can plan to move into their new home at Ashgrove Meadows in late fall of 2020.




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Local Focus - Newmarket & Aurora

Newmarket & Aurora are close to the city, but far from the hustle and bustle

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Newmarket & Aurora are close to the city, but far from the hustle and bustle

With some homebuyers priced out of the downtown Toronto core, not to mention limited availability, many are heading to the suburbs in search of more affordable homes.

Those looking north – to Newmarket and Aurora – may indeed find savings. They may also get more bang for their buck, in the way of larger properties and lots for those prices.

But it isn’t all about paying less in Newmarket and Aurora, where proximity to nature, including the Oak Ridges Moraine, and expanding highway and transit infrastructure, make living here and working in Toronto or elsewhere in the GTA an appealing option.


Located just seven kms north of Aurora, with a population of about 85,000, Newmarket gets lots of love.

In a recent survey conducted by the Town, 95 per cent of residents said they are satisfied with Newmarket as a place to live, and 80 per cent are satisfied with overall service levels.

“The feedback received from the Community Survey results support Newmarket’s reputation as one of the Best Places to Live in Canada, according to MoneySense Magazine,” says Mayor John Taylor.

Indeed, Newmarket was ranked in the top 25 communities in Canada in 2016 and 14th among best small cities. In 2017, Amazon Canada rated it as number 20 of the top 100 most romantic cities in Canada.

Also, as is the case with Aurora, the elections in 2018 brought change to Newmarket, when then-Mayor Tony Van Bynen decided not to seek re-election. John Taylor took over, making the economy, business growth, community building and expanding new housing developments his top priorities.


Located in York Region, Aurora is an increasingly popular and affluent town. According to the 2016 Census, the population here grew 4.2 per cent from 2011 to 55,445 – but is forecast to grow to more than 69,000 by the end of 2020.

With an average household income of more than $155,000, Aurora is one of the wealthiest towns, not just in the province, but in all of Canada.

What’s causing such growth? An increasingly diverse economy and business expansion, which drive housing demand and rising prices.

Through it all, Aurora has been able to maintain a small-town feel. In 2016, it was ranked as one of the Top 25 places to live in Canada.

Still, the October 2018 municipal election brought change to Aurora. Tom Mrakas unseated incumbent Geoff Dawe, running on a platform centred around housing and growth. He had said he wants to ensure better land use planning decisions are made through the Local Appeals Body and by implementing a Design Review Panel. He also intends to uphold the Official Plan and continue to oppose golf course redevelopment and improve municipal infrastructure.

Location, location, location

• Newmarket, population 84,224, 7 kms north of Aurora

• Aurora, population 55,445, 49 kms north of Toronto

Select housing developments


Glenway Urban Towns by Andrin Homes

Shining Hill by CountryWide Homes

Shining Hill by Regal Crest Homes

Shining Hill by Townwood Homes


Allegro by Geranium Homes

Paradise Aurora by Paradise Developments

Queen’s Grove Collection by North Star Homes

Aurora Townhomes by Andrin Homes


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Reno Advice: No Permit, No Way!

No permit? No way

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No permit? No way

Would you have someone fix your brakes without knowing if that person was qualified to do so? Would you be fine with driving off without knowing if the job was properly inspected? Well, if you’re thinking about doing a renovation without a building permit, hit the brakes. It’s a car crash waiting to happen.

Short-sighted savings

No permit? No problem. That’s what some people believe. They couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a costly disaster in the making. Permits exist to protect you and your biggest investment – your home. A permit is your insurance and peace of mind. It is not something to be avoided.

People may sidestep the permit process thinking they will save time and money. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If a neighbour or unhappy tenant complains and an inspector shows up, redoing the work will be way more costly and time-consuming. Or worse, a fire starts because electrical work wasn’t done to code. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen scenarios like this play out first-hand, since my company is often called in to remedy this complicated mess.

Keep it above board

Don’t do it. And don’t trust a contractor that would. Anyone with a sound reputation as a builder would never risk doing a job this way. Only a fly-by-night outfit would even consider doing a job without a building permit. Besides, they – and you – are breaking the law. Would you have faith in someone willing to do that? Would you entrust that person to do your renovation properly? I didn’t think so.

Proper measures protect your property

Building according to code and standards is also civically responsible. Permits protect property owners, but moreover, maintain the integrity of our world-class city. Safe, sustainable buildings are the very foundation of vibrant communities.

The last word

Here’s another cautionary tale I know all too well. We’ve seen this movie before. Think about what will happen when you want to sell your house. A home inspector will surely point out any building infractions or discrepancies. This will undoubtedly lead to a slew of unwelcome surprises like untold expenses, delays and stress, at a time when you are likely making a critical life move and expecting to reap the benefits of the equity you’ve worked so hard to build. Forget the open house, you’ve just opened up a can of worms. The very things you’re trying to save – time and money – can come back to haunt you tenfold in the form of a dreaded redo. Building without a permit is saving pennies today only to lose dollars tomorrow.

GUY SOLOMON is the founder and CEO of Penguin Basements.


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Team tiny - Upsize your life by downsizing your home

Team tiny – Upsize your life by downsizing your home

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Team tiny – Upsize your life by downsizing your home

Photography: Daniel Ott of True North Tiny Homes

The tiny home movement is making a big impact. Whether you’re a baby boomer whose kids have left the nest or a millennial interested in buying an affordable first home in your dream location, downsizing to a tiny home is more than living in a smaller space, it’s about simplifying your life and getting down to the things that matter most.

A surprisingly spacious and luxurious kitchen features quartz countertops, four-burner gas cooktop, dishwasher and closed storage.
A surprisingly spacious and luxurious kitchen features quartz countertops, four-burner gas cooktop, dishwasher and closed storage.

We’ve noticed these tiny, innovative home options have gained widespread appeal across Canada and even globally. Why? Because they give homeowners more control over what makes sense for their lifestyle and future. We’re all for anything that helps homeowners live their best life.

The Millennial has 280 sq. ft. of living space including the loft. It is a 24'-long, moveable trailer; the width is 8.5', and height is 13.5' from bottom wheel to the highest peak of the roof.
The Millennial has 280 sq. ft. of living space including the loft. It is a 24′-long, moveable trailer; the width is 8.5′, and height is 13.5′ from bottom wheel to the highest peak of the roof.

Here we share just a few of the ways you can upsize your life by downsizing your home:

The modern stairway sits above a combo washer/dryer unit that saves space and maximizes function adding extra storage space under the stairway.
The modern stairway sits above a combo washer/dryer unit that saves space and maximizes function adding extra storage space under the stairway.

Redefining the home

There’s a major movement toward redefining the home. Instead of viewing it as the biggest investment of your life, more people are making a move towards living the tiny life because it’s a more affordable path to homeownership. Whether mobile or static, it’s also a move that can give you more flexibility – and who doesn’t crave more of that? Live debt-free faster or just enjoy living in a custom-designed home that’s within your means. In addition to financial freedom, there’s also just freedom. Take your passions with you – literally. With mobile tiny homes, you can travel with your home sweet home in tow, reduce your carbon footprint or live off the grid. There’s nothing holding you back from your next adventure.

Bathroom includes a modern slender vanity, shiplap siding, a completely tiled full-size shower and composting toilet.
Bathroom includes a modern slender vanity, shiplap siding, a completely tiled full-size shower and composting toilet.

A minimalist approach

Life can be a lot – a lot of stress, a lot of pressure, a lot of everything. More and more people are choosing to simplify their lives, there’s a reason why Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of tidying up has taken off. The minimalist approach to tiny living can help you separate what you need, from what you want. Do we all really need to live in 2,000 square feet? For some, that simply sounds like a whole lot more square footage to clean up. It’s also a great way to assess what’s really important in your life. Living in a tiny home can encourage you to focus on the absolute necessities, and let go of the stresses that come with that a lot.

Unbeatable views

Get that million-dollar view without the million-dollar price tag. Living in a tiny home gives you increased mobility, so you can have it parked just about anywhere you’d like, with the view of your choosing. Suddenly, that lakeside oasis you’ve always dreamed of owning is now affordably within reach, or even that trendy downtown neighbourhood, thanks to the growing laneway living trend for tiny homes. If you only want to use it for getaways, tiny homes also make great low-investment Airbnbs, perfect for those who are always on the go.

The rooftop patio ensures that no matter where you park your tiny home, you have dedicated outdoor space to relax and check out the view.
The rooftop patio ensures that no matter where you park your tiny home, you have dedicated outdoor space to relax and check out the view.

Make connections

Living in small quarters has its pros and cons, but one big advantage is the amount of time you get to spend with your housemate(s). Whether it’s friends or family, when you have a smaller space, it’s difficult to avoid quality time together, so inevitably, it leads to closer connections. With more of our time being spent “plugged in,” this lifestyle allows for more face-to-face communication and more time outdoors to truly enjoy the value of experiences over material possessions.

While tiny homes may not be for everyone, there’s no doubt that they are a low-investment homeownership opportunity that provide more freedom and more time for the little things in life that greatly impact our well-being. We’re on team tiny because we believe in the Canadian dream of homeownership, living within your means, and most importantly, that everyone deserves a space to call home. Downsizing, whether it may be to a tiny home or a smaller space, is a great way to make this dream a reality.

Who says you can’t go small and go home?

For more information on tiny houses, check out True North Tiny Homes.

Ken LeBlanc and Walter Melanson founded in 1998 in Moncton, New Brunswick. Today is the largest private home sale network in North America. Their ever-expanding circle of franchises helps customers in over 600 communities from coast-to-coast take control of their real estate experience.


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East City Condos

East City Condos is luxury condominium living in Peterborough

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East City Condos is luxury condominium living in Peterborough

Peterborough is not only the gateway to the Kawarthas, but as a growing urban destination it also offers a diverse cultural identity. For those who love the outdoors, Peterborough has access to fresh water lakes, hiking trails and wilderness escapes. For the modern city-dweller, Peterborough is also home to a plethora of restaurants, coffee houses, boutique shops and big-box stores. Due to this unique duality, Peterborough has become a sought-after location for those who are looking for the best of both worlds.

Raising the bar

Within the city limits is East City Condos. Situated in one of the most coveted neighbourhoods of Peterborough, this community blends modern living with natural elements. This east end location includes a manicured pocket of homes and businesses, and has become the focus of up and coming residential and commercial projects.

East City Condos is designed to be a contemporary interpretation of the original hospital legacy of masonry architecture. Visual interest is enhanced by the deft placement of windows, balconies and Juliet balconies. An interplay of light brick, with a concentration of charcoal brick and a high wall-to-window ratio, will be a significant addition to this trendy area.


As one of the first luxury condominium communities in Peterborough, it is setting the tone for future urbanized development. Over nine floors, East City Condos introduces spacious suites ranging in size from 660 to 1,975 square feet. High-end finishes are featured throughout, and include nine- and 10-foot ceiling heights, quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring.

Residents at East City Condos will have the opportunity to enjoy spectacular views of the city and the surrounding wilderness, whether it be from their own suite or from the shared eighth floor indoor/outdoor lounge area. Modern amenities include under-ground parking, a fully-equipped fitness area, a main-floor dog wash facility and a secure parcel delivery desk, as well as a spectacular lobby with comfortable gathering areas, meeting rooms and professionally landscaped grounds.

Amenity space
Amenity space

Refines tastes

For the more discerning client, East City Condos has set aside the top tier of the building for their Reserve Collection Suites. These suites feature customizable layouts, upgraded finishes, outstanding private rooftop patios and breathtaking views. There’s little doubt that they will become one of the city’s most desirable places to live.

The showroom is now open and sales have been brisk. Visit 447 George Street in north Peterborough, and experience the best of all worlds at East City Condos.




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Tis the season to cosy up to a fire

Tis the season to cosy up to a fire

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Tis the season to cosy up to a fire

The weather is cold and thoughts of cosying up by the fireplace are becoming increasingly enticing. Fireplaces have a certain appeal in our homes, and definitely enhance the look as well as the feel of any room; somehow they are the perfect complement to any decor style. If you reside in a house, adding a fireplace to your home can be a relatively simple process; however, condo-dwellers may encounter a few challenges from space to accessibility, ventilation to finding an electric fireplace that “looks like a real fire.”

Often, condos and lofts are outfitted with gas, or even wood-burning fireplaces. If your home is not this fortunate, however, all is not lost. There are many different possibilities that will still give you the beautiful ambiance a fireplace creates while facilitating any structural or venting limitations you may be facing.

The progression in the design and functionality of electric fireplaces are vast since they first entered the market. Today, electric fireplaces can boast designs that use revolutionary ultrasonic technology to create a life-like flame as well as smoke effects simulating a real wood-burning fire. Advancements in technology have also created a three-dimensional flame, which is a fabulous and realistic design for an electric fireplace. We also have the “open flame” electric fireplace. This is a great design should you want to incorporate a more traditional looking mantel and add a lovely fireplace screen to enhance the look, or incorporate an “open-flame” design into a more modern setting.

We have recently seen the introduction of two-sided electric fireplaces, which undoubtedly can conjure up much by way of design inspiration when planning a renovation. When I’m designing spaces that require an electric fireplace, one of my favourite go-to manufacturers is Dimplex. They have been able to create unparalleled flame technology that is designed to suit any style or decor; and have a large selection of fireplaces to suit a variety of applications.

Another energy-efficient and “eco-smart” option in fireplaces would be ethanol burners.

Ethanol burners do not require a chimney or a flue, there are no restrictive gas connections which means they can almost be installed just about anywhere, providing you with endless design possibilities for your home.

Choosing the right design and function for your fireplace is key to maximizing the usage and enjoyment of your investment. As space can sometimes be limited, the addition of a fireplace to your condo should be well planned. If properly designed, you may find that the fireplace feature can often become a multi-functional element, possibly serving as storage space as well as beautifying your home. With many of the options available today, you may find that incorporating your fireplace into a media console, or a built-in wall unit can facilitate the extra storage space you may need.

Today we are fortunate to have a multitude of fireplace options and functionalities available to us that no longer restrict condodwellers from enjoying the seasonal charms and comforts of a roaring fire. Whether you prefer the traditional, formal mantel or whether your style beckons a more contemporary approach to the design of your fireplace, you undoubtedly will have a wide selection of options and design inspo to choose from. With the season changing, and the colder days among us, why not create an inviting, relaxed space to enjoy?

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.



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Pharrell Williams helps Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties design untitled in Toronto

Pharrell Williams helps Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties design untitled in Toronto

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Pharrell Williams helps Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties design untitled in Toronto

Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties have unveiled complete design and development plans for untitled, a new collaborative project in midtown Toronto with recording artist Pharrell Williams.

The designs are the result of a multi-stage process that saw Reserve and Westdale working with Williams, alongside architects from IBI Group and designers from U31, to realize a collective vision for the project.

“The decision to work with Pharrell was born out of a desire to do something unique for our future residents, the city and architecture as a whole,” says Sheldon Fenton, chief executive officer, Reserve Properties. “We believed by bringing in a cultural icon with vision and ideation from outside the realm of real estate it would allow us to break the mold in terms of what has traditionally been done in multi-residential development in Toronto.”

Working with Williams, the team developed a set of overarching principles that became integral to the overall design process. These included creating spaces with a conscious understanding of how people will feel within them, focusing on design that is both aesthetically inspiring but also purposeful in its function, and incorporating a feeling of natural elements throughout the spaces.

The two-tower residential development will include 751 condominium suites, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, as well as 32,000 sq. ft. of amenity space.

Gust of Wind

The seed for untitled’s architecture is rooted in lead architect Mansoor Kazerouni of IBI Group’s cultural background. Kazerouni introduced the concept of a jugalbandi, a performance in Indian classical music featuring an intricate duet between two solo musicians. The term translates to mean entwined twins and for Kazerouni, a jugalbandi informed how his work could entwine with sound waves from one of Pharrell’s songs. Using parametric design, the sculpted, fluid form of the balconies follows the wave pattern of Williams’ hit song Gust of Wind, articulating the building as a visual abstraction of music.

Interior spaces by Kelly Cray of U31 aim to articulate notions of universality throughout the common areas, amenities and suites. Rather than projecting a lifestyle onto the residents, the goal was for each individual space to serve as a backdrop to the user’s own experience. The result is an exploration of the interplay between nature, essentialism and Japanese inspired minimalism using a palette of plants, water, light and form.

In the lobby, a deep charcoal stone used on the floor wraps up along the walls creating a seamless experience. A cascading water feature adds movement to one’s journey, extending through the arrival hall to the concierge. The flow of water that welcomes residents is purposefully intended to evoke feelings of energy and movement when you first step into the building; an experience that is continued as a memory in surrounding spaces.

An extensive amenity program extends throughout the building’s ground floor and onto the upper levels, with a series of indoor and outdoor spaces that include a co-working garden lounge, screening room, active fitness centre, kids club, a rec room, social lounge and private dining with a sake tasting area, that flow out to the rooftop terraces.

Water and space

A wellness centre, featuring a spa and indoor-outdoor swimming pool round-out the offering with expansive floor to ceiling glass screens separating the two sides of the pool. Views through the screens frame a dramatic, 30-ft. water feature that flows into the far end of the pool.

“To me, the key elements were water and space,” says Williams. “With water moving in the building the way it does, there’s this continuous flow of motion that’s recharging to people. Certain places just hit us as humans, reminding us that we’re alive.”

As part of the block master-plan, the development team will also be building a separate 413-unit purpose-built rental building adjacent to untitled, along with a new public park. The rental building will contain 200 affordable housing units, 165 mid-range units and 49 market units, delivering a range of housing options.

untitled will feature suites ranging in type, from studios to three-bedrooms, with prices starting in the low $400,000’s.

Renderings: Norm Li
Press conference photos: Arthur Mola


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Amazon Fire HD10

Amazon Fire HD10 features a big screen on a small budget

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Amazon Fire HD10 features a big screen on a small budget

The all-new Amazon Fire HD10

As the name suggests, it’s equipped with a 1080p, high definition, 10.1-inchwide screen display, making it ideal for all your entertainment needs. For the techies, it displays a respectable 1920 x 1200 pixels at 224 ppi (pixels-per-inch) for maximum enjoyment of the millions of eBooks, movies, TV shows, games, apps and music that you have access to. Stream or download videos from Prime Video and Netflix, or simply watch YouTube.

It also features dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, a built-in microphone for Skype or video calls, and enhanced Bluetooth to connect an optional keyboard or wireless speakers.

Accessiblity features

The VoiceView screen reader provides access to most of the Fire tablet features for users who are visually impaired and use text-to-speech or a connected refreshable braille display. The Screen magnifier enables users to zoom in and out as well as pan around the screen. In addition, there are accessibility settings for closed captioning, font size, high contrast text and colour.

Better than ever

While this is Amazon Canada’s biggest tablet, it’s actually the ninth generation model – albeit its name. It has an updated 2.0 GHz eight-core processor, and is 30 per cent faster than its predecessor. Battery life has been bumped up by 20 per cent to offer you 12 hours of mixed-use. With its built-in PIP (picture-in-picture) function, you now have lots more time to watch YouTube, Netflix or Prime Video, while checking your e-mail at the same time.

It has 32GB of built-in storage (or 64GB), and is easily expandable up to 512 GB (from 256GB) by purchasing an optional micro SD card. The rear camera remains at 2 megapixels, which is good enough for screen resolution. And, the front camera has been bumped up from VGA to standard hi-definition (720p). Another notable change is the use of standard USB-C for charging.

It’s what’s inside that counts

The Fire HD 10 has a robust polycarbonate shell, but it doesn’t have the sleekness, or all the bells and whistles that you might find on an iPad or higher end Android tablets. An entry-level iPad has a significantly more powerful processor, an advanced photo grade 8-megapixel camera and a 1.2-megapixel camera with Retina flash, and it takes advantage of Apple’s full iOS operating system. With millions of apps, it can, virtually, replace your computer.

The Fire HD, on the other hand, runs its own operating system, Fire OS, a customized version of Android 9.0 Pie. It’s designed for functionality as shown above and not necessarily for those who need to be on the leading edge of technology. It offers limited Google Services and a smaller app offering, but is a perfect companion for home or on the road for those who are already connected to the Amazon eco-system – those who subscribe to Amazon Prime or Prime Video.

Even better, it’s also less than half the price of an entry-level iPad.

Amazon Fire HD 10 (32GB) retails in Canada for only $199.99 ($40 more for 64GB). It includes a USB-C charging cable and power adapter. You can find them at your local Best Buy, The Source and, of course, through Amazon. It is fairly large, so to protect it and have hands-free viewing, it might be a good idea to pick up a matching tablet case, that doubles as a stand.

Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to, Troy Media and Active Life magazine.


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ORO at Edge Towers is the gold standard in luxury living

ORO at Edge Towers is the gold standard in luxury living

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ORO at Edge Towers is the gold standard in luxury living

Solmar Development Corp. introduces ORO at Edge Towers, the third and final Tower in Mississauga’s landmark community, renowned for its premier location and elevated urban lifestyle.

ORO means gold. Precious and desirable, the final Tower at Edge will be the crowning achievement of the Edge Towers community, and will be recognized as the highest level of luxury condominium living in downtown Mississauga, for years to come.

Rising 50 storeys over Mississauga City Centre, ORO is a triumph of modern architectural design and quality craftsmanship. Distinguished by its contemporary design, the landmark tower of precast and glass over a majestic, multi-storeyed podium, will become a beacon of style and sophistication on the downtown Mississauga skyline. ORO will be the ultimate high note in this three-tower symphony of premium elegance and lifestyle. With ORO, Edge goes gold.

ORO is surrounded by an abundance of shopping, dining, transit, entertainment and cultural amenities. Enjoy living just steps from Square One, with its 360-plus shops, casual and fine dining restaurants and myriad services. Watch an exciting event at the nearby Celebration Square. Enjoy art, theatre and culture at the Living Arts Centre or the Art Gallery of Mississauga.

ORO is the only new preconstruction condominium in downtown Mississauga that is located directly on the new Hurontario LRT, and is walking distance to the Cooksville GO train station, with quick access to Union Station. Square One is a hub for MiWay Transit and offers a number of routes throughout Mississauga, even connecting to Toronto. Plus, you’re just minutes from the QEW, 403 and 401, and just 20 minutes from Pearson Airport.

Timeless elegance is the first and lasting impression at ORO. It begins with the luxurious lobby, inspired by the world’s most exclusive hotels. Presided over by a courteous 24-hour Concierge, the lobby is adorned with marble floors and venetian plaster columns in neutral tones. Sleek designer furniture and premium accents elevate the ambience, while natural light pours in through large windows.

Luxury amenities include two guest suites and two party rooms with private outdoor terraces. There is more than 19,000 sq. ft. of outdoor amenity space, which includes an outdoor gym and yoga area, outdoor terrace with separate dining area, outdoor terrace with lounge, barbecues, and al fresco dining. Other amenities include the indoor gym and yoga studio, sports lounge, billiards lounge, movie theatre, Wifi lounge and the Galleria, a stylish glass-enclosed space with grand ceilings, marble flooring and captivating streetscape views.

ORO sets a high new standard in luxury condominium living in Mississauga with superior finishes such as smooth nine-ft. ceilings, full-size washers and dryers, frameless glass shower doors, and exquisite details such as premium baseboards and door casings.

Expect nothing but the highest quality of features and finishes in every suite. Luxurious interiors come with premium laminate floors, panelled doors with brushed nickel hardware and energy-efficient double-glazed windows.

Indulge in a gourmet experience in the sleek signature kitchen with integrated, brand name appliances, quartz countertop and contemporary European style cabinets. Relax and rejuvenate in the spa-style bathroom with temperature-controlled shower or luxurious deep soaker tub.

Enjoy the convenience of insuite laundry and separately metered hydro for individual control and comfort. All residences are conveniently pre-wired for cable television, telephone and unlimited gigabyte fibre Internet. This is gold standard living of the highest magnitude.

Luxury is built right into the design at ORO, with almost all suites containing a guest bathroom. The 600-plus suites offer a wide selection of floorplans, from one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom, two-bedroom plus den to spectacular three-bedroom suites and Penthouses. Suites range in size from 505 to 668 sq. ft. The ultra luxury Penthouses are designed at more than 1,800 sq. ft.

Solmar Developments is a family owned business with a 30-year track record of building luxury homes and condominiums with superior workmanship, quality finishes and exemplary customer service. Distinguished by timeless elegance, Solmar communities are rich in character and personality, imbued with old world values and new age efficiencies.

Classic in appeal, yet modern in its outlook, ORO will continue Solmar’s shining tradition of creating one-of-a-kind architectural and luxury landmarks that rise above the ordinary.

With the successful sale of Edge Tower 1 and 2, and with construction well under way, Solmar will be launching ORO at Edge Towers early this year.

Now is the golden opportunity to share in the success, the comfort and elevated lifestyle, and the most desired location in downtown Mississauga. Demand for ORO is at an all-time high and suites are limited. Prior registration is an absolute must if you want to receive your exclusive preview invitation.

Go online and register your interest today. To register, visit the website.


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