Tag Archives: Alan Hirschfield

The Uplands Courtice

Modern townhomes and bungalofts taking shape at The Uplands Courtice

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Modern townhomes and bungalofts taking shape at The Uplands Courtice

One of Clarington’s most highly anticipated developments will put nature first, as the luxury condos and townhomes of The Uplands take shape on a rolling site at King St. and Darlington Blvd. in the GTA east.

Located between Hwys. 2 and 401 minutes from Oshawa to the west and Bowmanville to the east, The Uplands Courtice offers a tranquil oasis adjacent to conservation land and a creek. It provides homeowners with the rare opportunity to connect with nature in the middle of bustling suburban Courtice, yet be close to all amenities.

Downtown Toronto is easily accessible with the Oshawa GO Train, which is just 40 minutes to Union Station or Hwys. 401 and 407, which are only five minutes from your doorstep. The Hwy. 418 link will soon make travel much faster. Those travelling east can catch the VIA train in Oshawa which can whisk you to Ottawa, Montreal and beyond.

The modern townhouses and bungalofts launching in September at The Uplands Courtice will start in the $500,000s. When completed, the project will have approximately 450 residential units, including condos and townhomes. The interior finishes will have stainless steel appliances in the kitchens, granite counters and contemporary cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, and a selection of engineered wood flooring, porcelain and carpet as per plan. The site’s slope is being used to maximize views, with townhouses set along the valley, and condos behind them, so all residents can enjoy views of Farewell Creek.

Developer Alan Hirschfield of High Street Courtice Inc. has made protecting and enhancing the environment a top priority for The Uplands. The company donated land along the creek to the municipality and a former rough path is being transformed into a public trail that will link picturesque Tooley’s Mill Park with its gazebo, site for many community events, to Darlington Provincial Park. An entrance from The Uplands will connect its residents directly to the trail where they can walk or cycle (Darlington Beach on Lake Ontario is a 12-minute bike ride away).

Hirschfield’s vision is to create a setting, so all Uplands residents, as well as the larger community, will enjoy the scenic natural features at their doorstep. “The park is very popular and we also donated a half acre to create parking,” says Hirschfield. “If you get more people using the valley, it will be kept cleaner and they’ll keep an eye on what’s happening there.”

As well as improving and protecting the Farewell Creek valley lands, The Uplands is bringing new housing choices to that part of Durham Region. As the population has become more mature and diverse, people want to be able to stay in the community, whether they work there or are downsizing. Hirschfield has also seen the flow of young couples and professionals from the GTA to more affordable communities offering a more serene lifestyle. That’s why Uplands is offering a mix of units.

“The townhouses will be ‘comfortably modern’ in design and of high quality,” he says, “with brick and stucco facades, clean lines, slightly sloped roofs, garage doors with contemporary detailing and large windows. There will be some units in the 1,350-sq.-ft. range, with the master bedroom on the main floor and another bedroom on the second floor. Buyers needing more space can find up to 3,200-sq.-ft. towns with double-car garages.


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EDITOR'S CHOICE: High Street Courtice

Find your outstanding townhouse living at The Uplands in Courtice

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Find your outstanding townhouse living at The Uplands in Courtice

An exceptional townhome lifestyle that blends the tranquility of nature with the convenience of suburban living comes to the vibrant community of Courtice in January, with The Uplands.

Long-awaited, The Uplands in Courtice puts homeowners in a unique setting adjacent to wooded conservation land and Farewell Creek with the Millennium Trail and walking paths just steps from their backyards. A trail links The Uplands Courtice to picturesque Tooley’s Mill Park with its gazebo, site for many community events and connection to a trail for walking or cycling.

The community is set between Highways 2 and 401, at King Street and Darlington Boulevard, with many day-to-day amenities within walking distance, including a bakery, pubs, coffee shop and LCBO, with everything else one needs just a short drive away.

In addition to this one-of-a-kind setting, The Uplands offers buyers the choice of three different home collections. The contemporary two-, three- and four-bedroom towns feature beautifully landscaped streetscapes, superb design and quality craftsmanship.

Starting in the $500,000s, the architecturally inspired elevations include brick, stone and stucco facades with large front and back windows to bring the outdoors in. The Ravine Collection overlooks the wooded ravine, with stunning backyard views. Ranging in size from 2,230 to 3,265 square feet, the townhomes are available in two- or three-bedroom designs, all have terraces and decks and finished basements that can be customized. Many plans have walkouts to the backyards and most have double-car garages.

The Wood Collection offers three-storey townhomes, 1,816 to 2,007 square feet, with two or three bedrooms. Main levels include walkouts to spacious decks and lower levels have finished recreation rooms with a full bathroom and walkouts to the rear yard. The Park Collection is a series of spacious two- and three-bedroom bungalofts ranging from 1,387 to 1,827 square feet with the master bedroom on the main level, a third bathroom on the second level and a third bedroom that can convert into an office. The Urban Collection offers layouts not previously available outside central Toronto. The two- or three-bedroom models, 2,095 to 2,106 square feet, offer three storeys of beautiful living space accessible by stairs or private elevator with two underground parking spaces.

Interior finishes include airy nine-foot four-inch ceilings on the main floor and nine-foot ceilings on the second floor, smooth finished ceilings, contemporary flush panel doors, lever-style interior door handles, stained oak handrail and pickets and stained oak veneer stringers and solid oak risers on the main staircase.

Kitchens feature contemporary cabinetry in a variety of colours and finishes, stainless steel appliances, combination microwave/range hood, double basin undermount sink and granite countertops and islands (as per plan).

The Uplands Courtice provides an ideal lifestyle and an ideal location. Residents will find everything from farmers’ markets to boutique shops to eateries right in Courtice. Just to the west is the bustling city of Oshawa with prime shopping at the Oshawa Centre, the region’s largest hospital, Durham College, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and a Trent University satellite campus. Just to the east is the charming Bowmanville with its picturesque downtown with unique shops and restaurants.

Highways 401 and 407 are five minutes away and the GO Transit train and VIA station less than 15 minutes away. It’s easy to enjoy an evening out in Toronto or to head east for a weekend in Ottawa or Montreal or for some relaxation in Prince Edward County wine country.

Developer Alan Hirschfield of High Street Courtice has made protecting and enhancing the environment a top priority for The Uplands. He has been inspired by condo projects in Seattle that place as much, or more, emphasis on ecological and neighbourhood benefits as they do on architecture and design. High Street Courtice brings over four decades of architectural design and building experience to the project.

The Uplands

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In Conversation With: Alan Hirschfield

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In Conversation With: Alan Hirschfield

Design is fragile, but it is the most important element in a liveable community, says the driving force behind The Uplands in Courtice

By: Gale Beeby

Every once in a while, you might meet someone who makes so much sense you wonder how it is possible that most people don’t think that way.

Alan Hirschfield is one of those people.

I had the distinct privilege of sharing lunch with him at the Richmond Hill Golf Club earlier this year, where our wide-ranging conversation touched on so many topics that we barely got a chance to discuss his newest project, The Uplands in Courtice. So, we had to talk a second time and — strictly — only about The Uplands.

Hirschfield, who was born in South Africa and has lived in many countries around the world — including nine years in the United States — was an architect and founder of UD+D Incorporated, an urban design and development consulting firm.

He is also the driving force behind High Street Courtice Inc., the development company behind The Uplands, which will include many housing forms — including townhomes and condos — all designed with a modern flair.

High Street has embraced a design forward approach and is the development manager for two $100 million projects, in addition to a 110-acre lowrise and midrise development in Wellington.

Hirschfield’s experience in the architectural world has enlightened him to one hard fact: Canadians have always had a more enlightened and modern take on the world. However, he notes, Canadians have not been offered much more than the same old, same old, and when they see something unique, they embrace it.

Q: How do you envision the design of homes evolving?

A: Local people are driving design, and that’s the way it should be. Canadians haven’t being offered much, just more of the same. When I lived in the U.S., I thought that Americans were trying to do history cartoon style. You know, overly done Tudor and Victorian-era homes that just seemed, well, cartoonish. Trying to make the dead look good.

Unfortunately, that sensibility exists here as well, but when Canadians were offered something different, they sucked it up and bought. People are now seeing a greater variety of housing styles

— an explosion of available and timeless designs.

There seems to be a historical gap in architecture here. There were the great old architects and then a gap, but now I see some great young architects doing really interesting things and the public is totally accepting.

There is a really big change in the kind of people who are doing development, a changing of the guard, challenging the previous order. That’s a really good thing.

As a company, we don’t want to do work we don’t like ourselves. It takes five to 10 years to get approvals, so we need to love what we do. There is a new philosophy to development, the City Beautiful Movement.

As Toronto was built out, in order to make it work the lots got smaller and individual house styles became unworkable on those tight lots — it became a cacophony. But people still need — and want — individuality.

There was also a need for different kinds of housing, traditionally in different areas of the city. But not anymore. Families don’t want to be separated by housing form. People are now buying a townhouse or house for themselves and a condo for their kids, which they will eventually retire to. And they want them all together, not in different areas. No longer is the house in the suburbs and the condo in the urban core.

As a philosophy, I think showing how condos and townhomes work together on one site is critical, tying them together by design.

Q: How modern do you think you can go and still be acceptable by the buying public?

A: Our designs are modern but still look like a house with pitched roofs. How modern can we do it in a suburban environment? Quite modern, but comfortably modern. And we’re doing modern designs with traditional materials because we have hard weather conditions here, so it just makes sense to use tried and true materials. The materials we use are chosen not only because of their great looks, but for longevity as well. It can still look good and hold up to the outside elements. Design is fragile, but it is the most important element in a liveable community.

Q: How has building design changed over the years?

A: First, designers are responding to what they see and hear. The buyers know what’s available and they’re not willing to take cookie-cutter anymore. Good designers do good work and good construction. For instance, we’re using fiberglass front doors. They insulate better and look good longer.

We’re also responding to new public knowledge of design, energy-efficient homebuilding techniques and warranty requirements.

Q: Tell me more about The Uplands.

A: It’s a master-planned community of townhomes and condos overlooking the Farewell Creek Valley with absolutely stunning views and direct access to the trail system in the valley. The townhomes are spacious and feature smart home designs with contemporary exteriors of brick, stone and stucco and the condo building will mirror those design elements.

The architecture is being handled by Naylor Architect Inc. and Turner Fleisher Architects Inc., with landscaping by Strybos Barron King and interiors by Johnson Chou Inc.

It’s a great team and I’m thrilled to be working with them.

Q: What’s on the drawing board?

A: Something I’m really very excited about, but can’t talk about in detail just yet, but it will be a $500 million master-planned community in Etobicoke that will include townhouses, multi-tower highrises, a seniors residence, retail and office space.

Stay tuned!



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