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Etobicoke undergoing massive redevelopment

Etobicoke undergoing massive redevelopment

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Etobicoke undergoing massive redevelopment

In real estate terms, an area in transition is a good thing, since it generally refers to progress, development and things being on the upswing.

Etobicoke is just one of those areas.

Really? Etobicoke, that large, narrow north-south swath that stretches from Lake Ontario up to Steeles Ave., and shouldered by Humber River on the east and Etobicoke Creek on the west? With large, well established and affluent neighbourhoods?

Yes, one and the same – the west end locale with the funny name people often mispronounce (FYI the K is silent) – that wasn’t exactly in need of an upgrade.

Blessed with a strong natural location due to its proximity to downtown Toronto, easy access to the QEW and Hwys. 401, 427 and 27, the Bloor subway line and several major TTC and GO Transit hubs, Etobicoke has long been a sought-after residential location.

North Etobicoke, for its easy highway access, plethora of commercial ventures and lower priced real estate. Etobicoke Centre, for its proximity to the Islington-City Centre West central business district, and exclusive neighbourhoods with large, treed properties such as the Kingsway. And South Etobicoke, or Etobicoke Lakeshore, for its prime lakefront location and areas such as Humber Bay and Mystic Pointe.

Southern surge

But when it comes to new condo development and buying opportunities, it’s all about the south. Well, mostly the south, until very recently.

Etobicoke Lakeshore was the first to transition, with the former motel strip at Lakeshore and Park Lawn giving way over the last several years to dozens of new projects. Today it is one of Toronto’s hottest new condo destinations. Your location here is right on Lake Ontario, with outstanding views of downtown Toronto, along the Martin Goodman Trail for cycling and running, and close to the Gardiner to commute into the city and to the QEW to head west. TTC bus and streetcar service is quite literally at your front door.

The area could get another massive boost if a proposed redevelopment of the former Christie’s bakery site at Lake Shore and Park Lawn goes ahead. Owner First Capital Realty’s plan for the 28-acre site – known, at least temporarily, as 2150 Lake Shore – calls for 15 new residential and office towers, from 22 to 71 storeys, new parks and public spaces and employment.

Now the condo boom is spreading north, into the central part of Etobicoke with new developments along Dundas St. W. between Islington and the 427, and several more planned for the south side of Dundas just west of Kipling subway. New condos are also springing up along the 427 near Burnhamthorpe, appealing to those who prefer highway access over transit.

A little further west, the Cloverdale Mall neighbourhood may get a major facelift in the next few years, as QuadReal Property Group is proposing a comprehensive master-plan to redevelop the existing 32-acre mall property into an innovative and dynamic mixed-use urban community. The proposal involves transitioning Cloverdale with a re-envisioned retail offering, residences, parkland and greenspace, community uses and new streets.

Under construction

Indeed, construction will also be the order of the day in Etobicoke Centre. For years. Six Points intersection, known locally as “Spaghetti Junction,” is a complicated interchange where Kipling, Bloor and Dundas all intersect. To support future development in the area, the City is spending tens of millions of dollars to modernize the road and surrounding infrastructure. Plans include improved pedestrian and cycle access, wider sidewalks, more trees, street furniture and improved access to Kipling subway. The station itself is being expanded into a regional transit hub to link the TTC with GO Transit trains and buses, as well as Mississauga Mi-Way bus lines.

Location, location, location

Bordered on the south by Lake Ontario, on the east by the Humber River, on the west by Etobicoke Creek and Mississauga, and on the north by Steeles Ave. W.; population 365,143.

Key landmarks

• Centennial Park

• Etobicoke Waterfront

• Humber River

• Sherway Gardens

• The Old Mill

Select condo developments

Reina Condos by Urban Capital

2150 Lakeshore by First Capital Realty

Empire Phoenix by Empire Communities

IQ3 Condos by Remington Group

Queensway Park by Urban Capital

The Tailor by Marlin Spring

Thirty Six Zorra by Altree Developments

United Kingsway by Fieldgate Urban

Valhalla Town Square by Edilcan Development

Vita Two on the Lake by Mattamy Homes


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GTA homebuilders upbeat, foresee post-COVID-19 recovery

GTA homebuilders upbeat about post-COVID-19 recovery

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GTA homebuilders upbeat about post-COVID-19 recovery

The beginning of 2020 was looking especially bright in the new and resale home markets in and around the GTA. The economy was sailing along, interest rates were low, homebuyer appetite looked insatiable and everything that was built or put up for sale seemingly was snapped up in an instant.

Then COVID-19 hit, and everything changed.

Here we are now, mid-year and a few months into the pandemic, and while some insecurity remains, there are growing reasons for optimism.

The Conference Board of Canada, for example, reports that while major metropolitan economies may contract in 2020, assuming the virus’ spread is contained and companies can return to normal operations over the summer months, a recovery should begin in the second half of the year. Sharp rebounds should follow, and in the case of Toronto, GDP growth of 3.2 per cent from 2021 to 2024 could lead the country.

Another source, Altus Group, points out that the unique nature of this economic slowdown means the impact on housing markets will likely be mild and short lasting.

Altus Group Vice-President and Chief Economist Peter Norman says a relaxing of containment measures through early summer should bring a sharp resumption in new home sales activity.

Later in the year, home prices will likely return to their upward path, and expectations are for a five- to 10-per-cent year-over-year gain, nationally, by year-end.

The pandemic has been a challenging time for the homebuilding industry, an important economic driver. Construction was halted for a period, and though now allowed to resume, there is still some uncertainty in the market. Builders, however, remain largely upbeat.

Here’s how GTA area homebuilders are feeling:

Altree Developments

Jordan Debrincat
Director of Operations

We are very excited that construction can now continue on our sites. For our Thirty Six Zorra project in Etobicoke, we were at the point in our construction where we were just about to begin shoring and excavation before the shutdown took place, and we have to make some adjustments to our daily operations for this site. Now that construction is back up and running, we are ready to begin – full steam ahead. We were already ahead of schedule, so the provincial shutdowns didn’t affect our timing at all.

Construction resuming has put a lot of people at ease. This has allowed a number of people to return to work, developers to continue their operations, and purchasers the comfort that their home is going to be delivered on time.


Aoyuan International

Vince Santino
Senior Vice-President of Development

M2M in North York is actively under construction. We’ve learned some great lessons about best practices and how to interact with each other when it comes to social distancing and providing a safe, informative sales experience. Part of that is adopting virtual sales tools, and leaning a little more on digital technology. We’re optimistic, and have plans to release a collection of townhomes and upper tower suites at M2M as part of M2M Spaces. These will be larger, more livable units, with a variety of outdoor spaces depending on the suite. There is a real emphasis on wellness, and pairing more spacious suites with the urban setting at Yonge and Finch.

The 8.6-acre M2M development will be one of Aoyuan’s largest master-planned communities in Canada and really gives us the opportunity to bring our healthy lifestyle vision to life. Everything from our amenity package, which includes a yoga and fitness area, indoor and outdoor kids play area and infinity pool, to our urban location, is geared around promoting healthy, active lifestyles. This corporate-wide focus on health and wellness positions us well in our collective, new reality. We’re thinking about the people who will be living at M2M, offering a range of suites sizes to accommodate a diverse cross-section of residents. We’re even providing homes for multi-generational families. I think space is going to be a cherished amenity for a lot of buyers, and we’re proud to be bringing a range of options to market.


Carriage Gate Homes

Nick Carnicelli

Construction continues at Gallery Condos + Lofts in Burlington, with occupancy scheduled for 2022.

We moved the launch date for the first phase of our new large masterplanned community in Hamilton – Roxboro – from spring to the fall. Like many builders, we are continuing to plan for our launch, and may begin to change the way we launch projects in future. More virtual technology, no large crowds, with all appropriate COVID-19 measures in place.


Flato Developments

Shakir Rehmatullah

We are very optimistic, as we’re already witnessing renewed confidence from homebuyers. We’re increasing our use of technology, as meeting virtually will become the new norm. For us, it’s business as usual. Our sites are under construction as planned, and more sites are beginning construction as per the government’s direction. We have been active in marketing, even though we couldn’t do physical sales events, and we have been conducting online webinars with good results. For new launches, we’ll likely adopt new technologies such as virtual openings for certain projects, to make sure vulnerable groups such as seniors are safe.

We believe the demand for lowrise homes and small buildings will increase as people embrace social distancing. And since more people will be working from home, many will invest more in their homes. Home offices will be a must.


Menkes Highrise

Jared Menkes
Executive Vice-President

We are seeing signs of pent-up demand and positive sentiments among buyers, with the number of inquiries and people resuming their housing research growing every week. We expect that as the economy continues to reopen, buyers will regain confidence in their financial stability and capacity to buy.



Deena Pantalone

We have taken the COVID-19 situation very seriously, with offices open only via video or telephone. Now that the provincial government has opened up construction, we will continue to put the safety of our employees and our buyers first with strict protocols and social distancing.

Construction servicing is beginning at The Forest in Bradford, and in Brampton at Three Rivers Claireville. We are also beginning to book design studio appointments for this summer, with an even more personal, one-on-one approach to keep us all safe and healthy.

The demand is clearly still there for real estate. If anything positive can be said to have come from COVID-19, it’s that this virus has refocused our attention on the importance of our families, and the homes we live in.

Many people just need more from their residence; more space, different features, or even a different neighbourhood. That’s why we expect to see a strong market come back later this summer and fall. In fact, we have two new communities we are working towards launching, in Burlington and in Courtice, and we are incorporating unique features and technology that we believe people will want post-pandemic. So, homebuyers should look forward to not just new launches, but new innovations.

From recycling to renewable materials to energy-efficient features and Green products, to innovative new prefabricated wall systems, National is helping our buyers reduce their “Greenprint.


Pinnacle International

Anson Kwok
Vice-President, Sales & Marketing

The market definitely took a quick pause to look both ways but people are now back to crossing the street, which is positive for the marketplace. Our construction teams were active and our projects continue to rise.

Pinnacle has a diverse offering of projects that can suit any prospective homebuyer. We have four active constructions sites and pre-construction developments, so there are opportunities to move in as early as this fall to the next five years. These master-planned communities are located in desirable neighbourhoods in Toronto, Etobicoke and Mississauga.


Regal Crest Homes

Art Rubino
Contracts Manager/Marketing Manager

Construction has never stopped for us since the province declared residential construction as an essential service. New construction starts only follow up last year’s sales. The real story will be the coming weeks, as we slowly open up sales offices.

We are here to fulfill homebuyers’ dreams, and with interest rates still so low, it’s an excellent time to buy.


Solmar Development Corp.

Angela Marotta
Director of Marketing and Sales

We are fortunate that our current projects are more than 80 per cent sold, as we launched well before COVID-19. The other projects we have coming up are still in preliminary stages, however they have been pushed back as consultants and city officials have yet to resume full-time scheduling. We are focusing on the planning process for Park Avenue Tower 3, and Bellaria Phase 2 in Vaughan, as they’ve been delayed.

We are continuing with the construction of Edge and Oro towers in Mississauga and Park Avenue towers 1 and 2. Our goal is to catch up and get our purchasers moved in. Many of them are renting, so this investment is giving them something to look forward to. It’s evident that as other markets show so many variables and uncertainties given the current climate, real estate remains a secure investment.



Samson Fung
Vice-President, Marketing

We were fortunate to be able to continue construction and delivering homes to our homeowners. We implemented strict enhancements to our health and safety protocols on our construction sites to help safeguard the well-being of our employees and the communities we’re building, and these will remain in place as things begin to open up. Generally, we remain optimistic and see the industry as a whole preparing to adopt new measures and stabilize within this new environment. We’re proud of our efforts over the last few months, and our resilience as we come back stronger as leaders in both real estate and construction, and we’re looking forward to a strong finish in 2020.

As we move into the second half of 2020, we’re eagerly preparing to bring new communities to the marketplace. In the meantime, our design appointments and pre-delivery inspections with homeowners have continued through the spring and we’re looking forward to welcoming our homeowners back when we can. This new era forced us to be innovative in a different way. We are putting new safety measures in place for all of our customer-facing environments and discovering new ways to connect with our audiences. Our new digital experience, called Tridel Live, brings more information directly to the consumer; from a live chat with our sales team and virtual tours of our model suites, to access to more digital assets for our sales team, and more. This is just the beginning of a new way of meeting our clients’ needs and finding new ways to meet them.



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Altree Developments breaks ground early at Thirty Six Zorra

Altree Developments breaks ground early at Thirty Six Zorra

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Altree Developments breaks ground early at Thirty Six Zorra

After selling 80 per cent of available units in just six weeks, Altree Developments recently broke ground at Thirty Six Zorra, the company’s landmark condominium at 30 Zorra St. in Etobicoke, in partnership with EllisDon Capital.

The 35-storey tower will feature 459 units in a diverse mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, with top-of-the-line amenities in an easily accessible community. Located in The Queensway and Islington area of Etobicoke, just 10 minutes from downtown Toronto and 15 minutes from Pearson International Airport, the development is expected to serve as a hub for millennials and young families.



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Outlook 2020 – Jordan DeBrincat, Director of Operations, Altree Developments

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Outlook 2020 – Jordan DeBrincat, Director of Operations, Altree Developments

Part of our series of Outlook 2020 Q&As with building industry executives

Condo Life: What is the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

DeBrincat: The outlook has changed from what we are traditionally used to. Buyers are becoming savvy and really looking at the economic feasibility and viability of the units they’re purchasing, whether for investment or personal use. Location, amenities and pricing are all becoming such big factors now that there are lots of developments on the market in all different areas around the city. Purchasers are starting to come around to the idea of condominiums being homes where they can raise a family and have a life, instead of the traditional thought that a “home” is a detached house with a picket fence. Condominiums are becoming the way of life and are really starting to resonate with people when they are looking to decide their first home purchase.

Jordan DeBrincat
Jordan DeBrincat

CL: And for Altree Developments?

DeBrincat: Altree has always focused on going into neighborhoods that already have character, and add to that by developing strategically designed buildings. Downtown sites that are fit for towers are increasingly difficult to find, and the emphasis has shifted to neighborhoods outside the downtown core. One of the biggest aspects Altree considers when deciding on a site is that we first look at all aspects of the neighborhood, and look for not how we can change the neighbourhood, but how we can become a part of it.

CL: What is your company doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

DeBrincat: Altree looks for condominium developments in a variety of different neighborhoods throughout the city, all with different characteristics. Whether developing a boutique building in Forest Hill, a tower in Etobicoke or a midrise in Scarborough, Altree looks to build condominiums people will call “home.” We look to develop buildings in areas that are untapped and that allow us to really add to the neighborhood we are coming into. Developing in areas just outside of the downtown core allow us to have more flexibility on pricing, which allows us to offer products that are more affordable.

CL: What more could the industry do to address these issues?

DeBrincat: City approvals are a lengthy process, and in return this restricts supply to the market. Restricted supply creates more demand by buyers and more competition with construction, increasing construction costs tremendously. Altree believes the City needs more support in its planning and development process to allow for more seamless approvals which would provide more supply to the market in a timely manner.

CL: What should prospective new-home buyers know about your company for 2020?

DeBrincat: Altree Developments has a number of developments coming to the market over the next 24 months:

  • Forest Hill Private Residences: A nine-storey boutique building coming to Forest Hill in early 2020
  • Two eight-storey midrise buildings coming to the Highland Creek community in late 2020/ early 2021
  • A nine-storey building coming to Briar Hill early 2021

CL: Why should prospective new-home buyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

DeBrincat: At Altree, we place emphasis on building a home for prospective purchasers, and put a lot of time and effort creating a product of value. Whether that is offering superior quality products, more functional layouts or more square footage for less money, we always have the end goal of a “home” in mind. We understand that a home is one of the biggest purchases someone is going to make in their lifetime, and we want to make it as memorable as possible. These buildings take anywhere from two to five years to construct, and we want to maintain that level of excitement from the time of purchase to the time of move in.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – 5 things you need to know about real estate this year

Outlook 2020 – Angela Marotta, Director of Sales & Marketing, Solmar Development Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Jared Menkes, Executive Vice-President, Menkes High Rise

Outlook 2020 – Anson Kwok, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Pinnacle International

Outlook 2020 – Samson Fung, Vice-President Marketing, Tridel

Outlook 2020 – Nick Carnicelli, President, Carriage Gate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Fan Yang, Deputy General Manager, Aoyuan



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Forest Hill Private Residences

Altree Developments brings an elegant boutique condominium to the Forest Hill neighbourhood

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Altree Developments brings an elegant boutique condominium to the Forest Hill neighbourhood

A timeless place for one to call home is the vision for Altree Developments‘ latest project, Forest Hill Private Residences, located at 2 Forest Hill Rd. The building will be comprised of a nine-storey, bespoke luxury midrise building with approximately 90 residences. Consisting of a combination of townhomes and condominiums, suites will span from approximately 950 to 4,000 sq. ft., with prices ranging from $1.8 million to more than $6 million.

Located north of downtown Toronto, the former village of Forest Hill has been a noteworthy district as one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods since the 1960s. With a long lineage of multi-generational expertise, Forest Hill Private Residences reflects Altree Developments’ commitment to bringing landmark projects to market and building upon preexisting and iconic communities. The firm has worked with the industry’s best designers and architects to create a building with timeless designs containing floor-to-ceiling windows, expansive outdoor space, and 10-ft. ceilings to add to this prestigious location.

“Our mission at Altree is to seamlessly integrate projects into the pre-existing culture and spirit of the neighbourhood in which we develop,” says Zev Mandelbaum, president and chief executive officer. “Those within the Forest Hill community have called this area home for many years, and we view this as an opportunity to transform this notable address into something that truly embodies seamless luxury and elegant design.”

Forest Hill Private Residences will provide homeowners with incredible views of the neighbourhood overlooking the thriving strip of St. Clair Avenue West and lush green hues of Forest Hill Road. Home to local conveniences and quaint shops adored by many within Toronto, this building will allow residents to experience the incomparable feeling of coming home.

“Forest Hill Private Residences is going to be an incredibly unique building with a tailored experience to each resident,” says Mandelbaum. “Most suites from the third to ninth floors will have expansive terraces with tremendous outdoor exposure, an aspect that is missing from many buildings in the city.”

With the utmost attention to detail and focus on privacy, individuals of this upcoming project will have the joy of living in this distinguished neighbourhood, but with the downtown access and convenience of a central location. Residents will have an array of sophisticated concierge and amenity services, such as an impressive hosting room, full service gym with personal trainers, yoga and pilates instructors, as well as nutritionists and massage therapists.

“We wanted to create a building that had the best-in-class services that this buyer is accustomed to, with an element of privacy and in an environment they felt like they could call home,” says Mandelbaum. “With the notable reputation of this area and the timeless design and offerings this building will contain, Forest Hill Private Residences will be a location that residents will call home for years to come.”

Within steps from St. Clair Avenue West, residents will have access to some of the area’s most renowned and beloved restaurants, local shops and boutiques. As a desired destination to walk the beautiful tree-lined streets, future homeowners of this condominium will be able to enjoy the attributes of this neighbourhood. Residents will also be within proximity to the city’s most well-known schools, such as Upper Canada College, providing an ideal area to raise a family.

“It was very important for Altree to focus on providing top-of-the-line finishes, amenities and services for residents of Forest Hill Private Residences, as well as design and architecture that conveyed the feeling of home,” says Mandelbaum.

Forest Hill Private Residences will carefully blend selected architectural details with simplistic elements to create a building with true elegance. Inspired by the beauty of the surrounding foliage, this iconic project will also integrate lush greenery within its landscaping architecture design and expansive outdoor space offerings.

Forest Hill Private Residences is set to begin selling units in early 2020. To learn more about this iconic project visit the website. The project is now accepting registrations.


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In Conversation With… Zev Mandelbaum, President and CEO, Altree Developments

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In Conversation With… Zev Mandelbaum, President and CEO, Altree Developments

Imagine growing up – quite literally – in the development industry, and becoming a third-generation builder. The lessons imparted by your father, and grandfather before him, and how such family mentoring would help shape who you are today and how you view not just developing projects but growing communities. Zev Mandelbaum, president and CEO of Altree Developments, is one such builder. We caught up with him to discuss two of the company’s new signature projects, and more.

Condo Life: What made Altree decide to choose The Queensway area in Etobicoke for your latest project, Thirty Six Zorra? Was it more a product of land availability, or is there something about the area in particular?

Zev Mandelbaum: Altree chose The Queensway for two principal reasons – ability for high-density development and ample surrounding amenities and entertainment for the public.

As Toronto expands and becomes a larger and more metropolitan city, fewer places are designated to allow for high-density development, and The Queensway was an area we could develop a community of this size. The land that spans from The Queensway to Islington, trickling into the Gardiner, is designated to allow for high-density condominium towers. So, when I saw that opportunity, I knew we would have the ability to build an entire neighbourhood from scratch.

In addition, the neighbourhood already has ample amenities, including the Cineplex Cinemas and Sherway Gardens just down the road, many restaurants and a tremendous parkland that was already planned and under construction at the time. We felt The Queensway would be the most optimal neighbourhood to live, work, play and grow a family. It’s the perfect opportunity to expand on a loyal community that was already present within the area.

CL: What do you foresee as the typical buyer profile? Singles, young families…?

ZM: As urbanization increases, condominium living will become the norm for the city dweller and lead to a whole new way of living. As people change their mindsets to own a home with a white picket fence and large backyard, the shift will be to a more urban lifestyle where amenities are at the tip of ones’ fingertips, with less worry about the maintenance of the property.

Thirty Six Zorra is going to contain a wide selection of amenities that will target all different types of buyers, from singles, to young couples, as well as those looking to downsize. This building will also cater to a larger mix of buyers because of the price point and affordability that will come with these units (compared to those found in the downtown core). Toronto is seeing a year-over-year increase in price per square foot of condominiums within the core, making condo options downtown less and less feasible to many working Torontonians. As a result, we also see a lot of Millennial demographic and end users gravitating to this particular building.

CL: Amenities are becoming an increasingly important part of any condo project – features that speak to the character of the local area and the target buyer demographic. What are the key differentiating amenities at Thirty Six Zorra?

ZM: The way we’ve approached this project is recognizing that The Queensway already has a great mix of retail amenities. For Thirty Six Zorra, we wanted to communicate that this building is really somewhere where prospective buyers can live, work and play on a daily basis. The Queensway offers a plethora of shopping and culinary experiences, and we wanted to bring this vibe into the building. We wanted to create something that really unites people by adding amenities focused on enjoying the company of others – getting off our phones and tablets and hanging out with one another. The building features a gym, a dry sauna, outdoor pool, and a rooftop patio ideal for throwing a great summer party.

The most unique amenities include a rec room that features a social space with various games for everyone to relax with friendly competition after a long day of work. We also added in a demonstration kitchen to allow for a communal space for future homeowners to share their passions and creativity through cooking. With the freelance working economy becoming so popular, there will also be multiple cohesive working spaces where buyers can base their office and hold meetings from the co-working space, the lounges, outside patio or parks that surround the project.

CL: You recently entered into a strategic partnership with EllisDon for Thirty Six Zorra. What are the reasons behind this decision, and how will it benefit the project? 

ZM: As a developer, ever since childhood I have loved to watch buildings being constructed and grow. I sought a partnership with EllisDon Capital – the best to do just that – build this community. My goal has not been to merely build a building, but to team up with someone as part of a strategic partnership where we could align our values and goals, leading to a long-term working relationship.

EllisDon is the number one leader in the construction industry in Canada, has built more buildings than anyone else and is set on building the best buildings for communities. Being able to have a strong alliance with EllisDon, not only as a constructor, but also as a fully dedicated partner in the project, gives us the longevity not only to do this project spectacularly well, but also to create more fantastic buildings in the city of Toronto.

CL: Etobicoke certainly as a price point advantage over downtown Toronto and elsewhere in the 416. How long do you think this will last, given more and more developers are seeing the potential of the area?

ZM: As Toronto and the downtown core continues to grow and pierce new heights within the price range of condominium projects, the affordability of units in this area becomes a farther stretch for many people. The multiplier effect means that once a city gets more attention, it gets more amenities and attracts more people who want to live there, just like New York City.

An economist once told me, 30 years ago Manhattan was overpriced, 20 years ago Manhattan was overpriced, 10 years ago Manhattan was overpriced and it’s still overpriced today. I believe the lesson in that was when you have a city that is desirable and continues to g row, it just builds upon itself. As it happens, when the price in Toronto becomes more and more unaffordable, people are starting to look just outside the core to acquire something that is within their price range. Since the pricing in the downtown core is so high, it is only reasonable to think that a market just outside the city, where average square foot prices are in the mid $8 00’s per sq. ft., there is more room to grow.

However, even with this room to grow, these areas will still remain at a $300 to $400 per sq. ft. discount from the downtown core. This is exactly where The Queensway market is, and future homeowners will see this value as well.

CL: Altree has plenty of other projects in the Toronto area. What are the common qualities or characteristics about these that speak to Altree’s mission, vision… that really say, yes, this is an Altree project? 

ZM: Altree is all about understanding neighbourhoods! When we decide on a neighbourhood, we place importance on understanding the character and feel that is already in place, so we are able to blend in. The common denominator of all our projects is that we are generally not coming into an area where there are other buildings in the immediate vicinity, meaning that the architecture of the area really has no identity. We need to create an identity within that building that is unique to the character of that neighbourhood. Essentially, we marry a building with the neighbourhood around it.

The most important vision to Altree, is we look for where a community is going to be in the next five to 10 years, not where it is today. It is difficult to do this, as humans are very “touch and feel,” where if something is not there, it’s hard to visualize. When we first look at a site, we analyze the area and really understand the core values and characteristics of a neighbourhood and build on how we understand it to be in the future. Once we understand this, the sky’s the limit. So, if you look at all our projects, we are entrenched in neighbourhoods that have the fibre of growth already existing.

CL: Forest Hill Private Residences is another milestone project from Altree Developments, in a high-profile neighbourhood. What is it about Forest Hill that will stand out from other projects in the area?

ZM: Forest Hill Private Residences is a unique building. When we first saw the project and the piece of land and understood how the zoning would come to be, we noticed that this was a project that would not only be on the cusp of Forest Hill but would be a statement to the neighbourhood.

Seeing that every floor from the third to the ninth has terraces – units with tremendous outdoor exposure – this aspect is one that is missing in buildings in the area and elsewhere in Toronto. Usable personal outdoor space while not having the responsibility of a lawn or backyard. There seems to be quite the gap between condominium and lowrise housing living. There are towers that span up 30 to 40 storeys with great views and exposure, but without much personal outdoor space. There are lowrise houses that have large lawns and backyards, but have become completely unaffordable. Forest Hill Private Residences is a project where we are marrying that outdoor and indoor space. Merging that indoor-outdoor lifestyle together in condominium living is a type of living that is missing in Toronto. It’s the missing middle between a home and a condo, and we are so happy that Forest Hill Private Residences will be able to bring this happy medium to the future homeowners.

CL: What is the current status, in terms of planning, sales launch, suite sizes and price range? 

ZM: Currently Forest Hill Private Residences is at the tail end of its zoning. We hope to have that completed by the end of the year and be in the market early next year, with units starting from 900 sq. ft. and up, so there are units catering to everyone.

On a Personal Note…

CL: You’re a third-generation developer… how has essentially growing up in the industry, with a strong family legacy, formed who you are and what you want Altree to become?

ZM: I have learned everything I know from my family. It all started with my grandfather, Sandy Hofstedter, who started H&R Developments 70 years ago. All I remember from a young boy was talk about buildings, neighbourhoods, construction and development. Dinner table talks were all about neighbourhoods in Toronto, the planning context and what we were doing to change it. So, to me, the only thing I have ever dreamt of was building buildings that add to Toronto – buildings that have names that people would look at. The satisfaction of being involved in developments that added to the city skyline, is something words can’t describe. My goal is to make sure Altree continues that legacy for my children for generations to come.

CL: You’ve had some other executive level stops in your career, at Marlin Spring and Lanterra Developments, for example. What did you learn – about development, housing or homebuyers – that aids you in your current role at Altree?

ZM: I started off working in all the family businesses, from H&R Developments to Lanterra Developments, until I formed Marlin Spring along with my two brother-in-laws. In each role, I specialized in the development industry, from acquisition to zoning to marketing to sales to construction to registration to warranty and all the way to the end. At each phase, I was able to delve deep into each aspect of condominium development. Anyone who regularly develops land can tell you that, when you’re a builder it’s all about perfection! It’s all about specialization, working the kinks out of the design, taking that design and tweaking it until it’s perfect.

Working at Lanterra allowed me to see massive projects at macro levels and being able to work alongside the team. When I formed Marlin Spring, I was able to take everything I learned from my family and work on different projects and partnerships. Now with Altree, I’m able to work on specific projects that interest me, allowing me to put my own stamp on this world.

CL: Your greatest inspiration in the development industry is:

ZM: My father and grandfather. For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired and awed by what they have accomplished – from so many great buildings in Toronto and so many artistic styles, to communities that have changed the landscape of the way we live. From ICE Condominiums to Maple Leaf Square, which has totally changed the south core of Toronto, to Murano and Burano that has completely changed the Bay St. strip, to many other areas that both H&R Developments and Lanterra Developments have been involved in shaping.

CL: When not at the office or in the field…:

ZM: I’m spending time with my three children and wife, exploring Toronto’s neighbourhoods and parks and exploring off beaten tracks of Toronto’s gorgeous ravine systems.


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Thirty Six Zorra

Thirty Six Zorra – Altree Developments and EllisDon Capital come together to set a new standard

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Thirty Six Zorra – Altree Developments and EllisDon Capital come together to set a new standard

Thirty-six storeys of colourful and contemporary condominium living – that’s the vision for Altree Developments‘ latest project with EllisDon Capital, Thirty Six Zorra, set to make its debut to Toronto’s Queensway in Etobicoke this fall. Encompassing a series of modern condominium suites ranging from 440 to 1,306 sq. ft., Thirty Six Zorra promises to expand the condominium offerings currently available within this rich Toronto locale, all while bringing a splash of colour to residents looking for the same lifestyle they know and love in the city.

Thirty Six Zorra invites you to get your colour on. This dynamic residence is positioned to provide a robust offering of more than 9,500 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor amenities, giving residents more than enough opportunities to express themselves and explore entertainment and ingenuity in their on- and off-hours. For those who like to stay close to home, Thirty Six Zorra will act as more of a lifestyle destination than just a residence.

For its indoor amenities, residents can choose from a series of offerings catering to any type of pastime, including a bright and spacious rec room with games and tabletop sports that will keep them on their toes in friendly competition. For options to work from home or host friends, a robust co-working space and social club are perfect for solo lounging or group gatherings. Offered alongside the location’s TV lounge and hobby room, residents of Thirty Six Zorra can also entertain their families in play in a fun-filled kids club, conveniently groom their pets in the pet wash area, or engage in an invigorating workout in the expansive gym and weight room. With its full demo kitchen, residents can also host exciting dinner parties with friends and family, all while surrounded by options for group seating or one-on-one dates.

The outdoor amenities are equally as engaging, featuring a luxurious rooftop pool with sun loungers and cabanas primed for relaxation, cosy fire pits, quaint barbecue dining areas, a vibrant on-site park, and a robust pet run for animal lovers. When they’re done basking in the sun and taking a dip in the pool, residents can head to any of the local parks in the area to enjoy Etobicoke’s many greenspaces and trails.

When it’s time to get out into the city for work or errands, residents of Thirty Six Zorra will also enjoy the benefits of a direct shuttlebus service to Kipling station offered in the morning and evening, for convenient and exclusive access to those living at this one-of-a-kind address. Known as a main artery between the downtown core and Toronto west, The Queensway provides high connectivity to downtown Toronto via local bus routes, as well as Islington and Kipling TTC stations and GO Transit. Prefer to drive? Get to downtown Toronto in 15 minutes with quick hop on the Gardiner Expressway.

Beyond its multitude of transit options, The Queensway is home to popular retail destinations such as Sherway Gardens Mall, IKEA, HomeSense, as well as local cafes, restaurants, and entertainment. Mainstays such as the local Cineplex Theatre and Bouldlerz Climbing Club offer faithful weekend activities within six minutes of Thirty Six Zorra. Other community hot spots include Tom’s Dairy Freeze, Sanremo Bakery, and California Sandwiches. A beacon for cyclists, runners, and park enthusiasts, Toronto’s expansive waterfront and Humber Bay are 10 minutes away by car.

Seasoned Torontonians or newcomers to the city will appreciate the lifestyle opportunity growing in Etobicoke. Thirty Six Zorra invites buyers to live larger when it comes to the financial perks of purchasing a suite in this burgeoning west end neighbourhood. That’s right: Residents get more square footage than their downtown neighbours while still reaping the many benefits of living in “the 416.” Etobicoke boasts prices of $850 per sq. ft., making costs for this area comparatively low against $1,200 per sq. ft. in the downtown core.

Backed by two of Canada’s leading highrise residential builders, third-generation developer Altree Developments and the visionary team at EllisDon Capital, Thirty Six Zorra is sure to be an iconic project, poised to set a new standard for The Queensway and Etobicoke living alike.

Learn more about how you can get your colour on at Thirty Six Zorra. Register today.


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Altree Developments announces two new marquee projects

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Altree Developments announces two new marquee projects

Altree Developments, led by third-generation developer Zev Mandelbaum, previously of Marlin Spring, Lanterra and H&R, is pleased to announce the company’s two new projects in the GTA, 2 Forest Hill Rd. in Toronto and 44 Zorra St. in Etobicoke. Plus Altree has just launched another development in Jersey City, N.J. — West Side Arts.

Following the acquisition of six properties at St. Clair Ave. and Forest Hill Rd., the Altree Forest Hill development will be a luxury nine-storey midrise building with approximately 75 units, spanning 1,000 to 4,000 sq. ft. The majority of each exclusive unit will feature expansive terraces, introducing outdoor areas to every living space.

Providing renowned inspirational residential, commercial and retail projects built with integrity, Altree Developments, is committed to connecting communities through the development of iconic projects. Altree is guided by Mandelbaum’s vision to seamlessly integrate projects into the existing culture of the neighbourhoods in which they develop, while uncovering opportunities to enhance communities and build with integrity. “It is a great privilege and honour to be able to bring these three iconic projects to life, creating beauty among three distinct neighbourhoods,” said Mandelbaum, president and CEO, Altree. “At Altree Developments, we are dedicated to seeking out projects that allow us to build a meaningful experience within each community we enter, offering residents a locale to live, dream and thrive.”

The Zorra St. development, located at The Queensway and Islington Ave., will be comprised of a 35-storey tower that spans across 340,000 sq. ft. of gross residential floor area, offering a diverse mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom units. It will be a landmark for the established and easily accessible community that delivers top-notch retail offerings and public green spaces for residents to enjoy. Only minutes away from downtown Toronto and Pearson International Airport, this development will serve as a hub for millennials and young families.

Altree Developments, launched in late 2018, continues a 70-year multi-generational family legacy in the development industry, including H&R REIT, founded by his grandfather Sandy Hofstedter, and Lanterra Developments, founded by his father Mark Mandelbaum. Prior to the launch of Altree, Zev previously held roles as co-founder, chief operating officer and principal at Marlin Spring, and commercial division lead at Lanterra Developments.


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