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Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers a new vision of elegant country living

Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers a new vision of elegant country living

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Braestone Horseshoe Valley offers a new vision of elegant country living

Imagine an idyllic community nestled between gently rolling hills and valleys. A place where you can reconnect with your roots. Where stately pines tower over winding trails and clear water ponds shelter turtles, frogs and migratory birds. A community that offers a casual yet refined style of living, that is down home, yet up country. Welcome to Braestone, a picture-perfect community located in the scenic Oro-Medonte region of southern Ontario, just minutes from the urban centres of Barrie and Orillia.

Braestone’s 275-acre nature preserve is crisscrossed by a comprehensive trail system that walkers, cyclists, cross country skiers and snowshoers can enjoy. This unspoiled countryside, while providing privacy, also offers a meaningful sense of community. Within the Braestone nature preserve, you’ll find century-old forests, wetlands, aquifer ponds and cold-water streams.

Phase 4 now open

These rolling hills, expansive vistas and winding streetscapes form the backdrop for the 100 families who have moved in over the last four years or so. Over the years, Braestone has expanded with more facilities and more families, and today, it’s into its successful fourth phase. Comprised of 20 homesites on a selection of valley and ridge lots ranging from approximately half an acre to more than one acre in size, this new phase offers families an escape from the hustle and bustle of city live with all of the conveniences they need close by.

Braestone’s homes are inspired by the quaint farmhouses and barns that dot the Oro-Medonte countryside and have an architectural style that is sophisticated, timeless and simple in detail. Traditional pitched rooflines and extra deep soffits, integrated with generous porches and lit by authentic gas-burning lanterns create truly charming elevations and inviting streetscapes.

Inspiring models and finishes

Six inspiring main models are available with various elevations – The Cumberland, The Clydesdale, The Morgan, The Belgian, The Thoroughbred and The Oldenburg – ranging in size up to 3,263 sq. ft. These bungalows and two-storey homes come with two-, three- and four-bedroom plans and offer optional lofts and optional finished coach houses.

The homes have been designed using a “continuation architecture” approach, with principal rooms at the home’s core, resulting in more majestic homes with wider, more expandable and more interesting layouts that better complement Braestone’s large acreage lots. Strict architectural guidelines for exteriors ensure a consistent look with the high level of quality that defines Braestone.

Premium interior finishes include vaulted ceilings in Great Rooms, stained treads and stair railing, modern farmhouse cabinetry with granite kitchen countertops, luxurious deep soaker tub in master bathroom, full glass showers, premium engineered hardwood on main floor, high-efficiency furnace, and lots more.

The Remarkables – extraordinary amenities

Braestone’s Remarkables are simple and timeless amenities that have grown naturally out of the community’s own unique and magnificent landscape. These amenities include horse paddocks, future Starfall park for star gazing, Nordic skiing, a maple sugar shack, orchard and berry picking and more. There are literally dozens of Remarkables that differentiate and define Braestone as a special community.

One of Braestone’s most popular Remarkables is the Sugaring Week, which happens every spring. The event draws Braestone residents out to the woods and to the charming Sugar Shack to enjoy the age-old practice of tapping maple trees and boiling the sap to make syrup. This sweet tradition takes place year after year – many tree farms across Ontario have been tapping the same sugar maple for more than 100 years.

Another extraordinary initiative is the neighbouring Braestone Farm, where on 108 acres of fertile land, pumpkins, berries, apples and more are grown. In this peaceful pastoral setting, families have an opportunity to access and experience first-hand a vanishing way of life in Ontario.

Though Braestone lies in the heart of the countryside, it’s just minutes from a wealth of urban amenities. The neighbouring historic community of Orillia is just 10 minutes away and offers small-town charm with modern day conveniences. Within a 10-minute drive from Braestone you’ll discover fabulous dining, hiking, boating, skiing, golfing, shopping and more to suit each and every lifestyle.

Nearby amenities include Horseshoe Valley Resort, Moonstone Ski Resort, Blue Mountain Village, Braestone Club, Settlers Ghost Golf Club, Copeland Forest, Hardwood Cross Country Ski and Bike. Ontario’s famed Muskoka and cottage country is less than an hour away. Lake Simcoe Regional Airport is just 15 minutes away and Toronto Pearson International Airport is just slightly more than an hour from Braestone.

Winner of the Best New Home Community Award by Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Braestone offers families a refined upcountry lifestyle in harmony with nature. Phase 4 is now open, with homes from the mid $700,000s to low $1 millions.

GEORGIAN COMMUNITIES
Braestone

Visit the Discovery Centre, located at 3288 Line 9 North in Oro-Medonte. For further information visit the website.


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ADI Development Group

Adi Developments is reimagining the urban landscape

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Adi Developments is reimagining the urban landscape

When brothers Tariq and Saud Adi started Adi Development Group in 2007, they knew they wanted to approach the development business differently than the rest by bringing world-class architecture to suburban communities that hadn’t seen it before.

“I think what has set us apart from other developers is the fact that we went into the industry knowing we wanted to shake it up, to be changemakers and to have a different approach,” says Tariq Adi, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “We bring a vibrancy to communities you don’t see elsewhere. You know an Adi building when you see one.”

Adi Development Group, most well-known for its numerous residential developments in Halton Region, was just named one of Canada’s 10 fastest growing companies by the Globe and Mail. Today, Adi is behind 12 different projects across the Greater Toronto Area – each at different stages of the development process, representing more than 3,800 residential units. These range from stylish townhomes with modern facades situated in master-planned communities, to elegant highrise buildings with imaginative amenity spaces.

Being disruptors in the real estate industry is central to the way that Adi does business. From the beginning, the brothers have set out to build unique and memorable communities that stand out amongst the rest, with thoughtful details included at attainable price points. By challenging the status quo, Adi has made innovative, design-forward thinking standard in each of its projects. “When you look around at new developments, you see a lot of the same; it’s becoming predictable. When we started Adi, we knew we wanted to deliver something that was the opposite of predictable. Something that was cool, visionary, and interesting – to create the kind of communities that we could envision living in ourselves.”

Adi plans to bring its signature approach to other markets. The company’s first expansion will take shape in 2020, when it launches its inaugural projects in Toronto. The first of these will be 135 Portland Street – a desirable address near shopping, entertainment, and transit. “What we’re doing along Portland is an extraordinary fusion of heritage and a modern vision for Toronto.

The team at Adi has put a lot of work into reimagining this location into a vibrant community that fits seamlessly into the King West neighbourhood,” explains Saud Adi, the co-founder and COO of Adi Developments. “It’s a great introduction to the energy we will bring to our other developments in Toronto.” Following 135 Portland Street, Adi has a second Toronto project in the works, also anticipated to launch in 2020, at 64 Prince Arthur Avenue in the Annex. Together, the brothers make a strong, well-balanced team – with Tariq imagining new ways to transform the urban landscape, and Saud discovering innovative ways to improve the quality and speed of construction on every Adi project.

One thing that unites the pair is their shared vision for the future of real estate and their entrepreneurial spirit, which earned them a spot on Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2019.

Adi has a great selection of suites currently available. Nautique Lakefront Residences offers luxurious condominium suites overlooking the waterfront in downtown Burlington. Pricing starts from the $500,000s for one-bedroom and $700,000s for two-bedrooms. Luxurious and penthouse suites available. Grand opening continues at Stationwest, with a limited collection of Terrace Townhomes, each boasting two storeys of living space, a private rooftop terrace, and a two-car garage. Pricing starts from the mid $600,000s, located steps from the Aldershot GO station. Watch for the new release of Townhomes at Valera, coming in late 2019. Valera is a masterplanned community in Alton Village.

Learn more about Adi Developments and their communities by registering at the website.


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Lindvest

Lindvest has realized that when it comes to the homebuilding industry, it’s time to Do It Differently

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Lindvest has realized that when it comes to the homebuilding industry, it’s time to Do It Differently

As one of the GTA’s premier homebuilders, Lindvest has decided that status quo is no longer acceptable in the industry. While it’s easy to measure success purely by numbers such as sales and revenues, the company has committed to being different. Whether it’s how it treats customers throughout the sales process or the little things that can often be overlooked, Lindvest has committed to providing its product with energy, pride, joy, pleasure, dedication, consistency and confidence.

This new message, simple and yet provocative, has been seen on billboards, televisions and digital platforms throughout the GTA. This message has woven its way into the Lindvest branding, website, social media platforms and more. The goal is for the voice of Lindvest to stand out from the pack by breaking away from the standards of marketing in the industry.

Do it Differently isn’t performative; it’s prescriptive. Lindvest doesn’t want to claim it’s different just for the sake of being different, but because the company knows that there are people out there who aspire to carve out their own unique path in life. The builder wants to provide a homebuying experience that is as unique and special as it should be. It’s about more than attempting to outperform competitors – the real goal is for the company to better itself.

In July, the brand was launched internally to the company at a private event, where staff was joined by Jamaal Magloire, the assistant coach of the 2019 NBA champion Toronto Raptors, who roused the crowd with a speech about how the Raptors attained great success by doing it differently.

Director of Marketing Joseph Alberga proudly proclaimed: “This is a year of change, and as an organization, we’re embracing it.”

“It is time to distinguish ourselves from the ordinary and move away from the status quo,” said Anthony Martelli, chief operating officer. “It requires a commitment at every level from each and every one of us. We are committed to ensuring the homebuying process at Lindvest will be positive at every touchpoint for our customers. It will be driven by care.”

In addition to a new website that provides more detailed information about available homes and upcoming opportunities, Lindvest is updating many of its operating procedures to ensure the quality, consistency and level of service that will align with the campaign promises. From purchasing at the sales centre to choosing interior decor options, from site visits to final closing, Lindvest is striving to provide a different and better experience to all purchasers.

Lindvest President George Hofstedter took the stage and gave his two cents. “Just like Jamaal, I’ve been doing something I’ve loved all my life – real estate. We haven’t done it wrong. We’re just going to do it better. I look forward to the future.”

LINDVEST HOMES

To learn about Lindvest’s current and upcoming communities, and for more information about the Do It Differently campaign, visit the website.


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Neil Crone, Feeling funny

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Neil Crone, Feeling funny

By Cece M. Scott cecescott.com

You may know him best as the irascible, redneck radio host, Fred Tupper, on CBC’s long-running comedy sitcom Little Mosque on the Prairie. Neil Crone, actor, comedian, columnist and author, says that he loved playing the character of Tupper because it reminded him a little of his dad, and also of himself. “I like to play characters who are close to home,” says Crone. “Fred was a kind person with a really big heart, but he was a little rough around the edges.”

When in an Indian curry restaurant in Toronto, Crone was approached by a young girl, whose mom was wearing a hijab. “She was shy and said, ‘I really like you on your television show.’ Wow, I said, you know who Fred Tupper is, and you still like him? That felt really great, like we were making a difference, bringing people together, as opposed to being divisive,” says Crone. “If this girl, who couldn’t have been more than eight or nine years old, could see the humanity in my goofy, rednecked character, then clearly we were doing something right – something good.”

As Fred Tupper, Little Mosque on the Prairie. Photo by Peter Stranks

At the age of 59, Crone subscribes to the theory of radiating happiness outwards, in order to attract the same back. He’s a nature buff, and is very conscientious of his impact on the planet. “I meditate quite often and am a big believer in affirmations,” says Crone. “I visualize my day every morning to make sure that I am clear about what I want to have happen, and then go forward to attract that.”

Crone began his career as a high school teacher, where he taught English and drama for three years at King City Secondary School. However, deep down, he knew that he really wanted to be an actor. “At that time, though,” laughs Crone, “the thinking around being an actor leaned towards getting a real job.”

As Bad Santa on Derringer in the Morning Q107 for which he won a Canadian Comedy Award. Photo by Peter Stranks

After nighttime stints at Theatresports and Big City Improv, Crone accepted a role at Toronto’s famed Second City Touring Company before moving on to the prestigious Second City Mainstage. Recurring roles on The Red Green Show, Wind at my Back, Goosebumps and Power Play heightened Crone’s visibility. Feature films followed, which included Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy (1998), American Psycho II: All American Girl (2002), Against the Ropes (2004), and Hollywoodland (2006).

Working alongside Burt Reynolds and James Garner are memories that will always resonate with Crone. “The minute I walked onto the set, James approached me and introduced himself. He was as big as you get, but he still had the graciousness to treat me like a peer,” says Crone. “That stuck with me. I try to do my best to extend the same kind of warmth to young actors working with me now.”

THE Yes MEN (an improv comedy show) with Patrick McKenna, Neil Crone and Kevin Frank. Photo by Jonathon Van Bilsen

For all the inherent acting ups-and-downs, Crone says it provided him with the flexibility, along with a positive environment, in which to raise his kids – Duncan, now 28, and Connor, 25. As a stay-at-home dad, Crone drew on his experiences with his boys in the creation of a number of children’s books. “I had this huge well of kids’ stuff to draw inspiration from.”

Crack a Smile Colorectal Cancer fundraiser. Photo by Jonathon Van Bilsen

These imaginings resulted in the writing of four books: Who Farted – Stories in Verse for Big and Little Kids; The Farmers Secret Midnight Dance; I Am Dead at Recess and Coby Builds a House.

Crone has also published a collection of his award winning columns (as appeared in Metroland papers) titled Enter Laughing – The Early Years. A spokesperson for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and Colon Cancer Canada, Crone also wrote Semi-Colon: A Writer’s Cheeky Journey Through Colorectal Cancer. “I had already had a scope and a resultant diagnosis,” says Crone. “I went for surgery to remove the lesion but when the surgeon opened me up he found a peach-sized tumour on the outside of my colon, eating its way in. I was only 43 at the time. Nobody saw it coming. It worked for, and against, me. I was healthy enough that they could give me massive doses of radiation and chemotherapy. But it was quite scary, especially with two young boys at home. It was a definite reset button.”

Crone believes that his ability to laugh, along with his positive attitude, were contributing factors in his recovery. At the time, he was living in an old Victorian home with his-then wife, Suzanne Crone, and their two sons. He says that he’d wile away the hours on their screened-in porch, and imagine all the things that he was going to do when he got better.

His perspective has changed, and he says that he has a better appreciation for what’s important, and what should be prioritized. “I have relaxed my attitude on life, completely understanding the bullet that I dodged,” says Crone. “I do my best to keep my body supple by riding my bike, canoeing, golfing and hiking with my fiancée, Kathryn.”

Moving into his sixth decade, Crone is dealing with an arthritic knee and soft tissue damage, a direct result of his chemotherapy. “It’s a challenge to maintain an active lifestyle with a body that can’t keep up. Trying to find ways to carry on, and wrestle with the pain, is ongoing. But, really, I still feel very young.”

al_so19_cover_8a
Photography, Suzanne Crone

“As my footprint – I want to leave people feeling good.” – Neil Crone

Currently, Crone is working on a series called Endlings, which is now in its second season. He plays the part of Mr. Leopold, who runs a foster home. “I’m one hundred per cent behind the show’s message, which is about embracing differences and loving people – even broken people,” says Crone.

In 2008, Crone won the Canadian Comedy Award for his radio work as Bad Santa on Q107. He’s been a finalist on numerous occasions for his humour column, and placed second and third for Humour Columnist of the Year, from the Ontario Community Newspaper Awards, in 2001, 2002 and 2012.

Crone says that he absolutely loves acting, as a job, but admits that the types of roles he’s now getting are changing as the years go by. “I am auditioning for grandparent roles now. But I still feel like I’m 18 years old – that is, until I pass a mirror. But, I am content with my life now,” says Crone. “When all is said and done, I don’t think I will ever grow up.”

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Andrin Homes

Andrin Homes has 30 years of homebuilding excellence – with more to come

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Andrin Homes has 30 years of homebuilding excellence – with more to come

It’s not every day that a company gets to celebrate a milestone as significant as 30 years in business. But as 2020 approaches, Andrin Homes prepares to do just that.

And not just 30 years of building homes, but 30 years of developing new communities – with many of the homes and developments award-winning, and themselves worthy of celebrating.

“Andrin does more than just build homes,” says President Peter Smith. “We build communities. We are proud of our past accomplishments and look forward to the future, confident that we have the skills to create quality developments that will stand the test of time.”

Indeed, just imagine how homebuilding – like any industry – has evolved over three decades. Andrin Homes has not only kept pace with changing consumer demands and construction techniques, it continues to deliver – with excellence.

The company’s commitment to detail extends well beyond the completion of its new homes. It focuses on sourcing the best products, providing the best value in the best locations, and wants to provide its homebuyers with the best customer service – before and after the sale.

“We must be doing something right,” Smith says. “As we approach the 30th anniversary of Andrin in 2020, we continue to build one outstanding community after another, with thousands of homes completed across the GTA and beyond. Our commitment to deliver excellence in design, craftsmanship and customer service will never change – this is the foundation of our success.”

Timed with the 30th anniversary, Andrin has four outstanding newhomebuying opportunities for GTA residents.

Boatworks at Victoria and Dufferin in Whitby

Launch a new chapter in your life in Whitby, where Boatworks offers beautiful townhomes and semi-detached homes, just minutes from the waterfront to the south, downtown to the north, and easy access to the GO station, the 401 and the 412. Why Whitby? The town was ranked as one of the 2019 Best Communities in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine, citing strong amenities and culture, among other features. With more than 90 parks, including year-round trails at Cullen Central Park, a popular farmers’ market from May to October and other highlight community features, there’s no doubt Whitby is one of the best places to connect with nature and enjoy life.

Country Lane at Taunton and Country Lane in Whitby

Whitby is all about family living. Country Lane – a master-planned community of freehold towns and 26-ft. single-detached homes boasting traffic-calming roundabouts, walking and cycling trails, a park splashpad and playground – is perfect for families of all sizes. And with the recent expansion of Hwy. 407, connecting Whitby with Hwys. 401 and 412, heading out into surrounding communities or into downtown Toronto has never been easier.

Glenway Urban Towns at Yonge and Davis Drive in Newmarket

Newmarket last year was named one of the Best Places to Live in Canada by MoneySense Magazine. This sentiment matches perfectly with Glenway Urban Towns, with a collection of urban townhomes and live/work towns with distinguished architecture and luxurious interiors, located adjacent to the Newmarket GO station. With sprawling parks and trails, and easy access to Hwys. 404 and 400, Glenway Urban Towns is perfectly suited for young families and professionals alike.

Village Homes at McCowan and 16th in Markham

Markham has been a hotbed for growth and development for years, with a booming local economy and employment growth. Combine this with cultural diversity, countless recreational amenities, natural attractions such as Toogood Pond, and proximity to Hwys. 407 and 404, and it all makes Markham a great choice for a new home location. At Village Homes, with townhomes and semis in a convenient location, residents are close to everything that makes Markham so popular.

Andrin’s new-home communities offer a wide range of styles to meet buyers’ ever-changing needs in the GTA. These communities include urban towns, traditional condominium towns, semi-detached and single-family homes.

Combine this range of product types with excellent locations, centrally and conveniently positioned close to amenities, transit, and lifestyle choices that Andrin offers in Whitby, Newmarket and Markham, and you have the very kind of affordable housing supply the GTA so desperately needs more of.

All of this, of course, delivered with the usual excellence Andrin, its homes and its communities have become known for.

What else do you expect from a company about to celebrate 30 award-winning years in the business? All of this and more of the same in 2020, its milestone year in homebuilding, and more in future years to come.

andrinhomes.com


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Fleur

Fleur is a beacon of fashion, art and culture

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Fleur is a beacon of fashion, art and culture

Toronto’s downtown core is vibrant, diverse and lively, appealing to a variety of people and lifestyles. With the downtown population expected to double to more than 500,000 over the next 25 years, the city is poised to continue its upward trajectory as a destination for investment.

One area in particular that’s attracting both retailers and developers alike is the City’s Garden District, located just east of Yonge, from College to Queen Street. The area has really “blossomed” over the last few years, and at the heart of it you’ll find Menkes‘ Fleur Residences.

With a Walk Score of 99 and a perfect Transit Score of 100, Fleur offers residents seamless access to the city’s premier dining, shopping and cultural destinations. In a city where traffic congestion is a growing frustration, everyone wants the luxury of living close to public transit, and Fleur is set between two major subway station stations, Queen and Dundas. In fact, the building neighbours the lively Dundas Square, a magnet for musical acts, cultural events and entertainment.

Yonge & Dundas
Yonge & Dundas

Set at the epicentre of retail and style, Fleur is every shopaholic’s dream come true. The building is located just steps away from North America’s most popular mall, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, home to world-renowned retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom. The popular tourist destination underwent a massive revitalization, and over the last several years, introduced a number of new high-end international retailers to its eclectic mix. There has been an influx of foreign retailers to the area, further confirmation of the neighbourhood’s international appeal. The east side of Yonge Street is cast with a remarkable range of independent shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes.

Suite Interior
Suite Interior

The sleek 32-storey tower puts you within a five-minute walk to the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatres, stacked, magnificently restored treasures, and a four-minute walk to the historic Massey Hall. Toronto consistently ranks among the top three cities in the world for live theatre.

Dining Room
Dining Room

Living at Fleur will also be a foodie’s paradise, close to some of the best cuisine the city has to offer, such as popular dining spots like Canoe, Cactus Club and Hy’s Steakhouse, all within 10 minutes of the building. Also, a short 10-minute stroll south, is Toronto’s world-famous St. Lawrence Market, where you will find an overwhelming array of fresh produce, meats, seafood, and delicacies offered by countless vendors, bakers, and artisans.

CF Toronto Eaton Centre
CF Toronto Eaton Centre

To add to the long list of things to see and do in this interesting and diverse neighbourhood, Nathan Phillips Square, at the foot of Toronto’s iconic City Hall, is also minutes away. The Square is home to some of Toronto’s best farmers markets, concerts, art exhibits, holiday celebrations, and more. In winter, the reflecting pool transforms into a public skating rink.

Co-Work Lounge
Co-Work Lounge

Close to the action on Yonge Street, yet quietly sheltered, Fleur’s tower ascends from a unique three-storey glass and stone podium. Designed by the talented local firm architectsAlliance, a subtle garden theme welcomes residents as they approach the striking tower, which much like its community, stands as a symbol of fashion and art. Inspired by the surrounding Garden District, the architects designed a stone element in the tower’s base along Church Street to imitate the monolithic stone of the neighbourhood’s nearby cathedrals.

Urban Torontonians with busy lifestyles desire a home where they can relax and unwind, but also enjoy the best the city has to offer. Fleur is unique in that it’s at the centre of the excitement of the downtown core, yet nestled in the Garden District, which also retains a more peaceful vibe.

For anyone looking for all the conveniences of downtown living wrapped into one phenomenal location, Fleur Residences is your ideal home. For more information visit the Menkes Store, located at 110 Harbour St, Unit 106, call 416.591.7700 or visit the website.


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National Homes

Bright ideas come out of National Homes’ Blueprint Design Lab

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Bright ideas come out of National Homes’ Blueprint Design Lab

Society is undergoing a time of groundbreaking change. Advanced technology, Green initiatives, smart cities, robotics; it’s all taking place as the largest single demographic, Baby Boomers, are handing the reins to Millennials, a group with very different perspectives and needs.

The Forest Phase 2 Model Home.
The Forest Phase 2 Model Home.

To steer a successful course and to thrive, the team at National Homes has deeply leaned into their core philosophy and longtime tagline: You are the Blueprint. One of the GTA’s most celebrated names, National Homes is renowned for its customer focus, as the company designs, builds, markets and sells homes based entirely on their understanding of clients’ needs.

This promise inspired the company to create a new and experiential concept, The Blueprint Workshop. National Homes wanted to re-imagine the way the company listened to its customers and design their homes. Having employed traditional focus groups and online survey methodologies for more than 20 years, National’s goal in creating the Blueprint Workshop series was to find a new way to engage participants far beyond the standard notions.

The vision was to revolutionize the way new home consumer research is accomplished, thereby raising the bar for innovative thinking around home design, with a particular focus on the fast-developing “smart home” connectivity technology of the future.

National’s inaugural Blueprint Workshop event was held at the IBM Innovation Space, welcoming globally recognized leaders in the fields of technology, product development, and design, who participated in group interactions and the co-creation process. Also taking part were dozens of past and potential National buyers of varied ages and demographics: National staff architects, designers and engineers; and students from York University’s Schulich School of Business real estate master’s program. The group then rolled up their sleeves and held deep discussions, presentations, interviews and educational sessions, all in a thinktank format.

Many groundbreaking ideas from that first Blueprint Workshop are already working their way into homes of new National communities. For example, when new-home buyers indicated that they want more input into the building of their homes than just choosing cabinets and countertops, the builder responded by launching a new customer service initiative that combines the best use of technology, with hands-on involvement.

At National’s new forward-looking Blueprint Design Lab, customers can personalize their new home to reflect their style using the Virtual Interior Design Tool that makes the decor selection process more fun, creative, and efficient. National’s R&D Department regularly tests products, materials and techniques in the Blueprint Design Lab, particularly with sustainability in mind, and this is where future Blueprint Workshops will also be held.

To provide blueprint-to-welcome mat updates for customers, another innovative use of technology by National is The Homeowner Portal that connects buyers to the design and construction of their home from the moment they decide to buy until long after they move in.

The builder is constantly pushing the envelope to source the latest and the best, with a commitment to use advanced thinking to make a real difference in the way people live in their home. National calls these Bright Ideas. Things such as smart thermostats to keep costs low, smart locks and cameras to keep residents safe, and built-in recycling areas to make responsible waste sorting easy. Incorporating these Bright Ideas and others make National homes smarter, more responsive and energy-efficient, a very Bright Idea in itself.

New-home buyers care about energy efficiency, sustainability, carbon footprint, smart home products and much more. They also care about functionality, convenience and comfort. Many Bright Ideas take comfort to a whole new level. Imagine a closet organizer with revolving shoe rack in the dressing room, pulldown cupboards and motion sensor faucets in the kitchen, a voice-activated smart shower in the spa ensuite that controls on/off, water temperature and flow, and a convenient pull-down drying rack in the laundry room. Simplifying life is a Bright Idea, too.

It’s already happening for National buyers at The Forest Phase 2, who will enjoy many Bright Ideas as standard features. Residents will benefit from a main door smart lock and Wi-Fi video doorbell, and the ultimate help to stay uncluttered: a drop zone with storage, shelves and hanging hooks, and a family centre with desk. This is fitted with a whiteboard and shelving to display and store messages, school forms, family calendar and various other odds and ends with no place to go in a typical home, this exciting Bright Idea also has a hidden charging station for multiple smart devices.

IBM Blueprint Workshop.
IBM Blueprint Workshop.

Involving buyers in the process, National aims to provide innovative new solutions by thinking ahead and designing the homes of the future, today. Interested potential purchasers can sign up online to participate in scheduled Blueprint Workshops related to upcoming new National communities in the early planning stages.

NATIONAL HOMES

For more on National’s Bright Ideas, Blueprint Workshops, Blueprint Design Lab, current and upcoming communities, visit the website.


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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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Keep calm & carry on, unify an open-concept main floor

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Keep calm & carry on, unify an open-concept main floor

• Photography By Stephani Buchman

When creating an open-concept floor plan, continuity is key. How I achieve this is by incorporating a common theme throughout. For example, in this lakeside home, I went with a crisp, white-and-blue colour palette and added the warmth of reclaimed wood for balance. This combination evokes an understated nautical vibe, which echoes throughout the main floor of the home.

LAYERS & LIGHT

The blue-and-white palette also evokes a serene feeling in the space, which can be achieved even when these colours are added in small doses. In the dining area, the look is richly layered from the navy-blue hue of the rug underfoot to the dining chairs and artwork on the walls. The eye is also drawn to the large and plentiful windows framed by the white walls, which serve to amplify the natural light and lake views in this bright corner. Hanging overhead, is a staggered cluster of simple, clear, Edison bulb-inspired pendants, which do not interfere with the daylight views.

ADD SOME DRAMA

If you’re blessed with an abundance of natural light, a dark colour palette can be your best friend. A rich, deep shade of blue, burgundy or green can lend a wonderfully rich, dramatic ambience, without leaving your home feeling “closed in,” as dark colours are known to do.

TIP: Any designer worth their salt will tell you that a great piece of art is equal parts canvas and frame. You need something to complement the art and draw attention to it, without detracting from it. This same principle was applied to the windows in this dining area. The dark-painted window trim becomes a dramatic punctuation point in this space, highlighting the abundant windows, their composition and the views.

THEME-FRIENDLY FLOORING & WALLS

This notable shade of blue is subtly carried into the kitchen with the striking blue-upholstered breakfast bar counter stools. Behind them, the crisp white cabinetry and backsplash are perfectly on trend, with simple detailing and an overall clean, serene look. Grey-toned, reclaimed barn-board walls and hardwood floors envelop the space and are reminiscent of driftwood, contributing to the overall nautical theme of the space. A thoughtful collection of curios adds visual interest and a feeling of home.

The reclaimed wood panelling extends into the adjoining living area, cladding the chimney and rear wall with its rustic, warm esthetic. Flanking the fireplace, a pair of custom, soft-grey sideboards in a distressed finish, echo the texture of the reclaimed wood wall. An industrial-style, wood-and-steel coffee table and an oversized iron chandelier overhead complete the look of the great room.

SUBTLE & CHIC

When selecting pieces to fit within your chosen theme, avoid overtly obvious displays – for instance, in this nautical theme, I didn’t go overboard by adding fishing rods and anchors at every turn. Instead, try adding different materials, textures, colours and shapes, which can be a more subtle and tasteful way to repeat the motif. In this home, I accentuated the nautical theme with the addition of wood furniture, rope, woven accents and easy living fabrics.

This stunning open-concept dining/kitchen/living area is exactly what my clients had hoped to achieve. The space is relaxed yet refined, and invites its residents and guests to sit, eat and enjoy.

SOURCES DINING CHAIRS: Shelter Furniture PAINT: Chantilly Lace 2121-70, Benjamin Moore VINYL FLOORING: French Oak, Peppercorn from Mannington Restorations ART: Homeowners’ collection DINING TABLE, LIGHTING: Nuevo

Sara Bederman, Principal Designer for Sara Bederman Design, is known for creating stylish, thoughtfully curated and livable interiors for over a decade. The Toronto-based firm provides residential design services for projects of all sizes. Sara Bederman Design works throughout Toronto, GTA and beyond. For more information, sarabedermandesign.com, follow her on Instagram: sarabstudio

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Democrat Homes’ Forest Heights Estates is truly one of a kind

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Democrat Homes’ Forest Heights Estates is truly one of a kind

Picture it. Towering pines and maples, oak trees and white birch dotting the landscape. Breathe in the clean, fresh air as you listen to the sound of serenity – quiet interrupted only by the gentle chirping of birds. Now picture the home of your dreams framed against the greens and reds and browns of the Simcoe County Forest. This isn’t a fantasy or a pipe dream. This is the reality Democrat Homes is building for a fortunate few in the brand new Forest Heights Estates community in Horseshoe Valley.

More than 30 years in the business has taught the Palumbo family (Democrat Homes) the real differences between a house and a home. A house is a shell, four walls and a roof with no personal attachments. A home is that special somewhere you choose to live – a place where you feel safe and where you spend time with those you love. It’s the setting for your biggest moments and celebrations. Democrat wants Forest Heights to be the place you choose, a community of homes, luxurious, affordable and situated amid rolling hills and green tree tops. It’s like no other community and the limited 80 lots truly make it one of a kind. It is a special place that will remain a jewel in the heart of Oro-Medonte for years to come. This is your chance to be part of this most exclusive neighbourhood.

To match the stunning natural beauty of the nature all around, Democrat has raised the bar by offering exceptional standard features – bringing elegance and luxury inside every home they build. Incredible standards include engineered hardwood floors, nine-ft. ceilings, oak stairs, insulated steel garage doors, upgraded trim and kitchen cabinets, 200-amp service, pot lights, tankless water heaters and more. Democrat wants to set every house apart with a uniqueness and individuality that will speak to your refined taste.

Bold brick and brick with stone elevations are dramatically silhouetted against the verdant greenery just outside your back door. Democrat Homes’ custom-style elevations feature architecturally refined exteriors, which include: high-pitched roofs, classic masonry, decorative columns, and pre-cast detailing (such as key-stones banding and sills) giving each model a regal stature.

Each lot is special, ranging from a minimum half acre to private cul-de-sacs boasting premium lots that approach three acres of treed beauty. There is something for everyone. Each home is given the space it deserves, instead of the “sardines in a can” look and feel of so many other subdivisions.

Located in Oro-Medonte within the beautiful Horseshoe Valley, Forest Heights Estates feels like a private resort, yet is just 15 minutes from the neighbouring cities of Barrie and Orillia. Toronto is just an hour’s drive away. More important, you’re minutes away from world class golfing, skiing at Mount St. Louis Moonstone, canoeing on Bass Lake, walking the countless trails and wildlife preserve, or enjoying the many restaurants and boutique art shops tucked into the surrounding towns. There is so much to do and see whenever you wish; all you have to do is walk out the front door. Whether it’s the peace and quiet tranquility of your backyard or a day filled with adventure, it’s all at your fingertips in Forest Heights Estates.

Beyond the natural beauty of the surroundings, every Democrat home is Built to Appreciate. Not only will the thoughtful design and attention to detail provide you with an incredible living experience for years to come, but your valuable purchase will appreciate in so many ways… and remain a source of pride for your family and the surrounding community.

Forest Heights Estates checks all the boxes, an incredible location that will continue as one of the most desirable luxury communities in the Horseshoe Valley and GTA. Curb appeal with curated designs and layouts that will please everyone. Architectural beauty that will stand the test of time. Quality construction with the peace of mind that only a new build can provide. Yes, you can rest assured that every Democrat home is built to the Ontario building code with only high quality materials and finishings that will last a lifetime. Hundreds of options and customizable premium upgrades will add that personal touch all your very own.

Sales Manager, Mark Palumbo, handles every purchase personally and will help you navigate your newhomebuying experience with ease. From the initial purchase to colour charts, electrical layouts and kitchen design, Palumbo will assist you with every aspect of your new home.

DEMOCRAT HOMES
Forest Heights Estates

For further information and to register, visit the Democrat Homes website or e-mail Mark Palumbo directly.


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