Tag Archives: National Homes

M2M Spaces, Aoyuan Canada

COVID-19 already influencing new home and condo design – experts

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COVID-19 already influencing new home and condo design – experts

COVID-19 is challenging all kinds of things about life in Canada – including the way we live and work. Our panel of experts share their insights on the new home and condo design changes already taking place.

M2M Spaces, Aoyuan Canada
Photo: M2M Spaces, Aoyuan Canada

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Broccolini

COVID-19 has transformed our homes into our offices, classrooms, gyms, and playgrounds. Our homes need to encourage physical and mental health. To support the growing roles of our homes, flexibility in design will be key. For remote workers, we’ll need to prioritize flex spaces which offer natural light, plus acoustical and visual privacy to maintain separation between work and homelife.

Building amenities such as the coworking space offered in Broccolini’s River & Fifth and upcoming LeftBank projects can make this possible for residents with less space. For material selection, we’ll continue to prioritize durability and cleaning ease, incorporating choices such as quartz countertops and porcelain tiles in residences and amenity spaces.

Megan Collins
Design Manager, Broccolini
Toronto
broccolini.com

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Dunpar Homes

There’s no question that moving forward people will continue to work from home if they’re able to, and that decision will greatly affect how people choose to design their new homes or condominiums in this new normal. Our space will have to be very functional, livable and afford us the room we need to work. There will be great emphasis on building out multi-purpose rooms that have the ability to work smarter for us and take full advantage of square footage.

There’s great power in good design. A living room equipped with bookshelves and a console table could function as an office, whereas a guest bedroom could also have built-in desk and storage solutions to offer the same value. It’s less about dedicating a specific room as an office and instead making certain rooms offer dual functions.

Lisa Rogers
Executive Vice-President
Design
Dunpar Homes
Etobicoke, Ont.
dunparhomes.com

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Flato Developments

Flexible spaces are a great way to reconcile livability with affordability. In response to the working- from-home reality, we have started exploring the idea of co-ownership condo suites with a shared flexible zone that would allow two potential owners to share a home office space.

In multi-unit condo design where space is typically very efficient, we are looking beyond the four walls of each suite in order to find flexible and cost-effective design solutions through cost sharing. We think shared indoor and outdoor amenity areas with generous, strategically located flexible spaces designed with functionality, wellness and technology features would be very marketable. This way, a potential buyer might opt to pay more to buy into a building where there are options to work from home, but not always within the confines of the walls in his condo suite.

Eduardo Ortiz, for Flato Developments
Principal, Architecture Unfolded
Toronto
architectureunfolded.ca

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Gairloch Developments

We have been seeing the trend in work-from-home increase over the past decade. Urban professionals long to eliminate a commute to gain more time for family and personal pursuits. There is also a desire to work in a more informal environment with comfort of home conveniences. Our clients are looking for uncluttered living spaces, timeless design and large windows affording views and plenty of natural light.

We understand that a condominium amenity space is an integral part of a building. A well-designed amenity should remain flexible, be attractive to many and facilitate future ways that we will work and inhabit our homes. At our 1414 Bayview project, the flexible amenity space is realized within a series of grand rooms, including a large communal table, for formal and informal lounging and working.

Our firm believes that a well-designed living space continues outdoors. Private, open-air retreats remain a top priority for our clients, especially in these unprecedented times. Several of the upper units at 1414 Bayview have access to large private terraces which will allow for outdoor lounging, entertaining and even working, from the comforts of home.

Stephanie Vermeulen & Kelly Doyle
for Gairloch Developments
Sixteen Degree Studio
Toronto
gairloch.ca

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Georgian Communities

An open concept floorplan has generally been the defining characteristic of new home design for years. The possibility of the new norm remaining suggests that flexible private areas such as home offices, gyms and playrooms with acoustic insulation are no longer a luxury but a necessity. In lowrise homes, functional finished lower levels offer additional space at an affordable price while eliminating impact to main floor principal rooms. Extensions to the outdoors from traditional living spaces will become more valued. Enlarged windows, covered porch and patio areas, walkouts when possible all help provide a sanctuary without leaving the home.

Danielle Jaques
Interior Design Coordinator
Georgian Communities
Barrie, Ont.
georgianinternational.com

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Heathwood Homes

In the new reality of a COVID-19 world, more people will be working from their home. This isn’t necessarily new, it’s just going to become so much more prevalent now.

In most homes, the trend towards the more open concept designs over the last decade does allow for flex space on the ground floor, but that same design comes with distractions in the form of noise and other people.

The easiest solution would be to carve out some “office space” in an existing bedroom or the basement area where daytime distractions would be minimized.

Bedrooms can be modified to have a desk niche, in lieu of a closet or have a murphy bed setup that allows for lots of additional daytime space. Also, in some homes, the laundry room could be moved to the basement, and that space becomes ideal office space.

Of utmost importance is that you have your Internet connections and modems of the highest speed and quality – so that you can ensure connectivity everywhere in the house. That way you can move around the home as needed – so that morning meeting can be had with a coffee on the front porch. Good technology is key.

Bob Finnigan
Chief Operating Officer
Acquisition & Housing
Heathwood Homes
Toronto
heathwood.com

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Minto Communities

Within condos, technology must be elevated to offer keyless entry, parcel drop-off and virtual platforms which can keep residents connected. Amenities should include breakout rooms and pods that facilitate continued amenity independent use, with greater emphasis on easily disinfected surfaces. There will be value to designs that can prioritize private outdoor spaces, and offer provisions for full-time work/study for multiple people, separating work and personal life within a single space.

We must use the events of COVID-19 to think about the resilience of systems and spaces, without losing track of the importance of designing spaces that promote well-being through community and connection.

Matt Brown
Director, Product Development
Minto Communities
Toronto
minto.com

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National Homes

Remote work spaces can take many forms. In larger homes, a dedicated office can work for one or two members of a household. For smaller homes, an alcove off a hallway with pocket doors for audible separation, similar to an office cubicle, may be all that is needed.

Glass partitions can be incorporated to allow a parent to keep an eye on their little ones, while still having a noise separation. If distractions in the home are not an issue, the main living space can be used as a flex space. Built-in desks with accessible outlets, such as National’s signature “Family Centre,” can be the perfect space to work from.

Wayne Cassidy
for National Homes
Principal
Cassidy and Co. Architectural Technologists
Ajax, Ont.
cassidyco.com

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National Homes

New GREENPRINT from National Homes makes communities more sustainable

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New GREENPRINT from National Homes makes communities more sustainable

Today, homebuyers – especially Millennial buyers – are looking for environmentally responsible options in real estate. National Homes recognized the importance of sustainability to its buyers, and began developing a program that gives buyers the reassurance of knowing that when buying a new home, they are also doing their part. That program, called “GREENPRINT,” is now about to launch in National Homes communities across the GTA.

For more than 25 years, National has lived by the mandate that “You are the Blueprint.” This customer-focussed approach has been the driving force behind the design and construction of every community National has built. And now, the company is taking it even further.

As an environmentally conscious company, National Homes utilized a third party CRESNET-certified energy evaluator to complete energy performance testing and inspections in their homes, to find where they can best improve energy efficiency and increase savings for homeowners on energy consumption. Then National responded by incorporating Green materials, features, and processes into every home they build. In addition, homebuyers can also choose from options that can save even more energy, save long term costs, and reduce their environmental impact even further.

Engineered hardwood flooring optimizes performance in your home with many eco-concious benefits.
Engineered hardwood flooring optimizes performance in your home with many eco-concious benefits.

The initial step to any Green initiative is recycling. National strives to reduce landfill waste and repurpose as many materials as possible. Non-recyclable materials are carefully sorted, and bricks and concrete that can’t be used on another project are broken down into recycled aggregate. National chooses to use renewable materials where possible and buy local, cutting back on emissions created by shipping materials while also fueling the local economy.

National then offers environmentally responsible features as standards in all its homes. From features such as programmable thermostats and low-flow faucets, to drain water heat recovery pipes and energy recovery ventilators, National ensures that your home runs as efficiently as possible for both the planet and for your wallet. Using Quartz countertops and 100-percent recycled carpets preserves natural resources by using safe man-made alternatives, and all hardwood flooring meets the high standards regarding low environmental impact.

Low-flow faucets reduce water consumption.
Low-flow faucets reduce water consumption.

Going Green provides homebuyers with even more choice. With so many Green features offered, the possibilities are nearly endless. A comprehensive series of Bright Ideas was developed with input from National homebuyers that make a home more functional, save time, and money too. Imagine cupboards that disappear when you don’t need them, drop zones that keep your home organized and lights that turn off with a voice command.

At the National Homes Design Studio, buyers can choose LED lighting packages to save energy, upgrade to a two-stage variable speed furnace, or get a smart thermostat that learns and adapts to a buyer’s needs to save money and energy. Or choose between durable, eco-friendly laminate flooring or engineered hardwood flooring to optimize your home performance while still looking sleek and beautiful.

Quartz countertops preserve natural resources as a man-made material.
Quartz countertops preserve natural resources as a man-made material.

The “GREENPRINT” to an eco-friendly home isn’t all about features and finishes. One of the most revolutionary technologies that National Homes has adopted to help keep your home as environmentally responsible is the use of innovative Panergy Wall Systems. Tested in Europe for decades, these prefabricated building envelopes reduce CO2 emissions, have superior thermal, moisture, and acoustical performance, are more fireproof, and have far higher energy-efficiency than traditional constructions. All this, paired with faster installation and significantly reduced construction waste, makes Panergy one of the smartest and Greenest options on the market. National began using this technology starting with the acclaimed Three Rivers community, which is currently in its final release and, given the very positive response, it will continue to do so into the future.

Smart thermostat systems that learns your habits and adjusts accordingly, saving money and energy.
Smart thermostat systems that learns your habits and adjusts accordingly, saving money and energy.

By offering so many Green features and finishes in its communities, National Homes is showing a commitment to sustainability as it continues to roll out new innovative ideas like the “Bright Ideas” and “GREENPRINT” programs. National strives to put clients first and work on a personal level to meet the needs of those people who prioritize environmental responsibility, all while building homes as eco-friendly as possible.

Each step taken towards efficiency and sustainability brings us closer to a Greener future – something that people worldwide work towards every day. The actions of every single person creates an impact, but having these ideals built into the core of a company such as National Homes shows that every company can do its part, and National’s “GREENPRINT” initiative proves that you can do your part to help the planet, and look stylish at the same time.

You will be able to explore National’s Green/Smart home innovations in new communities coming soon, including The Vale, a townhome community coming to Courtice; Tyandaga Heights, townhomes coming soon to Burlington’s Brant St.; and, also in Burlington, a new condo and townhome community on Plains Rd..

NATIONAL HOMES

For further information, visit the website.


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Local Focus - Oakville & Burlington

Oakville & Burlington are on the leading edges of the GTA

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Oakville & Burlington are on the leading edges of the GTA

Long gone are the days when Oakville and Burlington, neighbouring locations off the northwestern shores of Lake Ontario, were sleepy suburbs on the outskirts of the GTA. Expansion in highway and transit infrastructure, economic and employment growth and new housing development are all contributing to what today are booming, self-sustaining, destinations.

Such growth and development also mean rising home prices, as these two markets are forecast to be among the hottest in Ontario this year.

Blessed locations

Blessed with strong natural locations close to the lake, the QEW, Dundas Street West and Hwys. 403 and 401, getting to and around Oakville and Burlington has never been a challenge. But recent improvements to transit service and highways have afforded even easier movement for businesses and residents.

Such growth has contributed to increasingly diverse local economies, strong in automotive and manufacturing, but not overly reliant on any one sector.

Besides being close to Lake Ontario to the south, and the Niagara Escarpment to the north, Burlington is also home to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It boasts more than 2,700 acres of gardens and nature sanctuaries, the world’s largest lilac collection and three on-site restaurants.

Down by the lake, the recently renovated Spencer Smith Park hosts an array of annual free festivals, including Canada’s largest Ribfest, the Sound of Music Festival, Children’s Festival and Lakeside Festival of Lights.

Similarly, Oakville boasts 3,500 acres of parkland, more than 300 kilometres of trails and more than 200 parks, gardens, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, skateboard parks, splash pads, sports fields, tennis courts, two harbours and 31 waterfront parks.

For cultural pursuits, Oakville has the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Downtown Oakville Jazz Festival is an annual summer event that features a number of stages along Lakeshore Road East. The Waterfront Festival takes place in Coronation Park, including amusement rides, arts and crafts, food and drinks, concerts and nightly fireworks displays.

With so much development underway, it’s no surprise that more people are moving west – particularly those looking for more affordable homes than in Toronto. Residence here, however, has its price: Oakville is now one of the GTA’s priciest housing markets. Burlington is seeing its own home price growth spurt, though it is notably more affordable.

Burlington, in particular, is undergoing a change of sorts. In the 2018 municipal elections, residents voted in Marianne Meed Ward as new mayor, notably on her promise to address their concerns about over-intensification and development.

Location, location, location

  • Oakville population 192,832; Burlington 185,000, located in Halton Region at the northwestern end of Lake Ontario
  • Oakville distance from Toronto, 38 kms; Burlington, 60 km

Select housing developments

OAKVILLE

5North by Mattamy Homes

Bronte Meadows by Flato Group

Glen Ashton Estates by Menkes

Ivy Rouge by Rosehaven Homes

Ivy Rouge by Starlane Home Corporation

The Preserve by Mattamy Homes

Upper Joshua Creek by Mattamy Homes

White Oaks Ravine by Dunpar Homes

BURLINGTON

Mountainview Heights by Greenpark Group

Mountainview Heights by Starlane Home Corporation

The Towns at Valera by Adi Developments

Tyandaga Heights by National Homes

StationWest Towns by Adi Developments


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Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

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Outlook 2020 – Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

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

How do you see the outlook for the new home industry in 2020?

We’re going to see strong demand fueled by record population growth. The period from August 2018 to July 2019 was the largest 12-month population increase in Canada’s history. And the industry is not building enough housing, especially rental housing. At the end of November 2019, ReMax predicted a six-per-cent increase in the average cost of a Toronto resale home in 2020 – fueled by demand that just isn’t being met.

Deena Pantalone
Deena Pantalone, Managing Partner and Director of Marketing & Innovation, National Homes

Ben Myers of Bullpen Research says Toronto needs 22,000 new rental apartments a year to create a healthy vacancy rate of three per cent. If you include all the new purpose-built rental units coming on, say 4,000, plus if you assume that three-quarters of all new condos will be rented, then we’re still falling 9,000 units short. That’s not good for renters, homeowners or the health of our economy.

One thing I definitely see is that people are open to new ideas, new technology and design that will make their lives easier and give them time for the important things in their lives. And that means property technology (Proptech) will become more and more central to their lives, and to the building industry in general.

And what’s the outlook for National Homes?

For decades now, National has focused on putting the needs of our customers first, and that’s what our You are the Blueprint philosophy is all about.

This year, we’re introducing a wide range of “Bright Ideas” that were developed at National’s inaugural Blueprint Workshop. Globally recognized leaders in the fields of technology, product development and design, participated in group interactions and the co-creation process. Also taking part were dozens of past and prospective 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 results are now being unveiled in our newest communities.

What is National Homes doing to address the issues facing the homebuilding industry – namely, affordability and new home supply?

Our Bright Ideas are intended to make people’s lives simpler, from innovative Proptech to design solutions. We are introducing four different townhome projects, from Courtice in the east to Burlington in the west. We are also introducing new construction thinking, such as our Panergy Wall Systems that bring factory efficiency and quality with significant energy cost savings, year after year.

We’re also making it easier for young families to own with plans for flexible down payment programs.

What more could the industry do to address these issues?

It’s all about innovation! The building industry hasn’t changed much in 100 years. New thinking, new products, new technology… the only way we’re going to adapt to the needs of a new millennium are by doing things differently and better.

Our industry needs new ways of building that save time, and therefore money, new products that save real dollars in energy costs, new construction methods that reduce waste and improve quality.

What should prospective new-home buyers know about National Homes for 2020?

In Bradford, we have 40 detached ravine lot homes from the mid $800’s at The Forest. In east Brampton’s Three Rivers Claireville, we have Phase 2 of our townhomes, right next to the 850- acre Claireville Conservation Area. In Burlington, we’re launching townhomes at Tyandaga Heights on Brant Street, by the Tyandaga Golf Course. And in Courtice, we’re introducing The Vale by National, backing onto woods and a stream.

Why should homebuyers consider buying from your company in 2020?

We design with the needs of our customers in mind. That’s more than a motto, it’s central to the way we work. Our Blueprint Workshops are the spark that drives our design. We learn what people want; what they wish builders could offer; then we create the communities, the homes and the features that satisfy those dreams. And we’re building communities from east to west, so if you’re looking for a National home, we’re where you want to live.

Special Report: Outlook 2020

Outlook 2020 – Jim Andrews, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fieldgate Homes

Outlook 2020 – Shakir Rehmatullah, President, Flato Development Inc.

Outlook 2020 – Mike Parker, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, Georgian International Build Corp.

Outlook 2020 – Brad Carr, CEO, Mattamy Homes Canada

Outlook 2020 – Art Rubino, Contracts Manager & Marketing Manager, Regal Crest Homes

 

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Live on the edge of spectacular at Three Rivers Claireville by National Homes

Live on the edge of spectacular at Three Rivers Claireville by National Homes

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Live on the edge of spectacular at Three Rivers Claireville by National Homes

Imagine an 850-acre conservation area for your family’s neighbourhood playground. Then picture a stunning townhome with your own private backyard. Add in an incredible price from the $680,000s and you’ll see why National’s Three Rivers Claireville is the hottest community around. It’s simply Brampton’s best new home value!

In this picturesque setting on the edge of the Humber Valley where three rivers meet, National has designed the perfect Brampton neighbourhood. Choose from a fabulous collection of three- and four-bedroom townhomes with contemporary finishes filled with bright ideas for modern living.

The vision for these remarkable designs was inspired by a revolutionary event called The National Homes Blueprint Workshop chaired by IBM’s Director of Design and Head of Worldwide Client Programs, Karel Vredenburg. A group of more than 70 participants, including National homeowners, took part in discussions, presentations and interviews, learning about innovative products from building and design professionals and sharing their thoughts in a thinktank format. You can see the results in the bright ideas that National has introduced here.

Picture starting your morning with a warm shower that automatically turned on with your alarm clock. Imagine the peace of mind if you could see who’s at the door when you’re at work. How much easier to clean veggies if your kitchen faucet turned on with the wave of your hand. How much tidier the kitchen would be if there was one place that the whole family could charge their devices, write messages, keep notes and school forms and everything. What if your home automatically turned the lights off when you fell asleep reading your book? Buyers at Three Rivers can select from a menu of Bright Ideas that will give them more time to spend on the important things.

Located where east Brampton meets Woodbridge meets north Etobicoke, this inspired community will be an oasis of green beauty. In addition to its vast conservation and river setting, a brand new city park will be built as part of the community. Residents will benefit from the landscaped park’s lush greenspace, pathways, and playgrounds.

Living next to Claireville Conservation Area is like nowhere else in the GTA and growing up here is every kid’s dream life. Grabbing a fishing pole and heading out to the river with your dad on sunny Saturday morning. Learning all the names of the horses at Claireville Ranch, taking riding lessons and going out on horseback to explore the acres of forest trails. Hundreds of species of birds, fish, plants and trees as well as white-tailed deer and other small mammals inhabit the natural and forested acres that make up this hidden gem so close to urban life. In fact, Claireville is one of the largest urban parks of its kind.

Three Rivers puts everything at your doorstep. Just minutes away are downtown Brampton, Heart Lake, Caledon, Woodbridge, Kleinberg village, Meadowvale, Toronto’s International Airport, Vaughan Mills and Square One.

Getting around the GTA is easy with the 407 ETR just down the road. It only takes 15 minutes to deliver you to Pearson International Airport, where you can pick up visiting family and friends, or fly off on that dream holiday.

Three Rivers Claireville is a community built on bright ideas. Offering the best of nature and neighbourhood at a great price, the community surpasses any other townhome opportunity. Choose east Brampton’s best townhome value. The first releases sold out quickly.

NATIONAL HOMES
Three Rivers Claireville

The Sales Centre is open from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends; closed Friday. Register now to preview.


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Model Home Feature: The Forest Phase 2 by National Homes

Model Home Feature: The Forest Phase 2 by National Homes

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Model Home Feature: The Forest Phase 2 by National Homes

Pottery Barn model full of bright ideas.

Visit National Homes‘ model at The Forest 2 and ask what your home can do for you. The builder has looked to Pottery Barn for inspiration in the exquisite model home designed by David Nosella. New bright ideas from National are built into the model as well for visitors to see. How neat would it be having a Family Smart Centre where the whole family can charge their devices, keep notes and school memos? From the added safety of a WiFi Video Doorbell and main door Smart lock to the organization of a Family Drop Zone with shelves and hanging hooks, these inspired innovations are all about making life easier so you have more time to spend on the important things. Model home now open.

NATIONAL HOMES
The Forest, Phase 2

  • RAVINE HOMES FROM THE $800’S

Optional bright ideas upgrades include:

  • Closet organizer with revolving shoe rack
  • Voice-activated Smart shower in the spa ensuite
  • Convenient laundry room pull-down drying rack
  • Pull-down kitchen cupboards
  • Motion sensor faucets

nationalhomes.com


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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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National Homes - The Forest Phase 2

National Homes’ The Forest Phase 2 is a spectacular sequel in Bradford

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National Homes’ The Forest Phase 2 is a spectacular sequel in Bradford

The second and final phase is coming to The Forest, completing a community that has come to represent the very best of Bradford. But you’ll have to be swift to call The Forest Phase 2 home.

Starting from only $699,990, these are the lowest priced detached homes in the Bradford and Newmarket area. Furthermore, this is a limited release of fully detached homes up to 3,473 sq. ft. that check all the boxes on every wish list and more.

The Forest Phase 2 is full of bright ideas. Once again, National Homes has raised the bar, offering buyers a truly state-of-the-art new-home buying experience at the company’s Blueprint Design Lab and a home they will be proud of, with advanced energy-efficient and smart home technology. The future has come to The Forest Phase 2.

Lush surroundings

As its eponymous name suggests, The Forest Phase 2 is surrounded by lush forest. Elegant detached homes with up to five bedrooms on 36- and 40-ft. lots boast gracious elevations of stone, stucco and classic brick. Buyers will move into an established National community as Phase 1 is completed and families are already enjoying their new homes.

With 25 years of experience, scores of inspired communities and more than 15,000 homes built, National Homes has become one of the GTA’s most celebrated names. But to National, it’s only ever been all about the homebuyer. The team at National has really leaned into their core philosophy and longtime tagline: You are the Blueprint. The company has initiated a series of Blueprint Workshops where homebuyers are invited to participate. Its R&D department regularly tests products, materials and techniques. A new Bright Ideas initiative offers advanced tools and technology such as smart ventilation, built-in recycling areas, smart thermostats, and more that make National homes smarter, more responsive and more energy-efficient.

Planning for The Forest Phase 2 included a Blueprint Workshop with potential Bradford buyers to discuss which Bright Ideas would be of most value for growing families here. As a result, residents at The Forest Phase 2 will enjoy optional and standard features such as a WiFi video doorbell, main door Smart lock, a family drop zone with storage shelves and hanging hooks, and a family allocated smart centre with desk. This exciting Bright Idea has a hidden charging station, whiteboard and shelving to store and display the family calendar, mail, messages, and school forms, all those odds and ends with no place to go in a typical home.

In addition, a range of dreamy comforts are offered as options, such as a closet organizer with revolving shoe rack in the dressing room, and a voice-activated Smart shower in the spa ensuite that controls on/off, water temperature and flow. Laundry rooms can be fitted with a convenient pull-down drying rack, kitchens with pull-down cupboards and motion sensor faucets, and more.

National Homes has teamed up with Pottery Barn to bring home its trademark style in the exquisite model home at The Forest Phase 2 designed by David Nosella. On display is an eclectic fusion of traditional style mixed with striking accents and contemporary aesthetics. All the Bright Ideas are built into the model as well, for visitors to see and experience. Pottery Barn stylists have designed beautiful spaces that appeal to the lifestyles and tastes of a wide range of customers. Purchasers at The Forest will receive 20 per cent off at Pottery Barn plus free professional design consultation from Pottery Barn and West Elm.

Homebuyer Portal

Buyers can also take advantage of the builder’s new customer service initiative. National’s Homeowner Portal connects you to the design and construction of your home, from the moment you decide to buy until long after you move in. It also makes the decor selection process at the Blueprint Design Lab more fun and much faster, using their Virtual Interior Design Tool.

Residents will delight in the views of rolling farmland and forests right across the street, Lake Simcoe 20 minutes up the road, and all the conveniences nearby. A large, modern, multi-use leisure centre, new library, high school and elementary schools are within walking distance. There’s ample choice in shopping, including Tanger Outlet Mall and Upper Canada Mall only minutes away. A short commute on the GO Train whisks you into Union Station, or take Hwy. 400 to the GTA in 20 minutes. A proposed 16.2-km connecting link between Hwy. 404 at Queensville to Hwy. 400 at Bradford is in early planning.

NATIONAL HOMES
The Forest Phase 2

If you’re looking for the charm of a real forest community with the comfort and amenities of modern living, National’s latest release of elegant and innovative homes in Bradford is for you. Register online to preview.


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Markham

Markham is a hotbed of economic development and growth

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Markham is a hotbed of economic development and growth

As the fourth most populous community in the GTA – after Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton – Markham has been a hotbed for economic growth and development for years.

It’s long been known as centre for growing sectors such as technology and life sciences – and therefore employment growth – one of the key drivers of housing demand.

Today, Markham is home to more than 1,000 such companies, with IBM, Huawei, Honeywell, Advanced Micro Devices, Motorola and Oracle all having their Canadian headquarters located in the city.

Residence has its price

Buying a home in Markham will cost you, however, as it has also become one the GTA’s most expensive housing markets, with median home prices now exceeding $1 million.

According to the Royal LePage Home Price Index for the first quarter of 2019, prices for a two-storey home grew 0.8 per cent year-over-year to $1.08 million; bungalows are down 11.4 per cent to $1.06 million; condos are down 2.1 per cent to $452,951. Overall, aggregate home prices were flat year-over-year, but still sit at $1.01 million.

In the GTA, only Richmond Hill, Oakville and Vaughan are more expensive.

Still, new-home development is a priority for Markham City Hall and Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who was first elected in 2006 and is known as developer- and builder-friendly. The city has a number of new-home developments underway, including some high-profile condo projects.

The revitalization of Downtown Markham has been spearheaded by The Remington Group’s multi-use development along Main Street, which includes expansive retail shops, a Marriott Hotel, a Cineplex, as well as a variety of condo buildings and townhomes.

Cultural diversity

Culture is also an important attraction in Markham, with The Flato Markham Theatre offering more than 300 live performances each year, showcasing the diversity of the city. In addition, Varley Art Gallery encompasses the historic Kathleen McKay House, which was the home of the Group of Seven’s Frederick Horsman Varley for the last 12 years of his life. Measuring 15,000 sq. ft., the gallery is the second most popular tourist attraction in York Region.

Markham also has dozens of parks with baseball diamonds, soccer pitches and children’s play areas and splash pads. The city also boasts more than 22 kms of scenic pathways with 12 bridges that provide recreational activity for joggers and cyclists.

The largest park in the city is the Milne Dam Conservation Park. Measuring 305 acres, it is bordered by thick forest on the south and east and the Rouge River runs through the middle.

Toogood Pond is an 82-acre park that features a partially naturalized pond and marsh, and it recently underwent revitalization to remove sediment, restore the shoreline and plant native foliage.

Getting around Markham is facilitated by easy access to Hwys. 404 and 407 and the DVP, and for public transit, York Region Transit/Viva connects with all nine York Region municipalities, and GO Transit provides regular train and bus service.

Location, location, location

• Population of 328,940, located in the Regional Municipality of York in the GTA

• Distance from downtown Toronto, 30 km

Key landmarks

• Flato Markham Theatre

• Varley Art Gallery

• Milne Dam Conservation Park

• Angus Glen Golf Club

Select new-home developments

Blue Sky by Fieldgate Homes, single-detached homes.

Cornell Rouge by Madison Group, towns, semis and detached homes

Cityside Stouffville by Opus Homes, detached homes and townhomes

• Station Town by National Homes, townhomes

• Trendi Towns by Treasure Hill Homes, urban townhomes

• UNION Margo by Aspen Ridge Homes, condos and townhomes


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Burlington

Burlington – engaged in development

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Burlington – engaged in development

Long gone are the days when Burlington, a city of about 185,000 off the northwestern shores of Lake Ontario, was a sleepy suburb on the outskirts of the GTA. Expansion in highway and transit infrastructure, economic and employment growth and new housing development are all contributing to what today is a booming, and self-sustaining, destination.

It’s all coming together nicely for Burlington. For some, perhaps, maybe a little too fast.

But more on that later.

Blessed location

Blessed with an outstanding natural location close to the lake, the QEW, Dundas Street West and Hwys. 403 and 401, getting to and around Burlington has never been a challenge. But recent improvements to transit service and highways have afforded even easier movement for businesses and residents.

Such growth has contributed to an increasingly diverse economy, strong in automotive and manufacturing, but not overly reliant on any one sector. Some of the city’s largest employers include Cogeco Cable, ARGO Land Development and the Joseph Brant Hospital.

Besides being close to Lake Ontario to the south, and the Niagara Escarpment to the north, Burlington is also home to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It boasts more than 2,700 acres of gardens and nature sanctuaries, the world’s largest lilac collection and three on-site restaurants.

Down by the lake, the recently renovated Spencer Smith Park hosts an array of annual free festivals, including Canada’s largest Ribfest, the Sound of Music Festival, Children’s Festival and Lakeside Festival of Lights.

Engaged in development

With so much in Burlington’s favour, it’s no surprise that more people are moving here – particularly those looking for more affordable homes than in Toronto. Indeed, it’s a nice compromise: Oakville to the east, is now one of the GTA’s priciest housing markets; Hamilton to the west, is more affordable but still considered an area in transition.

Nor should it come as a surprise that Burlington residents are engaged in their community development, and took the opportunity in the October 2018 municipal elections to vote for change. Journalist and city councillor Marianne Meed Ward became the city’s first female mayor since 1978, replacing two-term incumbent Rick Goldring.

“Burlington residents have consistently raised concerns about over-intensification and development in our city,” she said after officially taking over in December 2018. “During the election, they made their voices heard and clearly indicated the need to review the scale and intensity of planned development, especially in the new Official Plan.”

To that end, Meed Ward says she plans to take a close look at development, specifically in downtown, and has launched a Red Tape Red Carpet task force to address permitting and approvals. She also campaigned on tackling traffic congestion, tax reform, building trust with the community and protecting greenspace.

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Location, location, location

• Population 185,000, located in Halton Region at the northwestern end of Lake Ontario

• Distance from Toronto, 60 km; 21 km from Oakville; 15 km to Hamilton

Key landmarks

• Royal Botanical Gardens

• Spencer Smith Park

Select upcoming housing developments

• Provenance by Beachview Homes – Townhomes

Valera 2 by Adi Development Group – Condominiums

• Burlington Condos/Towns by National Homes – Condos and townhomes

Odyssey Condos & Towns by Rosehaven Homes – Condos and townhomes


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