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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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Kylemore Communities - Kennedy Manors

Kylemore Communities’ Kennedy Manors luxury town manors in Markham now open

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Kylemore Communities’ Kennedy Manors luxury town manors in Markham now open

Kylemore Communities is renowned for its luxury homes, and Kennedy Manors is no exception! Discover a new, limited collection of luxurious three-storey Town Manors at Kennedy Manors in Unionville, Markham. This release offers a selection of 15- and 19-ft. wide rear lane designs and 23-ft. wide traditional townhomes, all in Kylemore’s distinctive architectural style. Located within a highly desirable residential neighbourhood on the west side of Kennedy Rd., just north of 16th Ave., Kennedy Manors is now under construction and will offer occupancy dates starting fall 2019 and February 2020.

Exteriors at Kennedy Manors have combinations of brick, stone and stucco with covered front porches and architectural details resulting in streetscapes of unparalleled appeal. Townhome layouts have three levels of deluxe finished living space with bright, open main floors and three or four bedrooms on the upper level where spacious master bedroom retreats are located. Larger models offer a fourth or fifth bedroom on the lower floor. Sizes compare favourably with single-detached homes and range from 1,725 to 2,730 sq. ft. and priced from $1.2 million.

Luxury interiors include an abundance of upgraded finishes such as grand 10-ft. ceiling heights on main floor and nine-ft. on the upper floor, gas fireplace, deluxe cabinetry throughout, choice of imported ceramic tile and premium carpeting. Engineered hardwood flooring on main floors with oak stairs, and kitchens with granite countertops and a SubZero/Wolf stainless steel-finish appliance package.

Representative of Kylemore's luxury features.
Representative of Kylemore’s luxury features.

Kennedy Manors has an incredible location just minutes to prestigious Main Street Unionville, is convenient to Hwys. 404, 407, and two GO Stations, plus Angus Glen Community Centre, Markville Mall, dining, and Angus Glen Golf Club. Excellent schools and daycare facilities are also nearby. Kennedy Manors is perfect for luxurylovers who appreciate the convenient location and proximity to Markham’s fine amenities.

KYLEMORE COMMUNITIES
Kennedy Manors

Visit the presentation centre, located at 4500 Major Mackenzie Dr. E. in Markham.

905.887.9950

kylemorecommunities.com


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Luxury Town Manors

Luxury Town Manors by Kylemore now selling in Markham

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Luxury Town Manors by Kylemore now selling in Markham

Kylemore Communities is offering a limited collection of luxurious three-storey Town Manors at Kennedy Manors in Unionville, Markham. Located within a highly desirable residential neighbourhood off Kennedy Road, just north of 16th Avenue, Kennedy Manors features a selection of 15- and 19-ft. wide rear lane designs and 23-ft.-wide traditional townhomes.

Combinations of brick, stone and stucco with covered front porches result in streetscapes of unparalleled appeal. Townhome layouts have three levels of superior living space with bright, open main floors and three or four bedrooms on the upper level where spacious master bedroom retreats are located. Larger layouts offer an additional bedroom on the lower floor. Luxury interiors include an abundance of upgraded finishes. Sizes range from 1,725 to 2,730, priced from $1.2 million. Construction is underway, so quick closing dates are available.

Kennedy Manors is located just minutes to Main Street Unionville, is convenient to Highways 404, 407, and two GO Stations, and close to Markham’s fine amenities.

kylemorecommunities.com


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Ballantry Homes

Only the finest in design, construction and customer service at Ballantry Homes

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Only the finest in design, construction and customer service at Ballantry Homes

The Ballantry Homes success story began 20 years ago with a small 10-lot project on the banks of the Rouge River in Markham. That modest first step led to progressively larger developments and, to date, Ballantry has constructed more than 10,000 homes in more than 35 communities across the GTA. Throughout the years, the company has remained true to its goal of using and offering only the finest in design, materials, construction and customer service for its projects.

This attention to quality has earned the builder multiple awards and Ballantry is particularly proud of the recognition it has received for their customer service – receiving the Avid Award for “the best customer service experience” and the Avid Benchmark Award for “best customer experience,” taking particular pride in the fact that 95 per cent of surveyed Ballantry homeowners said they would recommend Ballantry to their loved ones and would buy another home from this builder for themselves.

Ballantry Homes has now announced four upcoming projects within and beyond the GTA.

The first is Oak Park, a high-end condo project in the very desirable and enormously popular town of Oakville just west of Toronto. Oakville is a storied town famous for its lakefront, its quaint village ambience and its quality shopping areas, restaurants, business sections and schools. Oakville is also well known for its status as one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Canada. When you combine all that with the high standards of a Ballantry development, you can be assured a wonderful homeowning experience.

The second new offering is Cornell Markham, which will be located in the award-winning Cornell neighbourhood of Markham northeast of Toronto. The community will be a short commute to downtown Toronto, close to a lively local shopping and business section. The area has maintained a touch of its country origins and you can visit the creeks and parkland of the Rouge Valley while enjoying your contemporary suburban lifestyle.

This year there will be a new release of three- and four-bedroom freehold townhomes on Burl Oak Drive that feature double car garages, rooftop terraces and much, much, more. This is a wonderful and increasingly rare opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life within the GTA.

The third new release is Reflections Caledonia, which is situated mere steps from the broad and serene Grand River in the quaint small town of Caledonia. Caledonia is part of a network of charming Grand River situated towns such as Elora, Cambridge and Brantford, and the Sunday driving possibilities are endless. You are only a short drive from Hamilton and a reasonable commute to Toronto. Reflections will combine townhomes with 30-, 38- and 40-ft. detached homes, and the quality of the design and materials is guaranteed.

The fourth and final new release is the Edgewater Trails in Welland, located south of St. Catharines, southwest of Niagara on the Lake and west of Niagara Falls. This may represent the best of country/big town living and is the very definition of scenic. Edgewater Trails will be a community of townhomes and 38- and 45-ft. detached homes. Half of the development’s homes will back on to the Welland Canal, and provide an idyllic view of the tall ships passing by. Welland itself is a thriving mid-size town surrounded by waterways and parks and forests. There is an abundance of shopping and restaurants to be enjoyed and the two Niagaras (Falls and On The Lake) will be a source of endless touristy entertainment. Once again, the quality of the development is guaranteed because this will be a Ballantry Homes community.

Ballantry has a catch phrase “we build dreams” and it is certain that homebuyers will discover their dream in one of these remarkable new developments.

BALLANTRY HOMES

For further information on all of Ballantry’s projects visit the website.


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Fieldgate Homes

An overview of the numerous Fieldgate Homes projects currently on the market

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An overview of the numerous Fieldgate Homes projects currently on the market

For more than 60 years, Fieldgate Homes Homes has worked hard to provide the finest quality family homes and communities to thousands of satisfied homeowners. Year after year, the company has remained one of the GTA’s favourite builders by providing extraordinary quality and value to homebuyers. In 2019, Fieldgate is excited to continue this tradition with numerous great homes available at top GTA locations. Continue reading to discover amazing value in a family home community near you.

Stouffville – new release of 30-, 36- and 40-ft. singles at Blue Sky

Located just five minutes north of Markham, Blue Sky is an acclaimed community in central Stouffville. More than 1,500 families already call Blue Sky home. With easy access to beautiful parks, local schools, shopping and restaurants, residents here enjoy the benefits of life in a neighbourhood with all the amenities already in place.

At Blue Sky, you can commute to work with ease thanks to nearby GO Transit and Hwys. 404 and 407. On your days off, you’ll love having golf, ski hills, hiking and more all nearby. Homebuyers here can choose from a wonderful selection of single-family homes. These beautiful residences come with numerous bonus incentives that make them a great choice for families that are looking for their dream home. The New Release this spring will include freehold townhomes, 30-, 36- and 40-ft. singles.

If you’re looking to move within the next six months, Fieldgate also has a selection of freehold towns and singles with early closing dates. Call the sales team at 905.640.0002 to learn more.

West Brampton – move in soon at Valleylands

Since opening, Valleylands has been a top choice among homebuyers in West Brampton. At an ideal location on the west side of Chinguacousy Road, south of Queen Street West, this is a place where the valleys surrounding Credit River offer a breathtaking outdoor playground of lush green parkland, with major urban conveniences all just moments away. Luxurious four- and five-bedroom homes up to 3,192 sq. ft. with finished basements are now available for early move in. Visit the Presentation Centre, located at 8676 Chinguacousy Rd., just south of Queen Street West, to learn more.

Kleinburg – early closings at Impressions

A limited selection of early-closing inventory homes is now available in Kleinburg’s highly acclaimed, award-winning Impressions community. There are 44-ft., four- and five-bedroom homes from 3,209 sq. ft. to 3,600 sq. ft. with closings from 30 to 120 days. This is your chance to move in soon. It’s just minutes from the heart of historic Kleinburg. With more than 70 acres of parklands and greenspace, and a new community school, Impressions is Kleinburg’s most complete community.

West Whitby – new release continues at Whitby Meadows

Whitby Meadows is a masterplanned community that offers west Whitby’s best lifestyle. Discover an exceptional selection of 30- and 36-ft. single-detached homes in west Whitby’s finest natural setting. Visit the Presentation Centre located on the northwest corner of Taunton Road and Coronation Road to find your new dream home today.

West Brampton – 36 ft. singles now available at Cobblestones South

At Cobblestones South, just north the 407 and west of Chinguacousy Road, you can discover an exquisite selection of 36-ft. designs, many of which feature optional lofts that will bring the total interior space up to more than 3,400 sq. ft. With a wonderful collection of solid brick and stone homes to choose from, you are certain to find something that is perfect for your family here. Enjoy Brampton’s most convenient lifestyle with many major amenities nearby, including parks, schools, shopping, dining, easy access to Hwys. 400, 401 and 407, Brampton Transit, GO Transit and more.

Kleinburg – New Kleinburg opens in 2019

Fieldgate Homes is proud to announce a continuation of its award-winning Impressions community. New Kleinburg is an all new collection of inspired family residences in a beautiful community setting just moments from the heart of Kleinburg. With the future Hwy. 427 extension just minutes away, a new community school, and excellent urban amenities close at hand, life in Kleinburg has never been more convenient. Offering luxurious detached homes on 30-, 38- and 44-ft. lots, you can renew your love of the good life at New Kleinburg.

FIELDGATE HOMES

For further information on any of these remarkable communities, Sales Centre locations, phone numbers and floorplans, visit the website.


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NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: Markham

Markham: The city has grown up

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Markham: The city has grown up

by Gale Beeby

Housing Options

What was once considered a suburb of Toronto, Markham’s housing options were primarily single-family detached homes, both in new subdivisions and heritage villages. But the city has grown up and is now offering any number of condominium and townhouse developments.

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.

Click here to see a list of condo developments for sale.

Leisure Pursuits

The Markham Museum offers a variety of buildings representing the continued growth of the city, including mills, businesses and family homes. There are 30 buildings on the 25-acre site, including the James Maxwell Log Cabin (1850), the Ninth Line Baptist Church (1848), the Wilson Variety Hall (1875), the Locust Hill Train Station (1936), the Acadian Train Car (1921), the Blacksmith Shop (1862) and the Cider Milll and the Saw Mill.

The Flato Markham Theatre offers over 300 live performances each year, showcasing the wide cultural diversity of the city.

The Varley Art Gallery encompasses the historic Kathleen McKay house (1840), which was the home of Group of Seven member Frederick Horsman Varley for the last 12 years of his life. Now measuring 15,000 square feet, the gallery is the second most popular tourist attraction in York Region.

Parks & Rec

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

The largest park in Markham 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. The park is a stop-off point for many migratory birds. Mount Joy Park is over 16 acres and has an outdoor ice skating rink adjacent to a community centre.

Toogood Pond is an 82-acre park that features a partially naturalized pond and marsh. The pond recently underwent revitalization, including sediment removal, restoration of the shoreline and the planting of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers.

Retail Therapy

Downtown Markham offers some of the best shopping in the GTA, with great little restaurants, cafés and boutique stores.

Markville Shopping Centre is currently the largest mall in Markham with over 160 shops and services. But the Pacific Mall – the largest Chinese indoor mall in North America – is a must for anybody looking for a bargain, with over 500 shops and services. It incorporates a traditional Asian-style market with over 450 mini shops selling everything from herbs, Asian fashions, flowers, accessories, cellphones, eyeglasses and computers.

Easy Access

Public transit in Markham is provided by York Region Transit/Viva, which connects with all nine York Region municipalities, as well as connecting with transit services in Toronto and the Region of Peel. GO Transit also serves Markham with train and bus service, taking riders to a variety of locations in the GTA and beyond.

Markham also has easy access to Highways 404 and 407 and the DVP.

BY THE NUMBERS

Walk Score: 47

Population: 329,000

Motto: Leading While Remembering


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Editor's Choice: Lindvest

Editor’s Choice: Lindvest

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Editor’s Choice: Lindvest

Moving on up

Across the GTA and beyond, Lindvest has been busy building single detached homes, townhomes and highrise living spaces, offering something for everyone whether they are just entering the market or looking to move to a larger home.

North Oakville
North Oakville

For instance, the single detached homes of Spring Valley Junction have enabled new connections in Brampton, where this new community aimed to create the harmony of home, family and community. The fusion of traditional brick, combination brick and stone, and eye-catching contemporary designs are now the homes of families who saw their dream homes go from rendering to reality.

Ground has broken on Lindvest’s highrise projects, Sonic and SuperSonic, making way for the buildings to reach the sky. Across the street, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is under construction and will soon be ready to whisk commuters across the city and beyond.

Brownstones at Westown
Brownstones at Westown

Over in Markham, the first phase of the Grand Cornell Brownstones are nearly completed. These unique “stacked” units use space to the maximum, where sleek, stylish interiors make a statement that is modern and sophisticated. Most units of the Grand Cornell Brownstones feature private patios, balconies or rooftop terraces that provide a personal experience with the outdoors.

For anyone with visions of living in the country, the community of Gracefields is a modern addition to the pastoral charm of the town of Newcastle. The recently added community of Gracefields North means the area will be elevated even more. Just off Highway 401 but seemingly miles from the hustle and bustle, Newcastle is a gem in the country.

At Lindvest’s upcoming release, North Oakville, the future is looking towards contemporary and traditional elevations of 36-, 38-, 41-, 43- and 45-foot single detached homes. North Oakville will be located on the east side of 6th Line, between Dundas Street and Burnhamthorpe Road.

The future will also see the final release of the Aurora Glen Townhomes take shape as these homes are already under construction. As with the previous releases of Aurora Glen, these townhomes have the advantage of coming with a smart thermostat, intelligent locks and LED lighting that is not only budget-conscious but is safe on artwork.

There is something else Aurora Glen has been keeping something close to the vest. It will be releasing 11 exclusive townhomes in a very special area of the Aurora Glen project, surrounded by nature. Known as The Enclave, this cache of best-in-class townhomes will spare no expense. Be sure to visit Lindvest.com to show your interest.

Keep your ears to the ground as the official announcement of Lindvest’s next community is soon to come. This single detached home community is located at Teston Road and Pine Valley Drive in Vaughan. Beautiful homes in a beautiful location — yet again, Lindvest is helping to make dreams a reality.

LINDVEST

Go online to find out more information and to register for Lindvest communities.

Lindvest.com


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Editor's Choice: National Homes

Editor’s Choice: National Homes

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Editor’s Choice: National Homes

Two exciting new home communities appeal to two different lifestyles

Whether you crave a lifestyle away from the city bustle, steeped in small-town charm and rural landscapes, or living in a dynamic, diverse city, National Homes can meet your needs.

The award-winning builder will launch two new communities this spring, including single-detached homes in Phase 2 of The Forest in picturesque Bradford West Gwillimbury and Station Town in desirable Markham.

STATION TOWN

Station Town will bring 85 townhouses to a prime location at Castlemore Avenue and Markham Road (Highway 48), just a five minute walk from the Mount Joy GO Transit train station and close to big box retailers such as Home Depot and The Brick, parks and schools. On weekends, it’s an easy stroll to historic Downtown Markham with its quaint cobblestone streets, boutique shops and restaurants. Enjoy farmers’ markets, trails and parks, sports facilities, theatres and art galleries.

Markham, with a population of more than 350,000, is Canada’s high-tech capital and 10,400 companies and 400 head offices are located there. The city is a leader in sustainability and protection of the environment is a priority.

The townhouses provide the opportunity to experience all this thriving community has to offer and will give homeowners the option to work from home with live/work floorplans.

THE FOREST

Looking for a quieter setting close to nature? The Forest Phase 2 in Bradford West Gwillimbury, just north of Newmarket in Simcoe County, offers homebuyers the opportunity to experience life in a charming community that honours its rural roots while embracing a modern lifestyle.

Bradford West Gwillimbury was the second-fastest growing municipality in Ontario, according to the 2016 census, speaking to its desirability as a place to live. It remains more affordable than other municipalities to the south, yet its access to Highway 400 makes travelling to either the GTA or cottage country easy.

A new model home has been decorated by Pottery Barn, the popular home decor retailer. The Forest buyers will receive a discount for Pottery Barn and can participate in a Pottery Barn decor workshop.

Phase 2 will include 49 detached homes on 36- and 40-foot lots with double-car garages and up to five bedrooms, with some backing onto the forest. True to its slogan, “You are the Blueprint.” National Homes has incorporated features in Phase 2 based on feedback from a workshop where a number of purchasers and prospective purchasers gave their input on their ideal home. Those features on buyers’ wish lists included open-concept main floorplans, serveries, and benches in the mudroom.

Founded in 1992, National Homes has grown into one of the GTA’s most successful and respected homebuilders with more than 5,000 homes in its portfolio. The company designs its homes from the inside out based on the needs of buyers and feedback gathered from customers and focus groups.

NATIONAL HOMES
Station Town
The Forest

Go online to find out more about these two exciting coming communities and other National Homes’ projects.

NationalHomes.com


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Editor's Choice: Treasure Hill

Editor’s Choice: Treasure Hill

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Editor’s Choice: Treasure Hill

Discover what living really means by owning a Treasure Hill home

As a highly regarded builder, Treasure Hill prides itself on building quality homes where craftsmanship, functionality and beautiful finishes become the foundation of comfortable living. It recognizes that every house it builds becomes a home — a place where treasured moments and memories are created giving life meaning and purpose. The perfect new home awaits you. Discover Living with Treasure Hill.

NOW OPEN

Orchard West in Bowmanville: Treasure Hill proudly presents Orchard West, offering a selection of the finest 37-, 40-, 45- and 50-foot singles located between Liberty Street and Regional 57 Road at Middle Road and Concession Road 3. With quick access to Highway 401 and a proposed extension of Highway 407, your commuting worries are over. A relaxing lifestyle is yours to discover living in Bowmanville.

Trendi Towns in Markham: Trendi Towns in Markham offers convenient living in a location with established amenities. Located at McCowan Road and 16th Avenue, this enclave of townhomes is indicative of Treasures Hill’s commitment to stunning interiors and meticulous designs. Living life never looked so good.

Upper Thornhill Estates in Vaughan: Upper Thornhill Estates offers well-appointed 50-foot luxurious singles on lots of up to 155 feet deep near Bathurst Street and Major Mackenzie Drive. Close to big city amenities in both Vaughan and Richmond Hill, you can’t go wrong. Quick access to GO Transit, YRT buses and VIVA transportation make getting across the GTA effortless.

REGISTER NOW

Adena Views in Aurora: Located in the affluent town of Aurora, Adena Views will showcase 36-, 40-, 45- and 60-foot luxury singles backing onto Magna Golf Course. Located at Leslie Street and Wellington Street, just minutes from Highway 404 and a comprehensive transit system, you will be just moments away from outstanding amenities.

Georgina Heights in Keswick: Georgina Heights offers gorgeously appointed 40-foot and 50-foot singles that have all the desired features and finishes. Conveniently located at Church Street and Woodbine Avenue and a five-minute drive away from Cooks Bay, all modern conveniences are at your doorstep.

Kingsview Ridge in Oshawa: Kingsview Ridge is located at Shankel Road and Townline Road, offering 30-, 36- and 40-foot singles with a variety of designs and floorplan options, perfect for families of any size. This impressive location is ideal for commuters, with quick access to Highway 407, Highway 401 and the Oshawa GO Transit station. Discover convenience at your fingertips.

Don’t miss out on these newly open and upcoming communities. Discover Living with Treasure Hill.

TREASURE HILL

Go online for more information and to register.

TreasureHill.com


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National Homes

Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: National Homes

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Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: National Homes

Blueprint Workshop revolutionizes new home consumer research

As its slogan “You are the Blueprint” attests, National Homes takes homebuyer feedback seriously when planning its homes and communities.

Always an industry innovator, the company has now revolutionized the concept of traditional focus groups and consumer research with the National Homes Blueprint Workshop, a ground-breaking event that explored how homeowners feel about their homes, how they live in them, and what type of design, features and technology they believe will improve their lives.

The January Blueprint Workshop brought together creative design thinkers with dozens of past and potential future National Homes buyers of varied ages and demographics. They gathered in the IBM Innovation Space at Venture Labs in Markham, along with National Homes staff, designers, architects, engineers and partner leaders for a THINKTANK dedicated to new homes. Students from York University’s Schulich School of Business real estate master’s program also participated.

They broke into four small groups with partner leaders to engage in discussions, presentations and interviews. IBM helped to design and facilitate the workshop.

When IBM’s expertise in human-centred design indicates that the conversation is less about features and functions, and more about users and outcomes, businesses are more successful. It’s about understanding what matters to clients, how they see the world and getting to know them.

“With a typical focus group, people are sitting behind a screen or mirror with a facilitator and it’s structured,” says Deena Pantalone, director of marketing innovation and managing partner for National Homes. “This was more relaxed and comfortable. Rather than asking things such as, ‘Which interior finish do you like,’ we discussed generally how it feels to live in a house.”

The workshop’s purpose was to provide in-depth insight into homebuyers’ needs and desires, to further research and development efforts to position National Homes as a builder that values innovation and is responsive to its customers.

The day delved into the homeowner experience beyond bricks and mortar, explored new technology and time-saving solutions, as well as how to make the homebuying experience unique. It explored the idea of community, looking not just solely at homeowners’ needs, but what their parents and children might need as well.

Participants were selected based on responses to a survey sent to registrants from National Homes’ communities, along with current homeowners.

Partner leaders included Karl Vredenburg, Director IBM Design Worldwide Client Programs and head of IBM Studios Canada; Professor James McKellar, Associate Dean External Relations and Director of the Brookfield Centre in Real Estate and Infrastructure at the Schulich School of Business; Raphael Wong and Matt Lennan of ThoughtWire, a leading Canadian digital intelligence company; Jenna Zaza of The Interactive Abode, a technology company that allows purchasers to virtually decorate their new homes and make finishing selections online; Jason Disher, Logan Stewart, Tyler Balding and Yonnas Tecle of Panasonic, a company that makes state-of-theart home products; and Bob Storey, Andreas C. Leuth and Greg Jefferies of Sto Canada Ltd., a leader in high-performance building cladding options.

“Innovation has always been a staple of our corporate foundation,” says Pantalone. “I’ve travelled to leading international cities where this type of research is being carried out. We want to anticipate homeowner problems and provide solutions by thinking ahead. We want to provide futuristic homes that are affordable.”

Workshop participants got a glimpse into some of the future possibilities. For example, ThoughtWire has changed the way people act with their built environment with its software. It has played a transformative role in digitizing healthcare facilities, speeding up workflow and improving patient experience with automation and real-time interactions between medical staff, systems and devices. For instance, patients can control the temperature in their rooms, medical personnel get real-time patient information on their devices and elevators can be programmed so food carts delivering patient meals won’t be delayed. Some of this technology can be adapted for residential use.

Panasonic might be best known for home entertainment products in Canada, but the company has a comprehensive lineup of home-related products and builds entire new home communities in Japan. Participants learned about the Shimau Principle – the art of space and harmony where everything is in its rightful place. Panasonic offers comprehensive storage and organization solutions. Developed in Japan, where people live in smaller spaces, the solutions are a great fit for condos — or any home — as many homeowners do not utilize space to its best advantage.

Attendees got to see, touch and feel EcoShapes from Sto Canada, a product that has been used in Europe for more than 30 years but is new to Canada. It reduces energy costs, provides a higher R-value and reduces the home’s carbon footprint. Sto’s forward-thinking products contribute to creating a superior energy-efficient home.

Zaza, founder of The Interactive Abode, explained how pop culture, online sites and TV shows inspired development of her interactive software that allows purchasers the time to research and make decisions about their new home selections from the comfort of their own homes. It uses photo-realistic renderings to take the guesswork out of decisions between standard or upgrade options and allows buyers to visualize how colour selections and finishes will look in their new residence. Zaza says in the last five years, sales centres have incorporated software that helps with homebuying, but the process was lacking in the design studio. Zaza brought four laptops for workshop participants to try the online design studio for themselves.

Pantalone is excited about the possibilities the Blueprint Workshop offered and sees this as the springboard for more collaborative sessions with homeowners and other partners to transform the builder-buyer relationship.

“Our slogan, ‘You Are the Blueprint,’ means something to us as a company,” she said. “This will allow us to take our relationship with our purchasers to a whole new level and create a more meaningful buying and living experience for them.”

National Homes looks forward to offering some of their latest “bright ideas” at upcoming new home communities in 2018 and 2019 including Markham, Bradford, Brampton, Courtice and Burlington.

National Homes returns to Bradford with Phase 2 of The Forest, featuring elegant homes and stunning architecture.
National Homes returns to Bradford with Phase 2 of The Forest, featuring elegant homes and stunning architecture.

NATIONAL HOMES

Visit National Homes online for more information and to register for previews before the public openings in communities in Markham, Bradford, Brampton, Courtice and Burlington.

NationalHomes.com


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