In Conversation With… David McComb, President & CEO Edenshaw Developments Ltd.
Edenshaw Developments prides itself on being a different kind of developer, applying philosophical statements such as “Artistic, Mindful, Natural” across everything it does.
And it shows, once you learn a little about the company’s latest signature project – Tanu, in the Port Credit area of Mississauga, Ont.
We spoke with President and CEO David McComb for further insights into Tanu and Edenshaw.
Condo Life: You must be pretty excited about your Tanu project, in the beautiful and improving Port Credit. How are things coming along there?
David McComb: Yes, we’re very excited to be delivering Tanu to Port Credit. Sales began in late winter of 2018, construction commenced in July of 2019, and occupancy is slated for spring of 2021 – things are moving along very well.
CL: Where does the name Tanu come from?
DM: From the island, Tanu, located in Haida Gwaii (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands), BC. It’s a beautiful, wildlife-rich place, with a temperate rainforest, and a collection of stunning totem poles carved by the Haida people. Having lived in BC for many years, I developed a deep fondness for Haida art and culture, and I knew the next condo I developed would bear the name Tanu, as a nod to this very special place and the people who inhabit it.
CL: What design features or amenities at Tanu speak to the area, neighbourhood or surrounding history?
DM: Our lead architect, Mansoor Kazerouni, from IBI Group, incorporated building materials and colours that complement the natural attributes of Port Credit, such as the abundant, tree-lined trails, the Credit River and Lake Ontario. For example, walnut-toned longboards on the exterior facade provide a sense of warmth and character that fit in well with the surrounding landscape. Our interior finishes, such as hardwood floors and natural stone countertops, were similarly inspired by these elements. On a historical note, during the late 1880s and early 1900s, Port Credit supplied much of shale stone for the construction of buildings in downtown Toronto.
CL: Port Credit is such a prized location, given its proximity to Lake Ontario, Credit River and highways. What else drew you to build Tanu here?
DM: I’ve been a resident of Port Credit for more than 20 years now, and one of the many things I really love about it is the sense of community. There’s a charming, village-like quality to Port Credit – it’s the sort of place where people greet each other on the street as they walk their dogs; and shop and restaurant owners know you by name. It’s also a wonderful place to raise a family. There are a lot of great schools here… parks, trails and year-round community festivals. You’re also just 20 minutes to downtown Toronto via the GO train.
CL: How did the project change as a result of community feedback during the planning process?
DM: There really weren’t many changes at all – we actively engaged the community and local stakeholders throughout our design and planning process, with the goal of delivering a building that would be strongly supported not only by the city’s planning staff, but also by the residents of Port Credit. An interesting note, however, was the comment by some residents that our suite areas we too large, but our sales performance has proved our assumptions correct.
CL: What is Edenshaw doing to address the challenges facing homebuyers – namely affordability?
DM: Edenshaw has proactively engaged the City of Mississauga to identify opportunities to deliver affordable units within our new developments. In Tanu, for example, we designated two units that meet the criteria for affordable housing guidelines, which we sold to a local school teacher and young man who grew up in the area, but never thought he’d ever be able to afford to move back.
CL: How is Edenshaw changing its approach – for example, to location selection, housing type, size and pricing – as a result of the ongoing issues and challenges in the homebuilding industry?
DM: The industry has been facing numerous obstacles in supplying affordable housing, as rising construction costs and development taxes make it very challenging to bring new projects to market. The GTA, especially, is in desperate need of purpose-built rental buildings, however, extremely high land and construction costs, coupled with rent control policies, have made it more feasible for developers to build condominiums instead of apartment buildings. Edenshaw changed its approach of building only condominiums in 2012, when we developed a strategic partnership with Sunlife to design and build purpose-built rental housing in Toronto. At the time, Edenshaw was one of the few developers in the GTA building purpose-built rental product. The result was Alto, a six-storey, LEED Silver Certified apartment building located on Dundas Street in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood. The project was a tremendous success and winner of the FRPO’s Rental Development of the Year, in 2016. Notably, Alto was also Toronto’s first 100 per cent smoke-free building.
We also make a point of selecting sites that are located within vibrant communities and in proximity to high-order public transit. Many of our current and upcoming developments are along the forthcoming Mississauga Light Rail Transit Hub and the Port Credit GO station, which is a real draw to people who are getting priced out of Toronto – you’re just a 20-minute GO train ride downtown, yet the price per square foot for a condo in Port Credit is hovering around where downtown Toronto pricing was almost a decade ago!
CL: What’s next for Edenshaw, after Tanu?
DM: We have several new and exciting projects in the pipeline. This year, we’ll be launching two projects adjacent to the Port Credit Mobility Hub and GO station, and a further development about a 10-minute walk to the Cooksville GO station and a couple of LRT stops to Square One Shopping Mall and Mississauga City Centre.
21 Park St. E, Port Credit, Ont.
625 Yonge St.
625 Yonge St., Toronto
2130 Hurontario St., Mississauga, Ont.