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In Conversation With, Anson Kwok, Vice-President, Sale & Marketing Pinnacle International

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In Conversation With, Anson Kwok, Vice-President, Sale & Marketing Pinnacle International

Toronto is blessed with a number of signature high-profile condo projects, forever changing the landscape and city skyline. Few are as noteworthy as what’s about to rise into the sky and pierce the clouds in the heart of the downtown area – Pinnacle One Yonge from Pinnacle International.

One Yonge, as a location, is notable in its own right, as the address of the landmark Toronto Star building, built in 1970 and acquired by Pinnacle in 2012. The property was in the news again recently, when in May the Star itself was sold to a private equity firm, leading some to again wonder what the plan was for the area.

And an opportunity for Pinnacle to again discuss its vision for One Yonge.

The plan is a nothing short of a spectacular master-planned complex of residential, commercial and retail space, that over the years of its development will reshape that area of downtown.

The first phase of Pinnacle One Yonge involves The Prestige, a 65-storey residential tower with 497 condominium units, a community centre and extensive retail space. Phases 2 and 3 will add SkyTower, a 95-storey tower, and then an 80-storey tower, significantly contributing to the densification of the block. Phase 4 will develop the south parcel of the land, introducing an additional three buildings, including a 12-storey addition to the existing Toronto Star building.

Designed to densify and enhance the urban streetscape, Pinnacle One Yonge links to public transit, improves and widens sidewalks and provides prioritized pedestrian and cyclist access.

And this is just one project Pinnacle has on the go in the GTA.

Condo Life sat down with Anson Kwok, vice-president of sales and marketing at Pinnacle, to discuss the progress at Pinnacle One Yonge, how the company is adopting to the COVID-19 pandemic, and other topics.

When we spoke to you at the beginning of the year, things we very different. Pinnacle had four active construction sites in the GTA, and you mentioned possibly increasing that to six projects by the end of the year. Generally speaking, where is all that now, in this unprecedented COVID-19 world?

Our four active construction sites have continued during COVID-19 with some delays, and we are still looking to deliver three of those projects for our purchasers to get their keys in the next 12 months.

Our sites are ready to go for both Pinnacle Toronto East and SkyTower at Pinnacle One Yonge. We are just finalizing approvals and future permits to proceed.

You also mentioned at the time that lengthy municipal approval processes were resulting in longer completion times. How hopeful are you that this will improve? During the pandemic, governments have demonstrated that they can and do move more quickly when they really have to…

Fundamentally, I don’t see the process speeding up, as the system is set up so that all city staff, especially planners and reviewing departments, are working on projects for years, with new applications and resubmissions continuously ending up on their desks. The complexity of projects is also increasing, resulting in additional consultant reports and more detailed drawing sets. This all leads to longer processing times, and it perpetuates the constant cycle.

Even having city staff working on the same file at the same time, would help improve efficiencies and to expedite timelines.

How did COVID-19 affect your projects, in terms of both construction and sales?

Our construction sites have continued to operate, but we did experience about a six-month delay due to new procedures onsite with social distancing, inspections and supply chain delays.

Our sales program took a pause for about four weeks, and then we have been pretty active with inquiries and sales since.

Working from home is expected to become more prevalent in future. How might Pinnacle address this trend in future condo designs and amenities?

We have been offering larger product in the marketplace, so we will continue with that strategy, as I think this has benefited people who have been working from home. Also, providing amenities such as study rooms, business centres and boardrooms will be in higher demand.

How are things coming along at The Prestige at Pinnacle One Yonge?

We have built out the extensive podium of our first Phase 1, and now reached our typical floorplate at The Prestige at Pinnacle One Yonge, so you will start seeing the building really rising quickly. We are on schedule for our first occupancy in May 2022.

And with SkyTower?

Sales have gone extremely well at SkyTower, and we are in position to start construction and will be mobilizing in the near future.

Besides a pretty unbeatable location, how will The Prestige and SkyTower stand out from other projects in the area?

The location and address of this master-planned community definitely speak for themselves. What also stands out is that it’s part of a true master-planned community. At its completion, it will comprise:

  • Three residential towers, including the tallest residential building in Canada at 95 storeys
  • 80,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor residential amenity space
  • 50,000-sq.-ft. community centre with a six-lane swimming pool and gymnasium
  • 1.1 million sq. ft. of office space
  • 160,000 sq. ft. of retail space
  • Two future hotels
  • PATH connected
  • Next to a future a 2.5-acre park.

So, there is a lot to be excited about!

The Prestige and SkyTower are two of the three towers planned for One Yonge. What is the third, and what is its status?

We are currently working on the final design of the 80-storey tower planned on the north parcel, as we review the suite layouts.

What’s next for Pinnacle, beyond these noted signature projects?

We are currently working on rezoning our Pinnacle Etobicoke and Pinnacle Uptown Communities which will consist of eight future residential towers and three residential towers, respectfully.

We are also looking forward to start leasing our new office building at Pinnacle One Yonge.

And on a personal note…

When I’m not at the office, I am:
In my condo, enjoying time with my wife and our two young boys.

My greatest inspiration in this business is:
My mom, Grace. She brought the concept of preconstruction sales to Vancouver and is dubbed as BC’s First Lady of Pre-Sales. She has been consistently leading successful sales programs in all different market conditions.

If I wasn’t in the new condo business, I would:
Be pursuing my previous passion of running a hotel.

Portfolio

Amber at Pinnacle Uptown
Move in now
Mississauga

Cypress at Pinnacle Etobicoke
Under construction
Etobicoke

PJ Condos
Under construction
Toronto

Perla Towers
Under construction
Mississauga

Pinnacle Toronto East
Pre-construction
Toronto

SkyTower at Pinnacle One Yonge
Pre-construction
Toronto

The Prestige at Pinnacle One Yonge
Under construction
Toronto

pinnacleinternational.ca

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Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Canada’s top selling condo in 2018

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Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Canada’s top selling condo in 2018

 

Menkes Sugar Wharf

Sugar Wharf Residences by Menkes Developments Ltd., part of the upcoming mixed-use development on Toronto’s Waterfront, was the best-selling new condominium project in Canada for 2018, according to Altus Group, a leading provider of real estate data and advisory services.

In a year where buyer confidence and sales activity downshifted, Menkes sees this is a major feat.

“We are so pleased that buyers were as passionate about this project as we are,” says Jared Menkes, executive vice-president, Highrise. “The strong response to Sugar Wharf is especially meaningful coming out of 2018, where many builders experienced a shift in market conditions. Increasingly, there has been a flight to quality by prospective homeowners, opting for brands they know and trust, and we are fortunate to be one of those brands.”

Located in East Bayfront at the northeast corner of Queens Quay East and Freeland Street, the Sugar Wharf community will encompass 11.5 acres and include luxury residences, offices, restaurants and shops, Toronto’s first vertically integrated school, and will be anchored by a new two-acre park.  Once complete, Sugar Wharf will be the largest mixed-use development on the Toronto Waterfront, home to 7,500 residents and 4,000 office workers. All buildings will be connected to Toronto’s indoor PATH pedestrian system, as the development includes plans to expand the PATH east of Yonge Street.

ALSO READ: Sugar Wharf by Menkes a well-connected waterfront community

ALSO READ: Menkes Breaks Ground on Waterfront Innovation Centre on Toronto Waterfront

The residential component of the community, designed by architectsAlliance, will include five condominium towers, varying in height from 64 to 90 storeys, and a midrise rental building. In summer 2018, Menkes launched the first two residential towers and sold 1,241 of a total 1,463 condo units (85 per cent).

According to Altus, new condominium sales fell 38 per cent from the record high in 2017, though they remain close to the 10-year average for the market. Industry experts predict new condos will remain the primary source for additional housing needed to keep up with the pace of immigration.

Construction is well underway at Sugar Wharf Residences. Excavation at the site progressed to over 40 feet below grade. Completion of the towers is slated for 2022.

The Sugar Wharf community officially broke ground in January 2018 with the first phase of the project, 100 Queens Quay East, a 25-storey office tower, featuring approximately 690,00 sq. ft. of Class AAA space. In addition to the new office building, the community will include approximately 300,000 sq. ft. of multi-level commercial retail space, including the new flagship LCBO store. Expected occupancy for the office tower is spring 2021.

 

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The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums

The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums

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The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums

Mirabella on the waterfront by Diamante opens Presentation Centre for West Tower suites and Gorgeous Model Suite

On the lake. Integral to the city.

The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums, two stunning, 38-storey residential towers brought together by a classically-inspired podium, will soon take form on Lake Shore Boulevard West, at Windermere Avenue, steps from Lake Ontario.

Presented by Diamante Urban Corporation, the Mirabella offers one of the last opportunities to reside exclusively on the Lake Shore. It’s grand living indeed on Toronto’s glorious waterfront.

The location is ideal. Schools in the area are excellent, and parks and recreational facilities abound. Connected to the entire city by public transit outside its elegant doorstep, The Mirabella is close and convenient to the trendy, charming neighbourhoods of Roncesvalles, Bloor West Village, High Park-Swansea, and more.

There’s great dining and shopping in the west end. And, of course, there are the dynamic sunrises and sunsets, and leisurely boardwalk strolls, with the city glimmering away.

The Mirabella takes its cues from the legacy of waterfront exhibition architecture. It features bold, classical, tapered columns, accents of bay windows, and a rich limestone sensibility – set off by striking “forever” views of the lake, city and park.

Residents arrive at The Mirabella through a lush landscaped entrance, marked by an art deco Manhattan-style glass and metal canopy. It’s a prelude to the experience that awaits within.

A circular drive allows for sheltered pick up and drop off, facilitated by a 24-hour concierge.

Luxury living on the lake

The Mirabella’s 10th Level Amenity Space, open and welcoming to all suite owners, provides more than 20,000 square feet of outstanding facilities – business centre, library, children’s play room, party room, gym, indoor pools, and a truly breathtaking outdoor terrace, a serene oasis overlooking the lake.

The outdoor terrace has a central reflecting pool and architectural fountain. Views of verdant High Park are to the north.

The Mirabella offers many suite types, including one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom, two-bedroom plus den, and three-bedroom. Most suites have magnificent views. All have state-of-the-art features and finishes.

The layouts, ranging from 457 to 1,510 square feet, have been meticulously designed for spacious, comfortable living. The suites are equipped with sleek, efficient kitchen layouts, with premium countertops and stainless steel appliances. All suites have well-sized balconies.

Demand at The Mirabella has been nothing short of extraordinary. The East Tower has sold exceptionally well, with only a few suites remaining.

Sales of West Tower suites begin in September, with the grand opening of The Mirabella Presentation Centre, located at 1926 Lake Shore Boulevard West.

The Centre includes a gorgeous, fully-furnished model suite that showcases The Mirabella’s high-quality features and finishes, as well as Diamante’s ongoing dedication to aesthetic excellence and the best homeowner experience.

The model suite, WMSS, is a 772-square-foot, two-bedroom plus den design with two bathrooms, and impressive views to the west and south from its well-sized balcony.

That’s luxury living. On the lake.

For further information or to book an appointment, call or visit the website.

416.961.8008

MirabellaCondos.ca


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The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums

The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums

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The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums

Experience Diamante’s new condo offering luxurious irreplaceable views in one of the last exclusive opportunities to live on the waterfront

Standing at 38-storeys, Diamante Urban‘s latest development, The Mirabella Luxury Condominiums — composed of a pair of stunning towers brought together by an elegant classically inspired podium — offers one of the last opportunities to live exclusively on the Lake Shore. The building will have a classical limestone look with timeless proportions, accents of bay windows, and tapered columns. The architecture, the luxurious irreplaceable views and the exclusive unprecedented amenity floor which contains over 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities, define Mirabella.

Spacious and elegant in design, Mirabella offers many suite types including one-, two, and three-bedrooms, for spacious comfortable living. Dining areas flow seamlessly with living spaces, and the suites are equipped with sleek and efficient kitchens layouts with premium countertops and stainless-steel appliances. All suites have well sized balconies offering awe-inspiring views.

All suite owners share in a sumptuous 10th level dedicated to quality of life with forever spectacular views. The amenity floor features an array of social, wellness, and recreational amenities, including an indoor pool in the East Tower and a full spa with saunas and whirlpool in the West Tower – both with unobstructed views of the lake and city skyline. The professionally equipped fitness centre with a view over High Park, and quiet yoga studio with a view of the lake, welcome residents of both towers for a daily workout. Additionally, residents can relax and experience a serene oasis overlooking the lake and park through Mirabella’s shared outdoor terrace which is framed by greenery and features comfortable lounge and outdoor dining areas, barbecuess, and a reflecting pool.

Nestled in between Lake Ontario and High Park, Mirabella provides nearby access to many of the area’s top recreational and lifestyle amenities and locations. At Mirabella, you’re just ten minutes from Bay Street yet you are “a world away” from the congestion of Downtown Toronto. Here you can enjoy an oasis of nature-inspired amenities throughout the year: jog the Martin Goodman Trail, bike through High Park or Sunnyside Boardwalk, ice skate at Colonel Samuel Smith Park or simply watch the sunset over the lake from the comfort of your living room or the 10th level library or party room. With popular neighbourhoods such as Roncesvalles, Queen West, and Bloor West Village nearby and a bus stop at your doorstep, homeowners have access to an exceptional variety of shops, galleries, cafes, and bistros.

Visit the Presentation Centre, currently under construction on site, located at 1926 Lake shore Blvd. W. It is slated for a grand opening in September 2018. For further information or to register call or visit the website.

416.961.8008

MirabellaCondos.ca


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Local Focus: Toronto

Local Focus: Toronto

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Local Focus: Toronto

by Gale Beeby

Considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is a wonderful collection of neighbourhoods

HOUSING OPTIONS

In 1998, the six municipalities that comprised Metropolitan Toronto (East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York and the former city of Toronto) and the regional municipality of Metro Toronto were amalgamated into the City of Toronto. This has resulted in creation of a “megacity” with a population of about 2.81 million, and growing. More than 100,000 people move into the GTA every year, most of them settling in the City of Toronto proper.

Historic homes, like the quaint Victorian houses in Cabbagetown and the coveted cottages in the Beach, are just some of the city’s hallmarks. But the skyline is now dominated by the sleek highrise condos in the city’s core. Single-family homes dominate in the former suburbs, where you will also find a large array of new condos and townhouses.

Click here for a list of new homes for sale in Toronto.

LEISURE PURSUITS

Living in Toronto is an open door into a vast array of cultural, theatrical, musical and sporting events. The city is home to the National Ballet of Canada (along with another 50 or so dance companies), the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Atelier, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

Aga Khan Museum
Aga Khan Museum

The Art Gallery of Ontario has a large collection of work by the Group of Seven, while the Royal Ontario Museum has a collection of world culture and natural history. The Gardiner Museum is the only museum in Canada devoted to ceramics and the collection contains more than 2,900 pieces from Asia, the Americas and Europe. Other museums include the Bata Shoe Museum, the Textile Museum of Canada, Museum of Inuit Art, Spadina House and the Aga Khan Museum.

If sports are more your thing, there are plenty of choices. Hockey? The Maple Leafs play out of the Air Canada Centre, as do the NBA’s Raptors. The Blue Jays call the Rogers Centre Home and Toronto FC play at BMO Field. A visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame should be mandatory for any hockey fan.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is an annual event celebrating the film industry and attracts many movie stars and a-list players. Caribana takes place in the summer and is primarily based on the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. Caribana now attracts over one million people, making it the second largest Caribbean festival in the world.

Other points of interest include the Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Science Centre, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Harbourfront, The Don Valley Brick Works, Fort York, the Distillery District, Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower and the Canadian National Exhibition.

PARKS & REC

Golf anyone? How about some tennis? Or lawn bowling? Or horse racing? Toronto has it all, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, kayaking, water-skiing and boating in the summer, cross-country and downhill skiing, ice skating, ice canoeing and snowshoeing in the winter.

A visit to the Scarborough Bluffs is a wonderful way to spend a summer afternoon, as is a visit to Etobicoke’s waterfront, where there is a large marina and parkland. High Park is always a great place for a summer stroll or winter hike.

Toronto is called The City of Neighbourhoods, and each community has great parks, community centres, activity centres and libraries.

RETAIL THERAPY

Great shopping districts help define neighbourhoods, and there is none better than the St. Lawrence Market, considered one of the finest food markets in the world. Kensington Market is also a great spot to find unique food and interesting arts and crafts.

The Toronto Eaton Centre is the city’s largest mall, with 235 retail and service providers.

Trips to Chinatown, Little Italy, Little Portugal, Little India and Greektown offer other wonderful treats for the senses.

Etobioke’s Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale Mall in North York also offer a roster of A-list stores and products, as does the Scarborough Town Centre.

EASY ACCESS

The TTC moves over 1.6 million people throughout the city every day on its subway cars, buses, streetcars and LRT lines. The subway can get you from the west end to the east end of the city in less than an hour. GO Transit is Ontario’s only inter-regional transit system, linking Toronto with the surrounding regions of the GTA. Highways include several four and sixlane routes (at points, Highway 401 is 16 lanes wide), including Highways 401, 403, 404, 407, 427, the DVP and the QEW.

BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 2.81 million

Average Walk Scores

  • Downtown Toronto: 97
  • East York: 78
  • Etobicoke: 75
  • North York: 72
  • Scarborough: 68
  • York: 88

Motto: Diversity Our Strength

Toronto.ca


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