Tag Archives: CREA
Creative solutions are urged to make intensification work for families
Excerpt from an article by Theresa Boyle, Real Estate Reporter, Toronto Star
Toronto’s director of urban design wants to see more family-friendly condominiums built in the city.
During the recent municipal election, candidates such as Ward 20 victor Adam Vaughan suggested too many condominiums offer small units targeted at young singles. When couples settle down and start families, they are often forced to move out to the suburbs.
It’s about creating “real communities with the highrise condominium form,” he says.
The convertible suite is one idea that’s gaining in popularity, he notes. This involves building a large three- or four-bedroom unit in a condominium in such a way that it can be divided into two units, each with separate access to the hallway.
Another idea proposed by Vaughan during the election is to “rough in” connecting doorways between small condo units, so a family can purchase two small units and turn it into a single large one.
Glenn Miller, director of education and research with the Canadian Urban Institute, says it’s necessary for condos to accommodate people through the various stages of their lives.
“I don’t think condos are not family friendly. People think you have to have a backyard to raise children. They have to get over that,” she says.
She adds there’s a parkette across the street for the children, and they love to frolic in the condo‘s amenity spaces. As well, the Toronto Reference Library is directly across the road.
A three-bedroom condo is expensive and families feel that, for the same price, they can get a house with a backyard, she says.
Freedman agrees a shift in mindset is necessary when it comes to raising children in condos.
But he says there are some features that make condos more attractive to families, such as having great playgrounds, parks, community centres, libraries and schools in the area.
But he notes developers in other cities are designing condos with those family-oriented facilities included.
“I understand in New York there are lots of condo buildings that have all kinds of amenities for kids, such as after school drop-in and homework rooms, supervised indoor and outdoor play areas, et cetera.”
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From New Dream Homes and Condos Magazine
In the 1850s, the area now known as Bloor West Village was the property of Lieutenant Colonel William Smith Durie, the first commanding officer of the Queens Own Rifles. The street that ran through his estate is now known as Durie Street. The present day neighbourhood began to be developed in 1909, when this district became part of the City of Toronto. Soon after amalgamation with Toronto, Bloor West‘s roads were paved and city services were made available.
Bloor West‘s first residents were immigrants of Eastern European background. These are the residents who helped found the Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area, the first of its kind in Canada. This shopping district has helped make Bloor West Village one of Toronto’s most popular neighbourhoods.
This is also a popular neighbourhood for families since it is home to many excellent schools and is within walking distance of High Parkâ€”Toronto’s biggest and best-known park. Covering 399-acres, this Toronto landmark contains picnic areas, flower gardens, animal paddocks, a restaurant, an outdoor amphitheatre, sports facilities, a trackless train, an adventure playground, and a large pond.
Other local attractions include the Annette Recreation Centre, which is attached to the Annette Street public school. This centre has an indoor pool, a small gymnasium, and a baseball diamond. A little bit east of the Annette Centre is the Annette Street Public Library, which offers programs for adults, children, and preschoolers.
Bloor West Village is also home to The Humber, a movie theatre that is conveniently located on Bloor Street, just west of Jane Street.
Homes in the area are all fairly similar in size and styleâ€”having been built in a relatively short period of time between 1912 and 1923. Most houses feature deep front porches that are well shaded by the majestic oak and maple trees that line the streets of this neighbourhood.
Although known for it’s great selection of stores, the Bloor West Village shopping district is as much about eating as it is about shopping. It’s a virtual smorgasbord of bakeries, delicatessens, specialty food shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Convenience stores, fruit and vegetable markets, dry cleaners, video stores, and other shops catering to everyday household needs, can also be found on Jane and Annette streets.
The Jane and Runnymede subway stations are part of the Bloor-Danforth subway line and are both within walking distance of the homes in Bloor West Village. The Annette Street bus connects passengers to the Dupont subway station on the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line and there are additional bus routes on Jane Street and Runnymede Road.
Commuters are only about ten minutes from the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevardâ€”providing quick access into and out of the city.
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Atria Developments introduced Garment Factory Lofts, a new live/work industrial conversion that will revitalize a former garment factory. Garment Factory Lofts is located in the Queen Street East neighborhood, one that is undergoing an exciting resurgence between Logan Avenue and Leslie Street to form a hip Downtown Toronto East.
This neighbourhood is fast on its way to becoming an urban success story. Garment Factory Lofts is just down the street from the Distillery District, and steps from Leslieville. In the vicinity are eateries such as Verveine and Gio Rana’s Really, Really Nice Restaurant.
Popular nightspots include Barrio, where regulars sip martinis and enjoy tapas-style treats while a DJ spins music on Saturday night. When the proposed changes to the Toronto Film Studio suroundings become reality, that entire area will be home to new retail, residential and live/work housing, adding to the urban tapestry.
Designed by award-winning Core Architects Inc., the eight-storey Garment Factory Lofts meld the original brick faÃ§ade of the warehouse with modern steel and glass to create a striking whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The building terraces back begin at the third floor, and are distinguished by an acid green canopy that will grace the entry on Carlaw and extend back into the lobby. Every loft offers a glazed balcony or spacious terrace with amazing views.
The Garment Factory Lofts features 150 lofts comprised of studios, one-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den/workspace, two-bedroom, and two-bedroom plus den/workspace, and penthouses with views of the lake. Priced from just $139,900, these lofts, will range in size from 525 to 1,303 square foot and offer the lowest price per square foot of any authentic loft in the city.
The spectacular model loft by Fleur-de-lis Interior Design Inc. contains examples of the building’s interesting architectural details such as the original fluted columns, ceilings that soar up to almost 12 feet, and large windows. The model kitchen will feature modern Wenge-stained cabinetry, a stone backsplash and island with a stone top. This one-bedroom plus den/workspace also showcases a gas stove, gas BBQ hookup, and an optional gas fireplace.
Atria Developments is known as the creator of i-Zone live/work lofts, located across the street from Garment Factory Lofts. i-Zone was a major catalyst for change in the surrounding neighbourhood, and is now home to artists, filmmakers, photographers, and other creative spirits. The development of the Garment Factory Lofts will bring a further greening to this former industrial neighbourhood with the inclusion of a parkette that backs onto Boston Avenue.
Atria Developments is a family-owned and operated company specializing in the revitalization of former industrial urban areas by renewing existing sites.
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