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National Post

Toronto’s waterfront is one of the biggest redevelopment projects underway and it’s estimated that the Lakeside community will be home to about 40,000 residents

Muhammad Kazi is looking forward to moving into his new home.

Muhammad Kazi’s lived in Toronto for four years and was keen to get on the property ladder. The 37-year-old recruitment manager spent two years saving and one year doing research before finding the perfect condo.

Kazi, who grew up in Pakistan and came to Toronto after living in Vancouver, currently rents a place on his own downtown. But he wanted to find a future home to share with his “significant other.”

Kazi had his heart set on something central so he could walk to work downtown. He also wanted at least a two-bedroom condo, with flexible financing.

After seeing a number of places, he bought a $650,000 one-bedroom, two-den condo at Lakeside Residences, with a 2022 move-in date. Post Homes spoke to him about his search and what he loves about his new home.

Q: How did you approach your search?

A: This was the first time I got serious about my future in terms of housing and getting a place where I want to live in Toronto long term. I didn’t want to pay for someone else’s mortgage and so I wanted to get into the market.

I wanted a place that was 20-25 minutes walking distance to my office. And I wanted something with more than one bedroom, so I could have guests stay, and I wanted a big balcony. Basically, I wanted something over 600 square feet and two washrooms, with a good price per square footage and a flexible payment plan.

I spent the first six months planning, meeting real estate agents and getting newsletters to learn about the market. Plus, I spoke to a few mortgage brokers to find out what I could afford. It was cumbersome, but I’m glad I did all of that because I ended up getting exactly what I wanted and when I saw it, I jumped on it.

Q: How did you narrow down what you wanted?

A: I saw a number of places, but I wasn’t happy with the market. I was looking at what I could afford if I could put five or 10 per cent down and I wasn’t able to afford what I wanted, so pre-construction was the way to go for me. It was the most cost-effective option for me, in order to keep my costs low and get a good return on my investment.

I found there were a lot of developments in East Toronto and the prices were generally lower than in the main downtown core. Also, Google is building a development in the area.

This part of the city was originally an industrial area and it’s turning into more of a residential area.

Q: Tell me a bit more about your search.

A: It was very stressful figuring out what I wanted and choosing from the options available. And then I had to find out if what I liked was still available because it’s a very competitive market.

Also, I’m a new home buyer, so I needed a flexible payment plan over the course of two years. That was really important.

Q: I understand that you’ll be moving in with your significant other, who is currently in Pakistan. Was it challenging to buy this without her being here?

A: She hasn’t been to Toronto yet. She’s still in Pakistan getting her visa finalized. But, I definitely got her input.

I sent her the brochures and the floor plans and asked her what she’d like. She said we’d definitely need two washrooms. And I said, you’re right.

Q: Were you able to get what you wanted right away at Lakeside?

A: Actually, I had originally chosen a different apartment — a one bedroom, one den and one washroom on a higher floor — but then I asked if they had any one bedroom, two dens and two washrooms available and they did. I was lucky.

The real estate agent didn’t know that condo was available, so, it’s good to ask — because you never know if another buyer might drop out.

Q: What else was important for you?

A: I looked at all of the information and researched the builder — Greenland, who is known for having good finishings. And, of course, the location was important. It’s by the lake and downtown, so I don’t think you can go wrong.

Q: Do you have any tips for other people saving to buy their first home?

A: I saved for about two years before I started looking. It’s a huge chunk of money. My advice is just don’t leave your home. Stay home and keep yourself busy.

Investing in pre-construction also helps me save in a way I wouldn’t otherwise and it has taught me some good lessons. Now, I research everything before I buy to make sure I get the best price possible. I’ve definitely improved my saving habits.

Q: What are the best things about your condo?

A: I like the location because it’s close to work, the water and also I think the return of investment will be good because this is a developing area. And this is the only area in Toronto that doesn’t have many highrises.

Amenity-wise, it also checked most of the boxes. They have a gym and that was important because I don’t want to pay for a gym membership.

Q: What do you think of your overall experience?

A: I didn’t think I’d be able to afford to get in to the real estate market — given the way it’s going, and so I’m just excited to be in it now. And I’m glad because the value has already gone up quite a bit since I bought in the summer.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

National Post

The home may be nice, but really it comes down to the pooch-friendly factor

A view is nice. Square footage certainly counts. But whether they’re looking 30 storeys above Bay Street, or for a leafy commuter bungalow, buyers want more than just the basics. Here are some of the hottest amenities on offer across the GTA.

VIRTUAL PERKS

Toronto’s Line 5 condos, in the Yonge and Eglinton area, are named for the light rail transit system under construction. But that’s not the only transportation advantage for future residents. The new development from Reserve Properties will incorporate an Uber pick-up lane in the courtyard. And for owners who don’t want to go outside at all, there will be hot and cold storage for food deliveries as well as fitness studios with computerized floors, lighting and walls suitable for virtual training sessions — a bike ride through virtual mountains, say, or an on-demand exercise class.

Technology is also central to the Notting Hill townhomes in Cambridge, by Gable View Homes, a Burlington-based developer. Their new two-, three- and four-bedroom builds will include Think Nest thermostats, which residents can operate using their phones or tablets to suit their temperature preferences and schedules. The homes are also equipped with Amazon Echo Show, a voice-activated system that can turn on lights, check security cameras and operate sprinklers.

And at Tridel’s “smart condominium” at Ten York, residents won’t even need keys. Units are accessed via digital door locks, common areas are controlled by a smartphone app and the garage recognizes residents’ license plates. Naturally, future owners can also keep watch on how the building is going via a construction cam, which updates images of the site every 30 minutes.

FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDLY

With James Gardens and Humber Valley Park nearby, the condos at 293 The Kingsway already have obvious appeal for dog owners. But the new development from Malen Capital and The Benvenuto Group, which is currently registering units from $484,900 to $1.3 million, has gone one step further for Fido: It includes an on-site pet “spa,” a wash basin with a hand-held shower suitable for dogs of all sizes.

Of course, 293 The Kingsway has plenty of amenities for people too. There’s a game and billiards room, a rooftop barbecue terrace with a large-screen TV and fireplace, and a 3,500-square-foot fitness centre. But with 230,000 dogs in Toronto — and about three to five dogs per building floor, according to city planners — four-legged residents are increasingly an essential part of developers’ plans.

The Upper House Condos in Leaside, completed last spring, not only has a dog washing facility but features a hydraulic clipping table and adjustable blow dryer. DavPart’s new development in North York, The Avro, has a dog run on the property as well as a dog washing station. And The Livmore, a luxury rental development at Bay Street and Gerrard has an outdoor dog run on the fifth floor, complete with fake fire hydrant.

Not every development is dog-friendly. In the last year, residents at one Etobicoke property were told they could only have dogs small enough to be carried through the lobby. Another building in Toronto’s downtown core posted a notice they would be charging residents $15 per dog to cover the additional building maintenance that can arise from pets. Outrage followed, however, and lawyers interviewed by the press said such rules are not enforceable.

FAMILY VALUES

A family of four in less than 800 square feet? No problem at condo developments like Tridel’s Evermore at West Village.

The 28-storey condo just north of Bloor Street at the West Mall, will include both an outdoor terrace and an indoor kids play area decorated with cubbyholes, hexagonal shapes and primary colours. There will also be a youth hub with high-speed internet and a mix of recreation and study spaces. And for those aspiring rock stars (are moms and dads welcome too?) there will be a music room with studio equipment.

Access to good schools and parks has long been a real estate selling point. But as it gets increasingly expensive for young families to afford detached homes in Toronto, many are staying in condos longer or looking for permanent high-rise living spaces. About 13 per cent of the city’s families now live in condos, according to the 2016 census — up 8.9 per cent from 2011.

While kid-friendly amenities are a bonus (CityPlace’s Navy Wharf, at Spadina and Lakeshore, has a basketball court) developers are also catering to growing families with bigger units. At Lakeside Condos, a development from the Greenland Group at Lakeshore Blvd. East and Lower Sherbourne, there are not only two-bedrooms but suites with two bedrooms plus a den and three bedrooms. Set for occupancy in 2021, the building is part of a master-planned waterfront community near Sugar Beach, the Cherry Street YMCA and Young People’s Theatre.

By Jack Landau, Urban Toronto 

Earlier this year, we took a first look inside of the presentation centre for Lakeside Residences, a new condominium community by Greenland Group, coming soon to Lake Shore and Sherbourne in Toronto’s East Bayfront area. The latest phase to hit the market of the multi-tower, Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed condominium development is the community’s 39-storey tower, with new additions to the sales centre as marketing gears up.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

39-storey tower at Lakeside Residences, image courtesy of Greenland Group

Joining the presentation centre’s collection of displays is a new pair of bathroom and kitchen vignettes. These suite vignettes provide a glimpse of the interiors of the 39-storey tower’s units stretching from levels 2 to 37. The kitchen vignette includes standard features like appliances, warm woodgrain cabinets, stone backsplashes, along with upgraded features like a kitchen island.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Kitchen mock-up, Lakeside Residences, image courtesy of Greenland Group

The new bathroom display shows off a similar palette that includes warm hues of stone and wood grain finishes, as well as a vanity with porcelain sink, chrome faucet, and mirrored-storage cabinet. The combination shower bathtub features full height wall tile surround.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Bathroom mock-up, Lakeside Residences, image courtesy of Greenland Group

Known as “Lake Suites”, the current release of units are being offered in one-to-three bedroom layouts, ranging in area from 477 up to 1,101 ft². Greenland is placing emphasis on the views offered from these suites, with panoramic vistas overlooking the waterfront and Lake Ontario to the south, as well as the Downtown Toronto skyline to the west.

By Jack Landau, Urban Toronto 

Construction of Greenland Group‘s King Blue condominium development in Toronto’s Entertainment District has achieved a milestone this week as disassembly of the tower cranes used to build the 460 and 511-foot towers has begun. Now topped out at 44 and 48-storey heights, the removal of the tower cranes from the IBI Group-designed development at King Street West and Blue Jays Way marks the completion of forming and the shift towards completing interiors for an opening later this year.

King Blue Condos, Greenland Canada, IBI Group Architects, TorontoLooking north to King Blue from Front Street, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

With work furthest along on the shorter 44-storey west tower, a pair of derricks have been erected atop the building’s mechanical penthouse. Once the rigs have finished disassembly of the west tower’s crane, they will be disassembled themselves by even smaller rigs. This process will be repeated soon atop the 48-storey east tower.

King Blue Condos, Greenland Canada, IBI Group Architects, TorontoDerricks atop King Blue Condos, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Meanwhile, work on the towers’ exteriors has progressed smoothly in recent months. The main exterior envelope of window wall cladding of full-pane windows framed by dark aluminum spandrel panels and mullions now covers almost all of the tower floors, with small sections remaining on residential and mechanical penthouse levels. Installation of balcony glazing has also progressed, with over half of the towers’ balconies glazed.

King Blue Condos, Greenland Canada, IBI Group Architects, TorontoUpper levels of King Blue Condos, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Once complete, the towers will bring over 800 new homes to the Entertainment District. In addition to housing some of the residential units, the podium will contribute to the local vibrancy with retail spaces on the ground floor, a permanent home for Theatre Museum Canada on the second floor on the south side, and a 122-room Primus Hotel on the north side.

King Blue Condos, Greenland Canada, IBI Group Architects, Toronto

King Blue Condos, image courtesy of Greenland Canada

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Following on the successful sales of the 49-storey east tower at Greenland Group‘s Lakeside Residences, a second tower is launching for the Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed condominium development coming to Lake Shore and Sherbourne in Toronto’s East Bayfront area. Set to launch this fall, the second phase 39-storey tower’s initial release of units will be known as the Lake Suites, set to occupy all but the top two levels of the tower, with the penthouses to follow as a separate phase.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Lakeside Residences with new tower highlighted, image courtesy of Greenland Group

A set of renderings accompanying the launch reveal tweaks to the tower’s design, and new details of the building’s interiors, including both the look of the common spaces and the residential suites themselves.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Facing south to the 39-storey tower at Lakeside Residences, image courtesy of Greenland Group

The lobby with welcome residents home with natural finishes like stone and wood, and provide a comfortable place for them or their guests to gather or wait, or interact wth the concierge.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Lobby at Lakeside Residences’ 39-storey tower, image courtesy of Greenland Group

Lake Suites are offered in one through three bedroom layouts, ranging in area from 477 through 1,101 ft². The suites take advantage of their position with expansive views overlooking the waterfront and Lake Ontario to the south, as well as the downtown skyline to the west.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Suite interior, Lake Suites at Lakeside Residences, image courtesy of Greenland Group

Residents will also have access to a collection of amenity spaces found on the tower’s third and fourth floors. We will be back for a look at them another time. For now, additional Lakeside Residences information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of the page.

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The latest development now rising into the skyline of Toronto’s Entertainment District, Greenland Group‘s King Blue, has been steadily growing taller at the intersection of King Street West and Blue Jays Way. The 44 and 48-storey, IBI Group-designed condominium towers had reached 24-storey heights at the time of our last update in May, and after a few more months of forming, both towers now stand in the vicinity of 40 storeys. At the current rate of forming, the towers will reach their final heights in the Fall.

King Blue Condos, Greenland Canada, IBI Group Architects, Toronto

King Blue Condos viewed from the north on Peter Street, image by Forum contributor MafaldaBoy

As the towers’ concrete rises higher, cladding installation is following several floors behind, and adding detail to the exteriors. A window wall cladding featuring full-pane windows and dark aluminum spandrel panels and mullions forms the towers’ main building envelope, while fritted glass balcony guards are now being installed across lower floors, providing some contrast against the dark cladding behind.

Gradient-fritted balcony guards are being installed now, King Blue, Toronto

Gradient-fritted balcony guards are being installed now, mage by Craig White

At the base of the development, the towers’ shared podium contains the preserved north and west facades of the 1927-built Canadian Westinghouse Building, (a small corner of it can be seen at the bottom of the preceding photo). It is being flanked by newly built sections that are being clad in a dark brick finish (seen in the background of the photo below). The dark brick is meant to complement the Westinghouse facades while still standing apart from them.

King Blue Condos, Greenland Canada, IBI Group Architects, Toronto

Brick finishes adding to base of King Blue Condos, image by Forum contributor ProjectEnd

The podium is to house ground-floor retail spaces, a 122-room Primus Hotel, and some of the development’s over 800 condominium units.

King Blue Condos, Greenland Canada, IBI Group Architects, Toronto

You can learn more about King Blue by visiting our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.

South-facing windows are a fixture of passive design, favoured for their solar heat absorption and significantly lower energy bills. Prospective buyers who choose from the new release of 36 south-facing suites at Lakeside Residences will also enjoy sweeping views of beautiful Lake Ontario and nearby parks. When complete, the master-planned community by Greenland Group Canada will include nearly 2,000 condominiums and 30,000 square feet of retail space.

This limited stack of three units starts on the second floor of Lakeside Residences and extends to the 13th, featuring floorplans that range from one-bedroom to two-bedroom-plus-den. The new release appeals to all types of buyers, from investors, to first-timers, to downsizers. The smallest suites measure around 500 square feet, while the more spacious residences hover around 1,000 square feet. One suite in particular that stands out for its uniqueness is the one-bedroom-plus-den with two full bathrooms — providing additional space for a home office and a convenient secondary bathroom for guests.

Suites will be characterized by nine-foot smooth ceilings, prefinished laminate flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows and generous outdoor spaces.

The collection of south-facing suites will have prime access to the public amenities in the surrounding area, including Sherbourne Common, the Water’s Edge Promenade and Sugar Beach. Even closer to home, residents can experience Lakeside Residences’ exceptional onsite amenities. Host a large get-together in the stylish party room, or challenge your neighbour to a game of pool in the games area.

The state-of-the-art fitness centre boasts a sauna and steam rooms, and there’s a whimsical children’s play area for families with little ones. During the warmer months, residents can unwind on the rooftop terrace, complete with a swimming pool, cabanas and comfortable lounge chairs. In addition, an exterior courtyard located at the base of the tower will serve as a dynamic public space for all to enjoy.

Lakeside Residences is located at 215 Lake Shore Boulevard East in the emerging East Bayfront neighbourhood. Steps away is the future site of Quayside, a ‘smart city’ being developed by Sidewalk Labs (a subsidiary of Alphabet, which is owned by Google) and Waterfront Toronto. Spread across 12-acres, Quayside will include urban parks, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, and more than three million square feet of residential, office and commercial space. It will also be home to Google’s new Canadian headquarters.

Image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

Be sure to register online ahead of the new release of suites at Lakeside Residences.

For more information, please visit lakesidetoronto.com, call 416 366 8802 or email info@lakesidetoronto.com.

LakesideResidences_Exterior1

Toronto’s eastern waterfront is on the verge of a major transformation. The former industrial site will soon see the addition of new urban parks, public spaces, and state-of-the-art commercial and residential developments. The area’s potential is what attracted developers like Greenland Group Canada, who announced plans for its Lakeside Residences project last year. The much-anticipated 3.5-acre master-planned community is situated on the former FedEx lands at 215 Lake Shore Boulevard East and will consist of eight towers, nearly 2,000 condominiums and 30,000 square feet of retail space.

LakesideResidences_Lobby

Steps away is the future site of Quayside, a ‘smart city’ being developed by Sidewalk Labs (a subsidiary of Alphabet, which is owned by Google) and Waterfront Toronto. Spread across 12-acres, Quayside is a mixed-use community that will include urban parks, pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, and more than three million square feet of residential, office and commercial space. Combining urban design with digital technology, Quayside is poised to attract thousands of new residents and employers, including Google’s new Canadian headquarters.

LakesideResidences_Exterior3

The ambitious project celebrated a major milestone last summer when a Plan Development Agreement (PDA) was signed between Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs. The PDA defines and governs the planning and funding relationship between the two organizations and outlines budgetary and joint oversight measures.

“We are excited to take this next step with Sidewalk Labs to set the stage for delivering a truly transformational project on the waterfront that addresses many critical urban issues faced by our City and other cities,” said Helen Burstyn, Chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Board of Directors, in a press release.

Love+Park+560

More recently, the winning designs for two new neighbourhood parks were announced by Waterfront Toronto in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forest and Recreation Division. The designs include Love Park by Claude Cormier et Associés along York Street and Rees Ridge by wHY Architecture and Brook Mcllroy for the Rees Street Park.

LakesideResidences_Exterior4

Designed by the award winning Hariri Pontarini Architects, the sail-shaped profile of the two main towers takes visual cues from the city’s lively waterfront, while the glass facade reflects the calming waters of Lake Ontario. Fritted glass balconies taper and flare, illuminating the tower’s edge giving them a strong presence and visual interest from all angles.

LakesideResidences_Kitchen

At the base of the towers is an exterior courtyard designed as an urban backyard with an emphasis on walkability, leisure, parklands and easy access to cafes and retail amenities.

To learn more about Lakeside Residences, be sure to register online at lakesidetoronto.com.

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As the marketing of Lakeside Residences by Greenland Group continues, new details of are being released for the multi-tower, Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed condominium development coming to Toronto’s East Bayfront area. The site of the project—a former FedEx service centre at 215 Lake Shore Boulevard East at Sherbourne—has recently been transformed into a presentation centre for the development, offering prospective buyers a taste of the architecture, interior finishes, and the surrounding neighbourhood.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Lakeside Residences presentation centre, image courtesy of Greenland Group

Visitors to the presentation centre will be greeted by a reception area showing off the project’s branding, featuring funky lighting and decorations that complement the aesthetic presented in renderings of the development’s interior amenities.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Inside the Lakeside Residences presentation centre, image courtesy of Greenland Group

This reception area leads to an open space featuring a minimalist aesthetic, placing focus on visual marketing aids like renderings and wall-mounted video display screens. Tables and seating areas throughout the space offer places for and visitors to discuss purchases with Greenland representatives, or go over any questions about the project.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Lakeside Residences presentation centre, image courtesy of Greenland Group

Serving as the presentation centre’s focal point, a scale model of the development’s initial phases builds upon the renderings being used to market the project, offering visitors a chance to soak in more details of the building’s architecture. Lakeside’s design draws inspiration from the sailboats commonly seen in the harbour a short distance to the south, evident in the complementary convex and concave facades seen on the first phase’s taller towers.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Scale model at the Lakeside Residences presentation centre, image courtesy of Greenland Group

Other features include a display of the various standard and upgraded finish packages that purchasers can select from.

Lakeside Residences, Greenland Canada, Hariri Pontarini Architects, Toronto

Finish packages at the Lakeside Residences presentation centre, image courtesy of Greenland Group

You can visit the Lakeside Residences presentation centre for yourself, open from Monday to Thursday, 12PM to 6PM, as well as Saturdays and Sundays from 12PM to 5PM.

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.