Published On: Tue, Apr 25th, 2017

Five Developers Leading Toronto’s Residential Reimagination

For all the hand wringing over an overheated market, bubbles and their bursting, and sky-high prices in the face of a shortfall in housing supply, there’s this to keep in mind: Toronto will emerge from this era hugely enriched, with a remarkable cityscape that sets new standards for innovation and architectural significance.

The housing boom in Toronto has been building for 20 years, pushing through what were setbacks everywhere else (remember the 2008 economic crisis?) with aplomb. As the Globe and Mail recalled last year, one banker warned against buying condos to flip them – seven years ago. And yes, the practice remains quite popular.

After record home sales in 2016, 2017 could be even more intense. And in the face of consumer demand, some of Toronto’s developers are revitalizing neighborhoods, while preserving their unique heritage. Others are reaching for the sky with high-rise, mixed-use towers. Meanwhile, advances in green technologies are also on display as sustainability is becoming increasingly embraced. Many developers are setting the standards for reimagining Toronto’s cityscape.

Downtown North York photo/ PFHLai

Here are five of some of the most notable.

  •      The Daniels Corporation. One of Toronto’s largest developers, the Daniels Corporation is known for its commitment to both community development and the arts. That’s evidenced in numerous projects the developer has undertaken, whether that be the Regent Park Revitalization (architecture by the top drawer firm Diamond and Schmitt and Hariri Pontarini) and the City of Arts complex in Bayside.


  •     Tridel. This venerable player in condo development dates back to 1927. Once most notable for its affordable and “typical Toronto condo” work, Tridel recently embraced (and honed a reputation) for its emphasis on green energy, a focus on community development and a higher quality design. On the one hand, Tridel’s Alexandra Park redevelopment serves the need for community revitalization and affordable housing. On the other, the developer’s showpiece, Ten York condo, in the South Core is known for its quality finishes and a very durable, energy efficient curtain wall set in the tower.


  •      Mizrahi Developments. For the last decade, Sam Mizrahi, President and founder of Mizrahi Developments, has been setting the pace for luxury condo developments that honor the values of preservationists by working to enhance the neighborhoods they’re in. His hallmark project might well be The One, to be located at Toronto’s most coveted location, the intersection of Yonge and Bloor Streets in downtown Toronto. This exciting skyscraper at 80 storeys high is among the city’s first “supertall” buildings redefining Toronto’s skyline.  Outside of The One, Sam Mizrahi has also led in developing classically-styled luxury condo developments in Toronto’s Yorkville neighborhood that include 133 Hazelton, 128 Hazelton and 181 Davenport.


  •      Streetcar Developments. No highrises for this somewhat smaller Toronto developer. Instead, Streetcar has built a reputation for developing mid-rises that are well-integrated with the buildings and character of their surrounding neighborhoods. The company’s name reflects its orientation toward buildings clustered around Toronto’s streetcar lines. Developments like its 8 Gladstone reflect Streetcar’s emphasis as it melds in carefully scaled density and design with the Little Portugal neighborhood’s architectural character.


  •      Concord Adex. Concord Adex has been instrumental in revitalizing Toronto. Its CityPlace neighborhood, though initially criticized as “suburban”, has seen its streetscape enlivened with construction of towers.  Also contributing to the neighborhood’s appeal was Concord’s Canoe Landing Park, which has added valuable public space and has become a highlight of the community.

The Toronto cityscape has undergone a tremendous pace of change as the city’s real estate market has progressed over the past several years. Creative and forward-thinking developers like those mentioned above have enhanced the city’s neighborhoods without compromising their character. In the process, they are helping to create a better city.  

Author: Gene Guillen

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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