Bringing green living to Wilson HeightsJune 19, 2019
Finding an affordable condo near public transit isn’t easy these days. And finding one that also boasts of noteworthy architecture and plentiful green space, is a major accomplishment.
Tretti Condos, steps from Wilson subway station, claims to tick all of those boxes. Designed by gh3*, the uniquely shaped building with a gently curving spine and three “wings” stepped down from the roofline offers sheltered courtyards where children have a playground and adults have outdoor space. Plus, there’s a wide pedestrian path and 11,000 square feet of ground floor retail.
The suites are designed to maximize natural light, with views of lush landscaping. Interior designer Carmen Dragomir, of esQape Design, placed bedrooms on either side of the central living and kitchen area to give them a more spacious feel.
“Design has a certain way of shaping our lives, our sensibility, our behaviour, even our emotions,” Dragomir says, noting she kept that in mind at Tretti.
The liveability factor was also important for Maurice Wager, the developer Collecdev’s president. Generally, units aren’t getting bigger these days, he says. “And if you reduce the size, you have to make sure the layout works.”
Tretti’s 340 suites have a standard package that includes stainless steel appliances, quartz counters, and porcelain tiles in the bathrooms.
The amenity package, also designed by Dragomir, is generous as well. There’s a fitness studio, a party room with a catering kitchen and access to an outdoor terrace and BBQs. In addition, the condos have a 24-hour concierge service, a co-working station and private meeting rooms.
Millennials and families are expected to be among the buyers and so Wager wanted to include space for those who work from home and family-friendly features such as an indoor/outdoor playground and a pet-grooming studio.
At just 13 storeys, Tretti falls between a mid- and high-rise height, and makes the 340 suites feel reasonably spread out.
Architect Raymond Chow, principle of gh3* which also designed the Rocket condo down the street from Tretti, says the courtyards help with that human scale, “by breaking down the overall mass of the building, and stepping down from the 13-storey height toward the park.”
Green space plays an important role here, shielding the community from the noise and congestion of the Allen Expressway, and connecting the neighbourhood to the Wilson subway station with a path for pedestrians and cyclists. And a park by the front door is connected to a 16,000-square-foot green space.
Wilson Heights itself, is a neighbourhood in flux. It was earmarked for regeneration in 2015 on the city’s master plan. Wager snapped up the plot of land by the subway in 2016. And the following year, the University-Spadina subway line was extended to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.
From the beginning, Wager envisioned a site that would be beautiful, affordable and a good place to live. And given his background in architecture and urban planning — from the University of Toronto — he was also committed to a development that was energy efficient.
To increase Tretti’s natural insulating power, it will be built with more solid wall as opposed to glass. A geothermal heating and cooling system will use 40 per cent less energy than conventional HVAC systems, reduce water consumption by 50 million gallons per year, and is expected to cut overall carbon footprint by more than 70 per cent.
Green roofs will reduce the heat island effect, divert stormwater run-off for collection in cisterns (to be reused for irrigation) — and provide a lush backdrop to the rooftop space with its BBQs and cabanas. And the staggered balconies will attract more light in the winter when the sun is lower on the horizon, while limiting light in the summer when the sun is higher.
No discussion of liveability can be had without talking affordability, Wager insists. He’s devised a program called Collecdev H.O.M.E (home ownership made easy) in collaboration with Toronto Affordable Housing Office, which offers an interest-free, down payment assistance loan.
“A lot of people can make monthly payments,” reasons Wager, “because a mortgage isn’t dissimilar from paying rent, but the big barrier is that 15-20 per cent deposit.” The loan is being offered with strings – you must currently be a tenant, and a first-time homebuyer with a maximum household income of $88,900.
The condos are priced from the mid-$400,000s and occupancy is slated for August 2021.
To register and for more information phone 416-640-2543, email email@example.com, or visit website collecdev.com/developments/tretti-condos/
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1) Getting around. A new urban park, with pedestrian and cycling trails is being created in the area. And the Finch West LRT expansion will add 18 new stops.
2) Get smart. York University and Seneca College’s York U satellite campus are 10 minutes away. And the Downsview Aerospace Innovation and Research Hub – a joint project with academics and industry – is being built at the nearby Downsview Park.
3) Looking for fun? The Barry Zuckerman Amphitheatre offers theatre and music. Black Creek Pioneer Village provides a window on the past. And Fountainhead Park has tennis courts and a multipurpose sports field.
Source: National Post