Introducing a contemporary amalgam of clean lines and neutral palettes to 500 Wilson Avenue, Nørdic Condos is conveniently located in a mature neighbourhood serviced by a number of key transportation routes. The property sits next to Wilson subway station, Allen Road and Highway 401, with valued community amenities like Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Downsview Park, and York University in close proximity. Recent and upcoming transit expansions, including the completed Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension and the future Finch West LRT and Eglinton Crosstown, will provide key links to the rest of Toronto and beyond.
The arresting architecture of Nørdic Condos employs a crisp white facade emphasized by spacious balconies, terraces, and double-glazed windows, accentuating the building’s ingrained connection to the outdoors. On the north side of the structure, a stepped design has been implemented to create a cascading series of outdoor spaces where residents can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while interacting with their neighbours. An extension of the home, three communal courtyards offer additional spaces to socialize and enjoy the outdoors.
Nørdic Condos thinks globally and acts locally by including a geothermal heating and cooling system to reduce the building’s carbon footprint, lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduce annual energy costs, and save over five million litres of water every year.
An expansive amenities package has been carefully crafted to meet the wants and needs of residents, with a state-of-the-art fitness centre, calisthenics courtyard, outdoor pet relief area and indoor washing zone, outdoor kids play area, and landscaped outdoor lounges and barbecue zones all included in the full-service program.
Nørdic also understands the importance of housing inclusivity and accessibility. A number of the 429 condominiums have been allocated to Collecdev H.O.M.E., an affordability initiative that provides payment- and interest-free down payment assistance loans to first-time homebuyers. Fulfilling the pressing need for affordable housing while addressing long-term plans for growth in the region, Nørdic Condos increases both the volume and type of housing in the neighbourhood, contributing towards the proliferation of a complete community driven by a people-oriented approach.
Nørdic residents are always connected – connected to the city, connected to transit, connected to everything, 24 hours a day. Discover Wilson Heights immediately outside your front door, a vibrant community inspired by European cities where architectural diversity, urban gathering spaces, and pedestrian-centric infrastructure combine to encourage interaction with neighbours and friends.
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The secret to designing an inspiring living spaceJuly 8, 2020 READ MORE
Raymond Chow finds beauty in the simple things. “Good design is a combination of simple elements, consideration given to proportion, light, and material...
Raymond Chow finds beauty in the simple things. “Good design is a combination of simple elements, consideration given to proportion, light, and material selection to create an inspiring space.” We sat down with the award-winning co-founder and partner of gh3* Architects to discover his secrets
gh3* frequently collaborates with Collecdev.
That’s right. We’ve worked on a number of Collecdev projects, most recently, Nørdic. We love working with the Collecdev team because they share our commitment to strive for something better than the norm.
Abundant natural light seems to be a core focus of their communities – how do you ensure that through suite design?
We push for suite layouts that are shallower than the industry standard. The benefits are undeniable – shallow units mean more of your square footage is directly adjacent to the outdoors, whether that’s via windows, or with access to an outdoor space like a balcony or terrace. The positive impact this has on the experience of the space is immense. Personally, I wish the industry as a whole would say goodbye to deep suite plans – people were not made to live in the dark.
Let’s talk a little bit about the main living space in a condo, presumably it’s the spot where people spend most of their time.
The open concept kitchen / living area is definitely the most important room in a home. It’s the space where we like to relax at the end of a hard day and where we host friends at the end of the week. It has to fulfill many functions – cooking, eating, relaxing, celebrating, hosting. It can also be the part of our homes where we get to express our design sensibilities and personality most through furniture, art, furnishings etc.
So aside from how to incorporate a designer sofa / vintage Eames chair / favourite piece of art – what’s the first thing someone should consider when designing their main living space?
Consider how you will use the space at different times of the day, and various times of the year. A main living space needs to meet a lot of needs, especially when we consider that they’re almost always directly adjacent to the kitchen / dining area. Your design needs to account for a range of activities – considering them from the start will mean a more enjoyable experience of your home.
What’s the one thing that can transform a space from ordinary to inspiring?
Simplicity in design and the use of quality materials.
That seems evident in your design at Nørdic – the white façade is such a clean and simple addition to the streetscape, an aesthetic that appears to continue into the suites.
We were inspired by Scandinavian cities and used that Northern European style to help us achieve the objective we set for all of our residential designs – to help people feel comfortable, safe, and at ease in the space. To create a space that feels like home.
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TRETTI + Nørdic honoured with CHBA nominationsFebruary 20, 2020 READ MORE
The Danes have a saying, “bo bedre,” which means “live better.” It’s the driving force behind TRETTI and Nørdic, two amazing new Collecdev communities, designed to help more people live smarter, live better, live happier than ever before. This month these projects received industry kudos, nominated for two CHBA National Awards:
The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) National Awards for Housing Excellence recognize the best in Canadian new homes, home renovations, community development, and marketing. “These nominations place us among a distinguished group,” said Collecdev President, Maurice Wager, upon hearing the news. “The CBHA is the voice of the residential construction industry in Canada and to be recognized by them is a testament to the incredible communities we’re bringing to life.”
TRETTI and Nørdic, have received an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from the market, impressing purchasers and industry insiders with their holistic approach to development. Inspired by Scandinavian cities like Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo, the communities combine great design and inspiring amenities, with direct access to transit and a strong connection to nature, creating human-centric environments that promote a healthier and happier way to live.
TRETTI’s nomination for outstanding excellence in a Mid- to High-Rise Condominium Project reflects the extensive planning and vision that has gone into the site. CreateTO, a team of real estate professionals working with the City of Toronto to manage its real estate portfolio, worked closely with Collecdev to develop a community plan for the lands at 30 Tippett which were sold to Collecdev in 2015.
The development aligns with the City’s overall vision for the Tippett Regeneration Area and includes provisions for new public services, roads, parks, and infrastructure, along with the 13-storey condominium and two purpose-built rental buildings, Tippett Park Phase 1 and Tippett Park Phase 2. A collection of suites has been designated for Collecdev H.O.M.E – Home Ownership Made Easy., the affordable ownership program developed in partnership with the Government of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto, that puts good living within reach for more first-time buyers. And sustainable building systems like geothermal energy and green roofs reduce the carbon footprint and create long-term value for residents. These elements, combined with convenient transit, an emphasis on the outdoors, and engaging amenities, make TRETTI a truly complete community, a place residents will be proud to call home.
Bring a stylish Scandinavian colour palette into your homeJanuary 2, 2020 READ MORE
Known for its clean lines and muted colour palette, Scandinavian design is a timeless aesthetic that can make your home feel fresh, modern and airy. Inspired by the cozy homes of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, this minimalist approach to interior design is focused on creating beautiful, functional spaces that reflect the natural environment.
Give a nod to the Nørdic lifestyle and bring a Scandinavian colour palette into your home in 2020 by following these four simple design guidelines.
Embrace Nørdic Neutrals
White serves as the backdrop of all Scandinavian design and is the ideal base from which to build your overall home aesthetic. Scandinavians favour soft tones and neutrals like white, beige, grey and cream – think subdued colours that inspire calm and tranquility. Achieve a clean, curated look in your home by sticking to a monochromatic colour scheme throughout the space and layering neutral colours in varying shades. If you want to inject subtle pops of colour, stick to muted natural tones and pastels; colours should feel washed out and lived-in rather than bright and saturated. Banish hot pink and vibrant teal from your colour scheme in favour of dusty rose, mint green, icy blue, and soft grey.
Keep Statement Pieces Subtle
While fun accent pieces can inject some personality into your home, you want to take a ‘less is more’ approach when recreating that stylishly stark Nørdic aesthetic. Scandinavian style is all about openness and minimalism, so try to avoid cluttering up the room with too many colourful knickknacks. Any decorative artwork or accent pieces you want to display should work to complement – rather than compete with – your neutral colour palette. If you want to introduce a patterned element like a unique wallpaper or rug, avoid anything that’s too busy and baroque. Instead, lean towards simple prints with clean lines like geometric patterns in muted colour tones or classic black and white stripes.
Stick to Light Woods and Modern Metallics
When it comes to wooden furniture, fine craftsmanship is a key element in Scandinavian design, so it’s important to invest in high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Keep the wood tones in your home light and natural to bring warmth to the space. Scandinavian style favours blonde timber, white-washed birch, pine, fir and elm. For some added shine, invest in brass and copper light fixtures and kitchen accessories for a contemporary finish.
Be Inspired by Nature
Scandinavian design is greatly inspired by the outdoors, which means the colour palette for your home should draw upon naturally occurring tones you might find at the beach or in the forest. Try to incorporate environmental colours, textures and design accessories into your space to create a sense of ‘Hygge’ – a Danish and Norwegian term that conveys a sense of coziness and comfort. Fabric furnishings should be made with soft and organic fibres like wool, linen and cotton, and can be dressed up with natural-inspired accessories like a mossy green throw pillow or a soft sheepskin rug. Feel closer to nature by bringing the outdoors in with driftwood accent pieces and green houseplants potted with natural stones in simple white ceramic pots.
Remember, keeping things simple can make a bold statement. To achieve a sleek Scandinavian-inspired colour palette in your home, start with clean monochromatic neutral tones and then incorporate warm woods, natural shades and textures, and muted pastel hues to create a sleek, comfortable space that’s uniquely yours.
Q&A with Scale Model Builder Michael BurkeNovember 4, 2019 READ MORE
What’s tall and slender, with a beautiful profile and a knack for catching the perfect light? These words could be describing the towering glamazons found on...
What’s tall and slender, with a beautiful profile and a knack for catching the perfect light? These words could be describing the towering glamazons found on catwalks from Paris to Milan, but they’re equally appropriate as a descriptor for the towering scale models that grace sales centres across the continent. And, for the last thirteen years, Michael Burke has been turning out some of the best.
In the late 90s Burke was an architecture student at Ryerson University, regularly pulling all-nighters to build models for class. After graduation he scored a job at a professional model shop and five years later, he launched Myles Burke Architectural Models, with business partner David Myles. Today, the firm produces around 50 models each year for some of the biggest names in development. We sat down with the partner, co-owner, and model maker to find out what exactly goes into building a mini-dream. Super indeed.
Scale models are a very particular niche – how did you end up in the industry?
MB: I was at Ryerson studying architecture and one day, outside of the library, they had a scale model, built by a professional model building company. Until then I had only really seen our student cardboard and wood versions and this model blew my mind – I couldn’t believe the level of detail and the accuracy! I couldn’t figure out how anyone could do that… what materials were they using? How did they get the materials to look so real?
I discovered that a girl in my class was working at a model shop and in fourth year, when she and the rest of my classmates went out and got “real jobs,” her position opened up. I interviewed and got the job.
I really had no idea what I was doing, but I was eager to learn and excited by every new challenge and responsibility. I thought I had the coolest/funnest/most interesting job in the world.
I had only been working there about six months and then this other kid got hired – his name was David Myles.
David and I hit it off right away. We were the same age, had similar interests, and we were really into our jobs.
After about 5 years we felt we were ready for a new challenge, so we started Myles Burke
Architectural Models in 2006 and never looked back.
What’s the largest scale model you’ve ever built?
MB: Some of the larger models we’ve produced at Myles Burke have been The World Towers (Lodha, Mumbai), a full 14’ tall; and Rivington (Toll Brothers, Connecticut), an 11′ x 16′ model with a total area of 176 square feet. The largest model I’ve ever worked on in my career was the Burj Khalifa. The tower was 21′ tall, the base was 32′ in diameter. I went to Dubai for the install. It took 14 days to set up.
Give us the scoop, were you super into Lego and building blocks as a kid?
MB: You guessed it, Lego was totally my thing. I’d build for hours, mostly making stuff up on my own rather than following any instructions in the kit. I also had a train set and I loved building dioramas for school projects.
Why is it important to have a scale model of a project?
MB: Scale models seem to have a unique appeal – they’re part art installation/exhibit, part technical construction. I think people gravitate to them because they’re beautiful, complex, and analogue. They tell the complete story of a project – with just one glance you’re able to understand the size, shape, spatial relationships, etc. of a design. Most people can’t understand a set of architectural drawings but they can understand a scale model in an instant. There’s also an element of authenticity, of truth – scale models, by nature, have to be accurate (their inherent “scale” is found directly in the name), so people experience an immediate sense of trust.
Are you worried that technology may render physical models obsolete?
MB: When it gets to the point when VR is indistinguishable from reality, perhaps physical models will become obsolete, but I’m not worried about it for two reasons: one, when it does happen, I’ll finally get some time off work; and two, I expect to be retired by then.
Seriously though, people always try and tell us that we should just 3D print our models. We’re more than happy to print a model for someone, if they’re looking for an expensive piece of junk, but in my opinion, they don’t hold a candle to what we do. Our work is the real deal.
How many hours did it take to build the Tretti scale model? And the model for Nordic?
MB: Tretti took nearly 588 hours. Nordic has been 695.88 to date.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever been asked to replicate?
MB: The strangest thing I’ve been asked to build was a model of a flat earth for a flat earth convention. I declined the job – I refuse to contribute to such a anti-intellectual conspiracy and outright denial of obvious and testable truths about the oblate spheroid shaped earth.
What’s the average budget for a scale model?
MB: It ranges. The models that we work on aren’t usually less than $10K, average around $25K, and have gotten up to $180K.
What’s your favourite part of the process?
MB: I’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years and I still get excited in the final days of the project when everything comes together. It’s pretty sudden actually – all the parts, fresh out of the paint booth, get glued in place, the trees get installed, the furniture gets added. It’s amazingly satisfying to watch it all take shape.
Finish this sentence, “If I weren’t a scale model builder, I would probably be…”
MB: If I weren’t a scale model builder, I would probably be a starving musician. Thank goodness scale models paid off.
Visit the Collecdev Sales & Design Centre and see some of Burke’s work in living colour with the scale models of Tretti and Nordic, our latest communities.
Carmen Dragomir sees the big picture when it comes to building intimate spacesNovember 1, 2019 READ MORE
Carmen Dragomir sees the big picture when it comes to building intimate spaces. “Design has a certain way of shaping our lives, our sensibility, our...
Carmen Dragomir sees the big picture when it comes to building intimate spaces. “Design has a certain way of shaping our lives, our sensibility, our behaviour, even our emotions,” says the designer, “Every day I have the opportunity to design spaces that touch other people’s lives.” At Nørdic she’s doing exactly that, creating fresh, smart, inspiring spaces that flow from the front door to your home, and everywhere in between.
Q: How did you interpret the Scandinavian aesthetic for a Toronto audience?
Toronto homebuyers are knowledgeable and savvy about the homebuying process. They understand and appreciate different design styles, thanks to the city’s eclectic multicultural mix. In interiors, Scandinavian design conjures the idea of effortlessness, minimalist colour palettes, organic textures, and restrained furniture placement, leaving room for people to move around within a space and take it in from different angles, at varying stages of daylight. At Nørdic, the sensation of lightness and wellbeing is as much a product of the space in between the elements – the room to move freely – as it is of the built forms themselves.
Q: What was your inspiration for the interiors at Nørdic?
I was inspired by the amazing hotel and residence interiors I saw during a recent trip to Copenhagen where they effortlessly combined objects, furniture, and art into incredibly inviting spaces. They were striking and had an eclectic style and a refined, yet comfortable vibe.
Q: The suite layouts at Nordic are wide and shallow – how does that affect how people experience the space?
Wide units have the advantage of bringing more natural light into the spaces, as well as creating open concept plans, giving residents the ability to personalize furniture configurations and flow based on their own needs and aesthetic preferences.
Q: How do you want people to feel in the spaces you’ve designed at Nørdic?
Everyone should feel at ease in their own home. We try to create spaces where people feel comfortable and serene, homes that you never want to leave. You know the expression, build a life you don’t need an escape from? At Nørdic we’ve provided the perfect backdrop for that soft, relaxed, minimal aesthetic that gives residents vacation vibes, even when they’re at home.