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Toronto Waterfront Condos: East Bayfront

Toronto Waterfront Condos: East Bayfront

Jun 17, 2015
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This week in a special three-part series, we're looking at the most compelling Toronto waterfront condo communities coming out of the multi-billion dollar Toronto waterfront renewal project. Last Friday, we featured the West Don Lands community including River City Phase 3 , Canary District and Canary Park condos.

Today, we move west, just south east of the core, to the new East Bayfront community.

Toronto Waterfront Condos: East Bayfront Project Overview

East_Bayfront_map

East_Bayfront_map

The 55 acre East Bayfront development is the most anticipated of the revitalized waterfront communities. Because of its proximity to downtown and transit - it's just a 10 minute walk to Union Station - it stands to have the greatest impact on Toronto urban life. It's referred to as the jewel in Toronto's waterfront crown.

Like the West Don Lands, East Bayfront is a mixed-use development driven by various levels of government and investor funding but unlike it's neighbour to the east, East Bayfront is located directly lakeside and has continuous public access to the water's edge.

Like all new and revitalized neighbourhoods under Watefront Toronto's scheme, East Bayfront's vision is one of sustainability with a major investment in pubic spaces, services and transit to accommodate the anticipated population surge. As well, there's favour given to environmentally-sound design and building practices.

Highlights from the East Bayfront development project include:

    6,000 new residential units including 1,200 affordable residences

    3 million square feet of commercial space - it's being used as a magnet to attract new corporate investment and employers to the City

    5.5 hectares of parks and public spaces including a revitalized Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Park

    a 1 km continuous water’s edge promenade

    home to a new George Brown campus and the new head office for Corus

East Bayfront Condos

Bayside

Toronto-Bayside-Condos

Toronto-Bayside-Condos

Coming in at 13 acres, this is the largest parcel of land of any condo development in East Bayfront and it enjoys the closest proximity to the water's edge, spanning Lower Sherbourne Street in the west and Parliament Street in the east. Developers Tridel and Hines are the forces behind these highly-anticipated, mid-rise developments including the first condominium in the plan - Aqualina at Bayside .

Designed by Arquitectonica of New York City, the prismatic blocks atop and beside one another, descending towards the lake. Units are designed with windows and balconies that maximize waterfront or city views.

If East Bayfront is the jewel in the Toronto waterfront crown, Aqualina's architecture is the sparkle. But it's the rooftop deck and infinity pool that has us salivating.

aqualina-bayside-deck

aqualina-bayside-deck

Next up for Tridel will be Aquavista at Bayside , currently in pre-construction planning.

Monde

Monde by Great Gulf was the first condominium development to break ground in this new community. The 40-storey tower, still under construction, is located just north of the waterfront next to the transformed Sherbourne Commons. Another mixed-use project, Monde features over 500 residences with street-level retail space and approximately 19,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor amenity space.

Suites are designed by the team who have become a fixture in iconic Toronto condo interiors - Ceconni Simone. That said, many suites are rather modest in feel - sleek but a little too generic for some people's taste.

20121121-monde-condo-kitchen

20121121-monde-condo-kitchen

And we're not sure about the projected balconies; will they really feel more open-air than standard balcony configurations with better vantage points? Maybe.

monde-condo-balcony

monde-condo-balcony

What's great about this project though is that, like Aqualina, Monde condos feature a rooftop infinity pool with lake views and so even though you're a little further north, it still feels "waterfront". Private terraces on the upper floors also face the lake.

Great Gulf's Christopher Wein told the Toronto Star that, “Great cities are defined by their waterfronts...and Toronto for such a long time hasn’t really had the waterfront it deserves.”

Let's hope Monde surprises us and lives up to its expectations.

The Most Welcomed News

New Waterside Promenade

QueensQuay-Promenade

QueensQuay-Promenade

Anytime we see plans for creating more pedestrian space directly lakeside we get excited. The more public access to the water's edge, the better.

Fastest Internet in the City

Both Monde and Bayside will feature Beanfield Metroconnect 100% fibre-to-home technology that offers ultra-high-speed internet and intensive bandwidths, placing it in the top seven sophisticated “Intelligent Community” enterprises in the world.

Family Features

Much like the new condos at West Don Lands, East Bayfront developers are keeping the family market in mind. At least 5% of the units in Monde will be 3-bedroom suites and the building will house an onsite daycare centre. Aqualina at Bayside will also have 3-bedroom suites up to 2,100 sq. ft.

The Controversial Stuff

Budget

Sugar-Beach-Thomas-Hawk-flickr

Sugar-Beach-Thomas-Hawk-flickr

While Waterfront Toronto cost overrun concerns don't appear to be as high here as in neighbouring Queen's Quay, this hood has not been without its own budgetary scandals.

Who can forget the infamous $600,000 public washroom and the 36 pink umbrellas purchased for Sugar Beach at a cost of $12,000 each - so controversial it led to then-Mayor Rob Ford calling for the resignation of Waterfront Toronto CEO John Campbell (who didn't resign; the organization backed him up as did many members of government; the organization had been through an extensive financial and management audit).

Light Rail Transit (LRT) for East Queens Quay Likely Quashed

An East Bayfront LRT was originally planned to run along Queen's Quay from Union Station to Parliament which is a huge gain not only for residents but tourists and employees who work in the area. But due to major budgetary issues (reportedly due to overspending on west-side transit, decimating east-side construction funds), the project has stalled.

It's not off the table but it looks like a 20+ year time horizon in the latest provisional plans with bus routes as the working substitute. In other words, don't hold your breath.

Poor Doors

We talked a few weeks back about the controversy surrounding Aqualina at Bayside's use of what some critics claim are "poor doors" (i.e. separate entrances for low-income tenants). Have a read of our previous blog about the Aqualina condo controversy - it's not clear cut situation and certainly not as horrendous as it sounds at first blush. But it's an interesting debate, one that is sure to continue as more mixed-income condo developments rise up in Toronto.

Join us again this Friday as we take a look at the future of Toronto's Lower Don Lands.

Read Part 1 of Our Toronto Waterfront Series on the West Don Lands Read Part 3 of Our Toronto Waterfront Series on the Lower Don Lands All images of Bayside © Tridel. All images of Monde © Great Gulf Homes. Map of East Bayfront by SimonP – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons. Rendering of promenade © Waterfront Toronto. Sugar Beach pink umbrellas photo © Thomas Hawk used via Creative Commons from flickr.