The large volume of development activity in Etobicoke's lakeside Humber Bay Shores area currently rivals the activity of other Toronto intensification nodes like North York City Centre and the Yonge and Eglinton area. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Sue Young, sales manager for developer the Onni Group, about the Humber Bay Shores area's recent growth and how its design plays in to the neighbourhood's bright future.

The first three towers plus retail and amenity podiums at Westlake Village, OnniThe first three towers plus retail and amenity podiums at Westlake Village, image courtesy of the Onni Group

UT: The condominium market in the Humber Bay area remains strong, currently among the fastest growing development nodes in the GTA. In your opinion, what makes Humber Bay Shores such an attractive investment for new home buyers?

Sue Young: Waterfront communities have always been a huge draw for people and particularly the Humber Bay area, which is within close proximity to Toronto's downtown core. This area is the perfect combination of a resort-like location and an urban lifestyle which is extremely attractive to many buyers.

The podium at Westlake Village will include several stores & Club W, Onni GroupThe podium at Westlake Village will include several stores and Club W, image courtesy of the Onni Group

It wasn’t too long ago that this part of the Etobicoke waterfront was largely dominated by industrial uses. High-rise condominiums are now becoming the norm in this part of the city, and future development has the potential to further reshape this changing landscape into a dense, urban community. Where do you see the Humber Bay Shores community a few years from now?

I can see this community being transformed into a city within a large city over the next few years. Retailers are opening up shop in the new year at Westlake Village (Metro, Shoppers Drug Mart, TD Bank, cafes, and more) to service a community that has been hungry for more retail.  If you’ve visited the area lately, you can now easily envision a vibrant littlecity coming up. At Westlake Village, there is immense interest from top retailers as the first three phases and storefronts and shops in the village are quickly taking shape.

Westlake Encore, The Onni Group, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, TorontoOnni Group's Westlake Encore, image courtesy of Onni Group

Demographics play an interesting role in how a condominium is marketed to the public. Was there a specific demographic age or income wise that the first phases of Westlake were marketed to? Does this differ from the new Westlake Encore phase?

"When we first launched Westlake, our main target audience was the young professionals between the ages of 25-35 who preferred a short commute to downtown but didn’t necessarily want to live right in the core. They appreciated the outdoor activities offered along this part of the waterfront and wanted great building amenities that complemented their active lifestyle—hence the creation of our super fitness centre 'Club W'. As we started selling Westlake, we quickly realized how diverse our buyers were. Empty nesters and young families who were buying here for the same reasons as our initial target audience had became a big part of our market. They also loved the concept of the urban village."

Club Encore Sky Lounge at Westlake Encore, image courtesy of the Onni GroupClub Encore Sky Lounge at Westlake Encore, image courtesy of the Onni Group

In most high-rise condo developments, the uppermost floors of the tower are typically reserved for deluxe penthouse units, with amenity spaces usually situated towards the bottom of the tower. Penthouse amenity spaces can be costly to build, but they allow residents of any floor to share the same dramatic views as residents of the upper floors. What was the motivation for this generous move?

"We were very careful during the design and development stages of Westlake Encore. We wanted to ensure that our suite layouts still catered to this diverse group of buyers that we were attracting and we wanted to create something that would WOW them. We selected the best floor plans that most suited the needs of our buyers and designed an abundance of amenity spaces throughout the building. But, we still didn’t feel that this was anything WOW or special since many of our competitors were offering similar amenities. That’s when we made the million dollar decision: the Club Encore Sky Lounge will encompass the entire Penthouse level offering a state of the art fitness, health and wellness centre. Residents at Westlake Encore can be working out or hosting a party while enjoying the incredible views all around. Not only will Club Encore Sky Lounge rival Club W and amenities of our competitors but more importantly it will be the signature tower that will knock the socks off of our buyers once completed providing tremendous future value for all of our buyers."

Club Encore Fitness Centre at Westlake Encore, image courtesy of the Onni GroupClub Encore Fitness Centre at Westlake Encore, image courtesy of the Onni Group

Westlake Encore will be having its Grand Opening on November 1st, with units priced starting at $239,000 including parking and locker. We thank Sue Young for taking the time to chat with us, and look forward to continued urbanization in Etobicoke's Humber Bay Shores. 

Additional information and renderings can be found in our Westlake and Westlake Encore dataBase files, 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.