Though the relationship between builders and the community in which they want to develop can at times be strenuous, it is often beneficial for both parties. Concert Properties, with roots in British Columbia, is relatively new to the Toronto construction scene, yet they have made some big commitments to give back to the communities in which they build. Their latest project near Kipling Avenue and Dundas Street West in Etobicoke, The Kip District, features five condominium towers on the site of a former Canadian Tire. For each unit sold within the first 28-storey building of the development, Concert will provide the funds necessary to house one homeless youth for one month at Rexdale's Youth Without Shelter

Representatives from Concert and Youth Without Shelter met Wednesday at the Dundas and Dunbloor sales centre, about a kilometre from the Kip District site. Pictured below, from left to right, are: Concert Vice President of Sales Catherine Diraison, Concert Vice President of Development Kelly Wilson, Youth Without Shelter Executive Director Wendy Horton and Youth Without Shelter Development Manager Judy Leroux. 

Executives from Concert and Youth Without Shelter, image by Marcus MitanisExecutives from Concert and Youth Without Shelter solidify their partnership, image by Marcus Mitanis

“As a developer that prides itself on making a difference within the communities where we live and work, we’re happy to give back to the Etobicoke community in particular by providing shelter and support to some of those who need it most," said Concert President and COO Brian McCauley. The Kip District: The One is comprised of 283 units, which translates to a $213,000 donation by Concert to the Adopt-A-Bed program at Youth Without Shelter. The shelter is the only emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth aged 16-24 in Etobicoke.

"Concert always gets involved in the communities it builds within and we just started looking around for something that we felt suited our company's personality and what we try to achieve in communities," Concert Vice President of Sales Catherine Diraison told us. "We just thought it was a good fit to support the community and youth is always the best place to put your money because you're really investing in the future." 

The partnership is hugely beneficial for the shelter, which receives about 55% of its funding from the City of Toronto, with most of the remaining funds collected through donations. "It means a tremendous amount to us," said Wendy Horton. "It's a very generous donation and it will go a long way to help us provide the things that the youth in our care need; not only food, shelter, clothing and hygiene products but also a case manager to work with them through their goals and assistance in employment, housing and skills training." 

Looking west with Dundas to the right of the model, image by Marcus MitanisLooking west at the site, with Dundas Street to the right (north) side of the model, image by Marcus Mitanis

The first Kip District tower, designed by Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, will be located at the west end of the site. New roadways will dissect the site providing easy access to each of the five towers, which will be situated around a central park and plaza. The central square is designed to accommodate a wide range of diverse programming, including Farmer's Markets and outdoor concerts. Towers facing the square will house ground-floor retail, helping to animate the space and providing park users the opportunity to overlook the surrounding street life. On the square, Concert Vice President of Development Kelly Wilson said it will be "a focal point", adding that the intention is to focus the retail inwards by wrapping the commercial space around the ground floor from Dundas Street.

The two shortest towers—20 and 24-storeys—of the five-tower complex will front directly on Dundas Street, while a 32-storey and 36-storey tower sit at the back south end of the site. The community will also include a separate amenity building adjacent to the central park, appropriately dubbed The Kip Club. The building will include a variety of useful services, including a large fitness centre and pool. The Kip District: One will also feature its own fitness studio, rooftop party room, theatre room, guest suite and pet washing area. 

 One will rise 28 storeys above Dundas Street, image by ConcertThe Kip District: One will rise 28 storeys above Dundas Street, image courtesy of Concert Properties

The building has been designed to ensure each suite has access to its own balcony space. The interiors will be finished with plank laminate flooring, customized shelving and quartz kitchen countertops. Each unit will also include the necessary appliances, including a wall-oven, dishwasher and front-load washer and dryer. The smallest one-bedroom unit comes in at 500 square feet, while the largest two-bedroom suite is significantly larger at 855 square feet.

Concert is seeking LEED Gold for this project by packing a variety of water and energy-efficient features into the building including low-flow toilets, smart motion lighting in common areas, in-suite energy recovery ventilation, an extensive landscape irrigation system, recycling and composting programs and a green roof. 

Construction hoarding now surrounds the site, image by Marcus MitanisConstruction hoarding now surrounds the site, image by Marcus Mitanis

This particular stretch of Dundas had fallen on hard times, with Canadian Tire moving out and Honeydale Mall not far down the road closing in 2013. Spotted with strip malls, car dealerships and fast food outlets, the neighbourhood has not seen a lot of investment west of the Six Points interchange, though its proximity to Highway 427, the Kipling subway and GO station present unique opportunities to transform the area. Both the Kip District lands at 5365 Dundas and the Honeydale Mall site are physically massive, representing huge potential for reinvestment to remake these barren lands into true community hubs. Occupancy for the first tower is expected to begin in March 2018. 

For more information and images about the project, visit the dataBase file linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread for more images from the sales centre or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page. 

To request more info directly from Kip District, The click here