According to a recent report from PWC on emerging trends in the real estate market, day-to-day convenience is an increasingly important factor for new home buyers when deciding where to purchase. Living in the urbanized core of a city is the most common way to have life's live-work-play elements within walking distance, but an increasing number of master-planned communities are offering all the convenience of urban living in quieter corners of the city.

The Kip District, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Concert PropertiesThe Kip District scale model, image by Marcus Mitanis

One such community is Concert Properties' new five tower development coming to Etobicoke called The Kip District. We spoke with Brian McCauley, President & Chief Operating Officer of Concert Properties, for his take on The Kip District, and how it will contribute to the urban fabric while also providing convenience for residents. The site in question has been under-utilized for quite some time, and now Concert intends to better use the land through an extensive large-scale redevelopment.

“Formerly a Canadian Tire store, this six-acre site within Etobicoke Centre represented the underutilization of a significant land parcel in a prominent location" McCauley told us. "Following rezoning approval in 2005, the vision was to integrate up to 1.1 million square feet of primarily residential density.”

The Kip District, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Concert PropertiesSite of The Kip District, image by Marcus Mitanis

Concert is well aware of the importance in having high-density communities well-served by transit, and will make good use of the nearby rapid and regional rail stations. “With a Transit Score of 97/100, thanks to its location within a 5-minute walk of the Kipling Subway and GO Train station, The Kip District is a great example of a transit-oriented development”, said McCauley.

The Kip District has the potential to add much vitality and identity to a busy stretch of Dundas Street West in need of both rejuvenation and a sense of place. Several factors currently take away from the local walkability, but plans to upgrade road and transit infrastructure are poised to remedy the issue.

“With significant infrastructure improvements planned in the area, including the Six Points interchange realignment and Kipling Mobility Hub redevelopment, Etobicoke Centre is poised for revitalization. The Kip District will contribute to an overall resurgence of the neighbourhood by mixing uses and integrating a variety of open and interconnected public spaces.”

The Kip District, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Concert PropertiesThe Kip District scale model, image by Marcus Mitanis

Appropriate retail is an integral factor in creating walkable streets, and Concert Properties has exhibited their commitment to including ground floor retail in condominium developments like The Berczy and 88 Scott, and even rental developments like Motion on Bay Street. Concert will continue the trend with The Kip District, offering plenty of retail space to liven up Dundas Street West.

“The retail space fronting Dundas will be designed to complement a renewed Dundas streetscape and aim to attract a mix of tenants to provide convenience as well as draw in visitors from the surrounding Etobicoke community. The proposed 20,000 square feet of retail space will be supported by on-street and underground parking.”

The Kip District, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Concert PropertiesThe Kip District will offer 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space, image courtesy of Concert Properties

Another major factor in creating walkable streets around new developments are the attributes of the surrounding public realm. High-density master-planned communities such as The Kip District often have a blank slate to work with, and are able to plan their own pedestrian realm, as opposed to having to integrate with an existing pedestrian realm.

“As part of the master-planned approach at The Kip District, there will be a variety of well-thought-out public spaces. The focal point will be a central neighbourhood square, with uniquely designed outdoor furniture, that would be well-suited to hosting community events. The Kip Club, a standalone amenity building will include a pool and community facilities for all residents of The Kip District to enjoy. In addition, a quarter-acre, publicly-accessible parkette will be built along Dundas Street will further create a unique sense of place.”    

The Kip District, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Concert PropertiesGround realm as depicted on The Kip District scale model, image by Marcus Mitanis

The Kip District will be constructed in multiple phases over the course of 10 to 15 years. The first phase's 28-storey tower is currently in its sales and marketing phase, and is to be followed by four additional towers. Once completely realized, the community will ultimately contain a 1,400 homes.

The Kip District, Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects, Concert PropertiesThe Kip District scale model, image by Marcus Mitanis

Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file, 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.

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