Construction activity on Kipling Avenue in Rexdale is proof that not all condominium development in Toronto is happening in the city's core. Cloud9 Condominiums, a 12-storey Richmond Architects-designed building—13 when you count the amenity floor up top—is being built by the Lash Group on land that was once a virtually unused lawn in front of a pair of rental buildings. The new development is exactly the kind of densification that both the Province of Ontario wants to see—and which is mandated through its Places To Grow Act—and which the City of Toronto is happy to get.

Cloud9 is being built, similarly to another Lash Group development named ME Living Condos, on a previously undervalued property in one of Toronto's suburban areas where past planning practices put multi-family residential buildings on huge properties and surrounded them with acres of grass. Those spaces turned out to be mostly lifeless zones which separated people, but now planners see opportunities to invigorate these sites while providing more efficient and greener living spaces for people. Many of these properties are now ripe for redevelopment, but so far only a few are taking advantage of these locations that already have both city services and commercial development nearby. New residents will have the advantage of established schools, shops, places of worship, and more in close proximity.

Cloud9 Condominiums with a Kipling bus going by, Toronto, Lash GroupCloud9 Condominiums with a Kipling bus going by, image by Craig White

Cloud9 itself benefits from having two bus lines going past its door; one heading directly to the Bloor subway, the other heading for the Spadina line, giving residents a choice when travelling across Toronto on transit. Cloud9 is also particularly well situated for those who want to be close to parks and bike trails, with the West Humber ravine immediately to the north: the bike paths will let you go for miles without having to cross a road.

Inside the building, less than one sixth of Cloud9's suites remain available as purchasers have snapped up the rest. We were hosted on a hard hat tour of the construction site by Lash's Sales and Marketing Manager Heather Hamilton and by Lash's Vice President of Construction Serge Mazzuca. The video starts on the lower two floors, checks out some suites and a community centre space, before heading up to the top to get a look at work on the amenity and mechanical areas.

While the video gives you a good look at where the project is work-wise at for the moment, what more we can tell you is that Cloud9 remains on track for completion later this year, and that is despite having lost 20 work days due to the severe cold this winter. Every project includes contingencies, both time and budget-wise, but this February has in particular has been testing them all over Toronto. While it's easy to heat the interior of the completed floors to keep the work going inside, wrapping the area where bricks are being applied to the exterior (this is not an "all glass building") and heating below the forms where the last floor are being poured were interesting to see. The temperature behind the wraps is pleasant for the bricklayers, and up top, those natural gas heaters make the forms warm to the touch, transferring the heat to where the concrete has just been poured, and allowing it to cure properly.

The building will be topping off shortly as the last few concrete pours for the mechanical penthouse are taking place over the next couple of weeks. Our parting view below, will soon be through glass, as work will move inside here to prepare the rooftop amenities including a pool, places to lounge and relax, and to barbecue. While it's too cold to barbecue now, Spring is just around the corner.

The view from Cloud9 Condominiums towards Downtown Toronto, Lash GroupThe view from Cloud9 Condominiums towards Downtown Toronto, image by Craig White

Want to know more about Cloud9 Condominiums? Check out our dataBase file for information and renderings, linked below. Want to get in on the conversation? Choose the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment int he space provided on this page.