Downtown Toronto's east end is witnessing a rebirth. The Distillery District has become a top draw for many seeking out quirky art galleries and shops, while just to the east, the Canary District is nearly ready to welcome thousands of athletes for the Pan Am Games. Hoping to "unite the east" by capitalizing on the diverse assets the area has to offer, SigNature Communities, Berkshire Axis Development, and Andiel Homes are launching East United Condos.
A Friends and Family party held on May 14 gave guests a sneak peek of the scale model and suite. Served with food and drinks from several local eateries like Playa Cabana's new Berkeley Street restaurant and Mill Street beer from the Distillery District, the event emphasized the area's rich design culture.
Located just north of Adelaide, between Berkeley and Parliament Streets, the 21-storey East United Condos is set to join the constantly-changing urban fabric of the neighbourhood. Designed by Giannone Petricone Associates, the development pays homage to the area's industrial past by keeping the original masonry of the Christie, Brown & Co. Stables building on Berkeley Street for use as office space.
A double-height ground floor forms part of a large podium along Parliament Street. Retail spaces along Parliament will serve the 279 units above and passersby. A pedestrian mews will connect Parliament and Berkeley, opening up the south side of the building for use as two-storey townhomes, six of them in all.
“This is a truly important project not only for our group and our partners, but for the neighbourhood and east end of Toronto," said Sebastian Mizzi, Vice President of SigNature Communities. "The east end truly is a collection of great communities and great people. You have world class designers in the Design District, the historic charm of the nearby Distillery District, and the fresh foods of the St. Lawrence Market. You have neighbourhoods which feel like neighbourhoods, which is incredibly important. As a group, we believe in the east side.”
The marketing for East United has sparked a friendly east-west rivalry. “We want to unite the east. That’s why we called it East United. It is truly the best part of town," said Leslie Marlowe, President of Berkshire Axis Development. “The east is as eclectic and wonderful as the west side. We’re going to show that the east rules.”
“We were honoured to be asked to be involved in this project," said Ralph Giannone, Principal of Giannone Petricone Associates. "We had done work with Streetcar for Trinity Lofts just down the road in the heart of Corktown, so we knew the neighbourhood. We really enjoyed working in this neighbourhood. It’s interesting, quiet and edgy.”
Noting that Berkeley Street was the original "Parliament Street", Giannone felt that this was a "keyhole site" which stretched "from Parliament to Parliament." He continued, “The idea is to create this connection, both emotionally and physically. There’s a mews that stretches between Berkeley and Parliament. That mews will be a pedestrian only, intimate space that we feel fits the scale of Corktown.”
Giannone also explained the thought process behind the podium and the tower above. "The podium is all about relating to the base; stepping down, creating these intimate spaces that are grade related. Then there’s this idea of this funky tower, a bit of colour. There’s a little bit of tongue-in-cheek, we call it Parliament to Parliament because of the name change, but there’s also Parliament the funk band, so we thought maybe there’s an interesting idea of funkifying the site. So there's the idea of creating something youthful, new and edgy."
Guests at the launch had the opportunity to view floor plans of the building via booklets and touchscreens. Units start at $199,900, with sizes ranging from 346 square feet for a studio, up to 1,390 square feet for a townhome.
Residents will have a host of amenities to enjoy, including a rooftop terrace with an outdoor movie theatre and fire pits. A yoga room, fitness area, "jam room" for music practice, party room, dining room and two guest suites will also be included in the amenity package appointed by The Design Agency.
The project partners pictured below, from left to right, are: Sebastian Mizzi, Vice President of SigNature Communities; Ralph Giannone, Principal of Giannone Petricone Associates; Anthony Di Battista, President of SigNature Communities; Matt Davis, Co-Founder of The Design Agency; Leslie Marlowe, President of Berkshire Axis Development.
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