Like Toronto, our neighbours in the City of Markham are experiencing a high demand for housing, much of which is being met in the form of condominium developments. Proximity to Buttonville Airport means that a strict height cap is in effect, with residential buildings limited to heights in the mid-teens. This limitation is actually creating a positive side effect in Markham's burgeoning downtown, fostering high-density street-fronting developments in what has traditionally been a community designed for the convenience of cars and drivers.

South Town Centre Boulevard is proving to be a great example of Markham's high-density aspirations, with large scale developments pressing up against the sidewalk, including H&W Development Corp.'s Fontana, a four-building Page + Steele / IBI Group Architects-designed condominium development with buildings ranging from ten to fifteen storeys tall, occupying a full block south of Highway 7 and west of Warden Avenue.

Fontana, H&W Development Corp, Page+Steele / IBI Group, MarkhamFacing northeast from South Town Centre Blvd and Cedarland Dr., image by Jack Landau

Fontana's two west towers, fronting on South Town Centre Boulevard, have been topped off for about a year now, while the southeast tower topped off earlier this year. While the two west towers are fully clad and closing in on completion, there is still much work to be done on the other towers. The southeast tower has had all of its precast cladding installed, and window installation has begun.

Fontana, H&W Development Corp, Page+Steele / IBI Group, MarkhamFacing east on Cedarland Dr. towards Fontana's southeast tower, image by Jack Landau

Fontana recently reached a major milestone, with the final tower now topping off at ten storeys on the northeast corner of the site, along Clegg Road. Precast cladding installation has progressed up to the fourth floor, and will soon be followed by the installation of the same bronze-hued windows seen on the other three buildings in the complex.

Fontana, H&W Development Corp, Page+Steele / IBI Group, MarkhamFacing southwest from Clegg Rd at Fontana's northeast tower, image by Jack Landau

As the buildings take shape, the surrounding public realm continues to evolve, including significant plantings of trees and flowers which are beginning to soften the streetscape alongside the new sidewalks.

Fontana, H&W Development Corp, Page+Steele / IBI Group, MarkhamWest side of Fontana on South Town Centre Blvd., north of Cedarland Drive, image by Jack Landau

Freshly paved roads with planted medians add to the sophisticated feel of this stretch. A red top-coat has been applied to bus-only lanes serving VIVA's Highway 7 Rapidway, adding visual punch to shots of South Town Centre Boulevard and Cedarland Drive while warning drivers that certain lanes are reserved for rapid transit.

Fontana, H&W Development Corp, Page+Steele / IBI Group, MarkhamWest side of Fontana on South Town Centre Blvd., north of Cedarland Drive, image by Jack Landau

The new Cedarland Station on VIVA's Highway 7 Rapidway, located to the immediate southeast of Fontana, is now in service. The line's dedicated bus-only lanes are a recently implemented part of YRT's ambitious plan to better serve the rapidly growing cities north of Toronto.

Fontana, H&W Development Corp, Page+Steele / IBI Group, MarkhamCedarland Station on VIVA's Highway 7 Rapidway, image by Jack Landau

Want to know more about Fontana? 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.