Art Condos | ?m | 11s | Triangle West | Oleson Worland

yyzer

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from today's Star....interesting, you buy a parking spot, and it comes with a car included!

Making ART of living small
March 13, 2010

Donna Laporte
Real Estate Reporter

Some condos are vertical villages in name only. The residents co-exist, but there is no community, no commonality. They never coalesce into neighbourhoods.

ART, a new midrise condo planned for the Queen West area, has been designed holistically to encourage a true mix of buyers. With 68 different floor plans for 148 suites, it exudes individuality.

Each floor will function as a mini-neighbourhood, says Sandro Zanini, of Hariri Pontarini Architects, whose firm designed the 11-storey building along with David Oleson of Oleson Worland Architects.

The tight-knit team that builder Gary Silverberg assembled is a testament to his vision.

All live or have lived and worked in the Trinity Bellwoods area and understand the building's chief lifestyle amenity is the location.

Appropriately called the Studio District, the area draws its energy from the artists, photographers, designers, musicians and hipsters who inhabit it. From organics to oysters, from naughty to nice, you'll find it all here.

"This area celebrates creativity in every way," says Silverberg, an artist in his own right.

His "Art is Business, Business is Art" motto – enshrined in one of his paintings – underlines the fact that the two are not mutually exclusive.

So, it was fitting that Silverberg threw a media lunch in the former autobody shop to showcase his plans and introduce his team amidst art-bedecked walls.

(Toronto art critic Gary Michael Dault is on board as an art consultant; to wit, the lobby of the new building will act as a gallery for local artists.)

Over beef carpaccio with smoked goat cheddar, Qualicum Bay scallops with prawn ravioli and a selection of desserts, catered by Amuse-Bouche (also in the neighbourhood), and complemented by wines by Stratus Vineyards, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Silverberg said that his team's "roots run deep in this area."

Oleson, lead design architect, worked on the Trinity Community Recreation Centre while design duo John Tong and Paul Syme, partners in 3rd Uncle Design, designed the interiors of the Drake Hotel.

And when Zanini sat with Silverberg at a local coffee shop at Queen and Spadina, "In the time it took to drink a double espresso macchiato, ART was born," Zanini says.

Though this is Silverberg's first condo, he has been involved in real estate for 33 years; his family, for 85 years. Both his father, Al Silverberg, and his uncle, Sid Silverberg, were named to the GTHBA (now BILD) Hall of Fame in 1998.

Gary has partnered on everything from loft conversions to whole communities in the GTA.

He says he understands how to live in small units. He and his family have a 670-square-foot condo at Whistler, B.C., and they spend several weeks a year there, he said.

So his project emphasizes life outside the confines of the unit.

The fifth-floor patio, which takes advantage of the northern light, encourages socializing, with long banquettes and a gas fire pit and hot tub, with cozy seating areas.

Inside, there's a fireplace, bar and kitchen.

Tong, too, says he understands small-space living. As a reluctant landlord in Parkdale, he says he has watched tenants adapt their spaces, converting dens to bedrooms and bedrooms to offices.

He says technology allows us to live "lighter," with laptops and iPods and flat-screen televisions. His firm honed its skills by specializing in designing boutique hotels.

He says he likes to go into great hotels and ask for the smallest room. ART encourages the minimalist lifestyle with efficient use of space.

In the model suite, every square inch has been considered. The sleeping area has sliding panels to open up or conceal it and bedside tables that fold away when not in use. Drawers are built into the bed.

The bathroom has clean, contemporary lines. Lighting is integrated into the mirror. A four-inch shelf runs underneath. With only a stall shower, there's room for a stackable washer/dryer.

The kitchen, at 10 feet wide, has a single sink, hidden dishwasher and 24-inch fridge, all sleekly tucked away.

An open island, which 3rd Uncle designed, has a floating cabinet below, and suffices for dining.

A simple seating area abuts the kitchen/dining area. Sliding metal panels hide the television when not in use.

While the studios start at $213,000 for 460 square feet, there will also be three-bedroom-plus-den suites, rising to 1,615 square feet, with prices topping out at $699,000.

All suites will have either terraces – some huge – balconies or French balconies.

Live-work units at ground floor will be one and two storeys, aimed at fostering creativity, be it art, music, fashion, sculpture or dance.

The lobby will function as an art gallery, featuring artifacts showcasing the building's history as well as the work of local residents and area artists. And the second floor will house a 12-seat movie theatre, meeting rooms and business centre.

And, to complement the urban lifestyle challenge of having a car, ART is offering half-size parking spaces, which include a Smart Car, for $30,000. (Buyers can take delivery of the car now.)

There will also be space for bicycles and scooters.

The building is at 44 Dovercourt Rd., at Sudbury St. Occupancy is slated for 2012. For further information, see www.artcondos.ca.
 

Ramako

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Wow, I was just taking a stroll around this site on google streetview and discovered that Famous People Players theatre is just next door. I havn't been there since elementary school and back then I had absolutely no idea where in the city the bus had taken us, except that it seemed like a grimy area. I'm pleased to see that it still exists and will hopefully be getting some new customers.
 

milanista

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Really, really like this development. I'm seriously considering buying one here if they don't sell out first. Great location as well. The $30k for parking, or for a smaller spot and a Smart Fortwo sounds pretty good too.
It's a shame they're tearing down the building the sales centre is housed in, but at least the bottom of the new building will look very similar to what was previously there. The GO expansion being nearby isn't exactly desirable but at least a few buildings will be constructed between Art and the tracks themselves. Hariri Pontarini rarely disappoints it seems.
 

urbandreamer

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I think this building is over-priced for the area. It's a crumby location--noise from rr tracks for example, close to public housing, and the loud drunken louts on weekend nights. Besides, the Drake is no longer cool--staff layoffs are the norm these days--and art galleries are fleeing the 'hood.

The Smart parking gimmick is anything but--you're paying $25,000 too much for what is really a bicycle parking spot. It will be useless upon resale (not everyone wants a Smart car, they may be out of business soon in NA--not exactly selling very well anymore either.)

HP usually does disappoint! The fact they've got Gary M Dault on board shows just how hopelessly behind the loop (even loop gallery moved to Dundas last year) the developers are here!
 

milanista

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To each their own but I think Hariri Pontarini is a great architecture firm. I like the majority of their projects.
I agree with you that the Smart + smart sized parking spot can make the unit difficult to sell down the road, but it is interesting none the less. With so many condos on the market, I do applaud anyone that at least tries to stand out and get your attention, whether it be gimmicky or not. I wouldn't say I would totally go for it, but it is something to consider. And in a city like Toronto, you're always going to be not too far away from some sort of public housing.
 

dt_toronto_geek

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Art site

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

 

Parkdalian

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Wow, I was just taking a stroll around this site on google streetview and discovered that Famous People Players theatre is just next door. I havn't been there since elementary school and back then I had absolutely no idea where in the city the bus had taken us, except that it seemed like a grimy area. I'm pleased to see that it still exists and will hopefully be getting some new customers.
Just thought I'd point out that FPP are not there anymore - they've moved further west:

http://www.fpp.org/location.php

In regards to UD's points - there are still plenty of galleries in the 'hood. The Social + the Drake make the neighbourhood unbearable at night, but the place is still nice in the daytime. Just down the street a few new places have opened like the Yerba Mate cafe. In terms of shark jump-age, as we can see from Old Queen West, even years after a place has jumped the shark in terms of cultural importance, it can still be popular. I'm guessing this area will be popular for at least the next 5-10 years.

People also get waaaay too worked up about train tracks. I've lived right next to them and they were never a huge deal. I also know people who lived on Sudbury for years and you couldn't even really hear them from there. Streetcar tracks are often much worse.

It's depressing that they are tearing down the warehouse to build this fairly unremarkable building (and they've given it such a groan-worthy name), but I can see why people would live here.
 

gristle

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I think UD's reference was to cheap places for artists to live rather than to galleries.
 

urbandreamer

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Indeed I was. That building coming down offered cheap live/work studios/sro's to the artist community. Where are artists moving to? The ones with deeper pockets (read: mom and dad's help) are moving to Blansdowne; the rest are being scattered to cheaper x-urbs, places like Keele and 401, Hamilton, etc.
 

Parkdalian

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^I know several professional artists - and not the trust fund kind - and they are not moving to Keele and 401. Blandsdowne, Leslieville, the Junction and Parkdale are still affordable. I do think Hamilton and South Etobicoke are going to become big in the next five-ten years, though.
 

junctionist

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Indeed I was. That building coming down offered cheap live/work studios/sro's to the artist community. Where are artists moving to? The ones with deeper pockets (read: mom and dad's help) are moving to Blansdowne; the rest are being scattered to cheaper x-urbs, places like Keele and 401, Hamilton, etc.
Suburban Keele needs all the rejuvenation it can get for all its decaying strip malls and kilometres of weed-lined and litter-coated tarmac. There are vast stretches of cheap real estate.
 

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