Just a few short weeks following the ground breaking of Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, Great Gulf Homes celebrated the official start of construction today for the 44-storey Monde Condominiums adjacent to Sherbourne Common.
In partnership with Quadrangle Architects, Monde is hailed as the first Moshe Safdie-designed residential building in Canada since his landmark Habitat '67 project in Montreal. The 492-foot tall tower will be bordered by Sherbourne Common, Lake Shore Boulevard, Queens Quay and Bonnycastle Street. That site played host to several dozen project partners and media today as the ground breaking was kicked off with a ceremonial shovel turning. From left to right, in the image below: Great Gulf Senior Vice President High-Rise Alan Vihant, Great Gulf President Residential Christopher Wein, Deputy Mayor and Ward 28 Councillor Pam McConnell, Architect Moshe Safdie, and Waterfront Toronto President and CEO John Campbell.
"We really believe in building buildings that are spectacular, not only architecturally and visually, but also with respect to building science, innovation and green technologies," said Christopher Wein, President of Great Gulf Residential. Monde, targeting LEED Gold certification, will fulfill Waterfront Toronto's Mandatory Green Building Requirements.
"It's not very often that a developer gets the opportunity to help define a brand new neighbourhood," said Wein. "When you look at world class cities, and Toronto I believe is a world class city, one of the things they all have in common is an amazing waterfront. That's been missing from Toronto for a long, long time. Monde is the centrepiece of the neighbourhood."
"Monde really leverages the work that Waterfront Toronto has done in making the area appealing to this type of private sector investment," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. Residents of Monde will be able to access the waterfront's ultra-high-speed broadband network, a service built and operated by Beanfield Metroconnect.
Monde's hefty 240,000 square-foot, eight-storey podium will contain retail and a daycare centre on its ground floor, making it an easily-accessible option for families located within the development. At least five percent of Monde's units will contain three or more bedrooms.
Celebrated architect Moshe Safdie spoke to the design of the project, which marks his reentry into Toronto: "It is our second building in Toronto, Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 being the first, and it's actually been 48 years since Habitat '67. During those years we've continued to think as a team about urban housing and it's a real pleasure to bring many of these ideas into Monde." The design of the tower accommodates natural elements and space for greenery, making it a 'garden in the sky' along the lakefront. Perpendicular balconies, some hugging the building and others jutting out, give residents an expansive view of the water.
"One of the elements that made this particularly enjoyable and significant to us is the presence of a powerful urban design plan," said Safdie. "Waterfront Toronto's plan for the East Bayfront considers the public realm, considers how buildings relate to each other and how the place becomes a district beyond the individual buildings. It is trying to create a high-rise building that has amenities and elements of livability that we strive for in our projects."
Residents in Monde's 552 units will enjoy a variety of amenities, including an infinity edge pool, drawing similarities to Safdie's recent Marina Bay Sands development in Singapore. Landscaping, a key element of the overall design, will be provided by Janet Rosenberg + Studio. Designers Cecconi Simone will also create a yoga and pilates room, several indoor and outdoor lounges and an outdoor bar.
With Aqualina at Bayside about to rise to the south, Monde represents yet another influx of new retail, residents and restaurants to a community that is just beginning to hint at its potential.
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