Following last month's successful "friends & family" sales launch, Etobicoke's Backyard Neighbourhood Condos welcomes the general public with this weekend's grand opening event. Promising a sensitively scaled—and meticulously landscaped—addition to the Stonegate neighbourhood near the mouth of the Humber River, the Vandyk project will introduce new public space and retail, along with three mid-rise residential buildings. 

Designed by Kohn Partnership Architects, Backyard Condos is now launching with its first residential building, called The Humberside. Together with another two upcoming condominiums and a two-level commercial structure, the L-shaped Humberside building faces out onto a central park space, animated by extensive landscaping and a creative children's play area. Ahead of the grand opening, our look at the scale model meticulously crafted by Myles Burke—now on display at the sales centre—offers contextual insight to the four-building project. 

The scale model, looking southwest, image by Craig White

Equipped with an interactive water curtain—kids can run right through—and a series of custom climbing spaces, the "Backyard" public space also features several areas of continuous bench seating. Framed by extensive landscaping, brick-paved roadways, and stone-pattern walkways, the character of the central park space is also reflected in the buildings. 

A closer look at the park space, image by Craig White

Featuring simple brick and stone frontages, the contemporary structures nod to the area's established built form. Fronting the street, The Humberside's lush greenery carries the park's garden aesthetic through to the corner of Berry Road and Stephen Drive (below). The project's landscaping has beed designed by Brampton-based Baker Turner Inc

At The Humberside, a rooftop amenity area (below, right) will overlook the Downtown skyline to the east. While the Financial District towers remain some way off in the distance, the surrounding low-rise built form and the greenery of the Humber River Valley allow for an open vista. 

The east-facing amenity terrace will open up to views of the skyline, image by Craig White

Alongside the three mid-rise condominiums, a two-storey commercial building will bring neighbourhood retail to the area including an organic and locally sourced foods co-op. While retail spaces will anime the street level, the second floor with provide a modernized home for the Stonegate Community Health Centre, a hub of activities for locals. 

The commercial building will feature retail at grade and a new health centre above, image by Craig White

Replacing a suburban-style strip mall—dominated mostly by parking space—the Backyard development introduces a much more urban character to the area. Nonetheless, limited elements of the area's car-oriented character remain, with a number of street-level parking spots planned at strategic spots on the site. As seen below, however, trees break up some parking spaces along the retail walkway, making a pleasant spot for locals to enjoy café seating. The commitment to landscaping mediates the impact of automobiles, encouraging a more pedestrian-oriented community. All four buildings will also feature extensive green roofs. 

The low-rise commercial building (left), image by Craig White

In total, the three residential buildings will add 505 suites to the area. For The Humberside, however, over 85% of units have already been sold, with the public grand opening presenting what may be the final opportunity to purchase one of the development's 96 initial suites.

Looking east two future phases will add more residents to the area, image by Craig White

This weekend's grand opening festivities will be hosted at Vandyk's nearby sales centre, located at 188 The Queensway. The event will take place from 11 AM - 5 PM on Saturday, June 25th, and from 12 PM - 5 PM on Sunday, June 26th.

We will keep you updated as more information about the project becomes available, and the start of construction nears. In the meantime, more information can be found on our associated dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the ongoing discussion on our Forum.

Related Companies:  Baker Turner Inc., Kohn Partnership Architects Inc., Live Patrol Inc., U31, VANDYK Group of Companies