Stefan Novakovic | UrbanToronto | Friday, September 30, 2016
Replacing a former suburban retail plaza near the mouth of Toronto’s Humber River, VANDYK‘s Backyard Neighbourhood Condos is adding modestly scaled mixed-use density to the Etobicoke corner of Berry Road and Stephen Drive. Clustered around a central greenscaped courtyard, the development’s three residential buildings—the tallest of which rises to 10 storeys—are complemented by a two-storey commercial structure, which will house a locally sourced food co-op, as well as a café, salon, and other retail offerings.
With a site plan for the community submitted to the City of Toronto in late August, the last details of the project’s future residential phases are now advancing through the planning process. Meanwhile, the phase one residential building—a 7-storey condo marketed as ‘The Humberside‘—is now close to sold out.
Fronting the northwest corner of Berry and Stephen, the residential building was launched in May. With approximately 85% of units purchased during the opening weekend alone, the project’s success evidences latent demand for condominium housing in the neighbourhood, parts of which are already characterized by similarly scaled mid-rise residential buildings.
The Humberside is set to rise alongside the commercial ‘Shoppes at Stonegate‘ building at the south end of the site, fronting Berry Drive. While a shoring rig is already working away at what will be the southeast corner of the commercial structure (below), the site plan application also offers a preview of the future residential phases to the north.
Like The Humberside, the buildings are designed by Toronto’s Kohn Partnership Architects, with the L-shaped structures configured to encircle a community green space. Along the lower five levels of each structure, red brick tones reference the scale and materiality of surrounding built form, while lighter cladding minimizes the visual impact of the upper levels.
Combining modest density with POPS space—which was profiled in a previous story—and new fine-grained retail, all while replacing the former expansive surface parking underground, the project will emphasize a pedestrian-oriented character with its design.