Opening the Gates of Yorkville

Yorkville Plaza's street level transformation of Toronto's premier shopping neighbourhood
By Zoe Ackah, Epoch Times
January 27, 2014 Updated: January 27, 2014

Once dominated by the Brutalist-style concrete edifice of the old Four Seasons hotel, inaccessible at street level, and looking more like a stronghold than a place to meet, the block between Yorkville Ave. and Cumberland St. along Avenue Rd. is poised for transformation.

Camrost Felcorp Inc. is preparing a much-needed facelift for Yorkville’s gates along Avenue Road. Behind the hoarding, a new multi-building mixed-use community is growing out of the ground.

Yorkville Plaza

The project includes three buildings connected by a two-storey podium that stretches the entire block. The podium will be filled with undisclosed retail. 

According to Richard Mariani, director of marketing for Camrost Felcorp, we can soon expect an announcement as to which world-class tenants will be opening stores in the new glass podium that will redefine the gates of Yorkville.

“When we’re finished this development, with the amount of retail and connecting glass podiums from Yorkville spanning to Cumberland … it’s really going to add a lot to Yorkville,” explained Mariani.

The first phase, which is nearly sold out, involves a complete renovation of the old Four Seasons. The renovation design was handled by WZMH Architects, the firm responsible for the original 1970 hotel. Renamed the New Residences at Yorkville Plaza, 21 Avenue Road will keep its distinctive looks, but balconies will be converted to living space. 

The completely modernized interiors designed by The Design Agency were nominated for best suite layouts under 750 square feet by BILD last year. 

135 Yorkville

Located at 135 Yorkville, the second phase will give rise to a 10-storey commercial building. The first two floors are reserved for leased retail with the top eight floors available for purchase. 

It’s a great location, and construction for the building at 135 Yorkville begins April this year. Mariani said they are receiving offers already.

The Cumberland

The latest edition at Yorkville Plaza took many by surprise. Called The Cumberland and located right on the corner of Cumberland and Avenue Road, it will grow out of the south portion of the podium, which is already under construction.

The Cumberland is an all-glass tower rising 40 storeys. The units will be larger than those at the Yorkville Plaza Residences. There are no bachelors in the entire building, with the smallest units being one-bedroom with dens. Units above the 28th floor will have access to a separate elevator. The smallest units that high are two-bedroom plus den. These exclusive homes will also feature deeper balconies.

The Design Agency has created unique amenities on the third and fourth floors of the Cumberland, the most unique being a massive space for entertaining capable of holding up to 100 guests.

In the summer, guests can walk out to a massive wrap-around landscaped terrace, outdoor gas barbeques, bar, and kitchen. The fourth floor also includes a smaller dining room for 16 guests, and prep kitchen. 

“The function space is really a unique element, it’s not your typical party room,” Mariani said.

The third floor fitness area includes spinning rooms, cardio rooms, free weights, and extra rooms for yoga. Most exciting is a 60-foot lap pool. You don’t see many of those being built in condos, unless you’re in Yorkville. His-and-her change rooms include steam rooms and a shared whirlpool. 

The third floor also opens out to a rooftop garden that connects the two residential towers.

Already off the ground

Interested buyers will be heartened to hear that the entire project is already underway. Parking for all three buildings is nearly complete, much of which will be commercial. By October 2014 the podium will be out of the ground. 

“We’re ahead of the game,” said Mariani. “We’re technically financed already. This tower is going to be built.” 

And with that in mind, occupancy may be sooner than one would think—Mariani estimates by the end of 2017.

For those of us who can’t afford to buy, at least we be assured of a place to park in Yorkville.

• 24-hour valet parking
• 24-hour concierge
• Car washing and detailing in parking area
• Porter service for loading and unloading groceries
• Third floor aquatics centre with 60 foot indoor lap and activity pool with whirl pool
• Spa inspired men & women’s change rooms 
• State of the art fitness facility, including cardio equipment, spin room, weight room, and private studios for personal training
• Fourth floor event space/reception lounge large enough to accommodate 100 people for a cocktail party. 
• Fourth floor event space is also equipped with private dining room and catering kitchen. Dining room can seat up to 16 people. 
• Fourth floor event space has expansive outdoor space for entertaining guests equipped with a bar, an outdoor kitchen, lounge furniture and beautiful landscaping to accommodate up 100 people.

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