Recently, Newinhomes.com had the opportuntiy to chat with Ken Tanenbaum of Dundee Kilmer (and Vice Chairman of Kilmer Group) about progress at The Canary District.
When we interviewed the President of Dundee Kilmer, Jason Lester, last March, he said that construction was on time and on budget. Tanenbaum confirms that this is still the case and they are spending approximately $1 million a day in labour, materials, and equipment.
Before the Canary District even had its name, Tanenbaum was in charge of putting the dream team together to design and develop the master-plan.
“We really aspired to bring together a team that was: one, reaching for the highest design excellency it could, and two, had the capacity to deliver a very complex project on time and on budget,” Tanenbaum explained. “Dundee, who are experts in the real estate development business and Kilmer, our firm, who has a very long history in public-private partnerships came together to bring our skills to the table, and then recruited an incredible design team being lead by Bruce Kuwabara and Peter Clewes, and an incredible construction team lead by EllisDon and Ledcor.”
Now that the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games are approaching, the Canary District team is putting the final touches on many of the buildings that will be used during the games. The Canary Park presentation centre, where we met with Tanenbaum, will be used as a lounge for the athletes, and the condo buildings will be used as bedrooms for the 10,000 athletes, coaches, and games officials. If you head to the corner of Front and Cherry, you will notice that a lot of work is being done on the exterior of the old Canary Restaurant. This building will not be used during the games, Dundee Kilmer is just restoring the exterior to preserve the heritage aspect of the building. Its use post games is currently undetermined.
At the end of the year, Dundee Kilmer will turn over the grounds to TO2015, the game organizers, who will then equip the buildings with all the necessary furnishings like bunk beds. The games are scheduled to take place over the summer of 2015, after which, TO2015 will hand the village back to Dundee Kilmer. Starting in September 2015, the Canary District will be readied for the legacy uses; condos, affordable rental, the George Brown residence, the YMCA, and retail.
Dundee Kilmer recently issued a press release announcing their endeavour to hand-pick health and wellness focused retail for the Canary District. Tanenbaum said that this is an ongoing process, and no retail anchors are set in stone yet. Live Work Learn Play is the company spearheading the retail side of Canary District, and with experience developing Blue Mountain and Mont Tremblant, they are real experts at blending retail around a theme.
“The retailers can now see the nature of the public realm that they’re coming into, with the spine of Front Street with the linear park, and the boulevard with cafes spilling out on to it, with fully treed streets connecting to Corktown Common, which then connects again to the whole Don River Trail system,” Tanenbaum said, pointing out how attractive the community is for potential retailers.
TO2015 invites you to celebrate being a year out from the games at Nathan Phillip’s Square. There will be a countdown clock unveiling, some of the competing athletes will be in attendance, and there will be a free concert and fireworks! This two-day celebration is happening on July 11 and 12.
Living in the Canary District
There are five residential blocks in the Canary District. The first two are dedicated to the Canary District Condos and Canary Park, both of which will be used as housing for the athletes during the games. The other three residential blocks will be developed after the games.
“Canary Park overlooks the park [Corktown Common] and has really stunning views down Front Street, into the downtown core. Also, the development block is porous, so you don’t have to walk around the block, you can walk through it to navigate the neighbourhood. I’ve always liked that feature,” said Tanenbaum.
There are 50 units at Canary Park that are available through the innovative MyHome Program. Tanenbaum expects most of these units to sell closer to occupancy since the program is geared towards first-time buyers who may not be able to plan as far ahead as other buyers. To learn more about the MyHome program, click here.
Canary Park features a wide variety of suites from studios to two-bedroom+dens, with sizes ranging from 406 to 1,380 square feet. A few of the impressive interior features and finishes include 9’ ceilings, high quality engineered hardwood flooring, quartz countertops, custom designed modern European style kitchen cabinetry, porcelain flooring in the bathrooms, luxurious deep soaker tubs, and Fibre optic cabling (next-generation network connection).
To learn more about how you can call one of Toronto’s most exciting master-plans home, visit the Canary Park presentation centre at 398 Front Street any time Monday to Thursday from 12 pm to 6 pm, or on weekends and holidays from 12 pm to 5 pm (closed Fridays). You can also call 416-603-7576 for more information.