Ironwood in North Oshawa, Durham Region’s 2020 Community of the Year, is surrounded by hundreds of acres of protected conservation land, forests and parks, and is bisected by a section of Oshawa Creek.
This intimate connection with nature required Podium Developments and Building Capital to interact with the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA) to ensure that the new community of freehold townhomes would be developed with respect for the environment. The due diligence process included the developers cleaning up the remnants of the past uses of the property. In accordance with the approved site plan, the developers have also conveyed 3.5 acres of ravine land to the City of Oshawa.
Christian Huggett, Podium’s Vice President, Development, says that the company complied enthusiastically with CLOCA’s requirements.
“Podium’s corporate philosophy involves considering all stakeholders, their reasonings and their surroundings, and in this case, the 14-month zoning process was well worth it to achieve that goal. Some of the land was previously used for a go-kart track, which went across a bridge over Oshawa Creek that had deteriorated over the years. There were concrete fragments and large segments of interlocking steel sheet piles left in the creek, as well as aluminum culverts remaining half in place with the bridge gone. We temporarily diverted the creek, removed the entire asphalt track and sheet piles, and installed rock weirs to create habitat for the spawning salmon that occupy the creek. As salmon are affected by channelization and road runoff, we redefined the outflow by developing cattail draining, a cutting-edge technique to achieve natural filtration. With respect for the area’s natural heritage, Podium also donated the 3.5 acres of land surrounding the Creek to the City to ensure a generous and significant habitat corridor connection. The Ironwood property connects Cedar Valley Park to the west with Camp Samac to the north, making it a major and now-attractive part of Oshawa’s natural corridor system,” Huggett said.
According to Chris Jones, Director of Planning and Regulation for CLOCA, who has been involved with the project since its inception and has overseen the development’s approval, “We are happy that through the development process, we were able to secure significant gains for the environment and the Oshawa Creek watershed. These included the efforts Podium Developments made to clean up the creek, which helped to restore the riparian zones, or water bank habitats, the provide fish with a shade and food they need. At the onset of a project, we balances approach to Ironwood and restoring the watercourse from previous activity, the results are definitely win-win.”
The Ironwood site plan agreement includes the developers planting trees and shrubs that will help to repopulate the open field at the back of the Ironwood site, which was previously home to a driving range and stock car racetrack. They also agreed to monitor the site and remove invasive species in the dedicated natural open space.
To arrive at this optimum outcome, Podium enlisted several special consultants including hydro geomorphologists, ecologists, hydrologists and a river restoration expert, and had environmental impact studies done to determine the effect on flora, fauna and spawning salmon.
Situated just north of Simcoe Street North and Taunton Road, Ironwood is close to public transit, highways, shopping, dining and entertainment, and is just a 10-minute walk to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Natural surroundings make way for Ironwood’s trails, toboggan hill, off-leash dog park, community gardens, playing field/ice rink and adventure playground.
Sporting striking modern architecture, the 125 three- and four-bedroom contemporary freehold townhomes are sold out. Each features a private garage and driveway with two-car parking, plus a backyard or rooftop terrace. Townhome sizes range from a generous 1,500 to 1,800 square feet. Well-appointed open-concept interiors receive generous natural light from large windows that grace over three full floors of living space. A minimal maintenance fee of approximately $150 per month ensures that everyday upkeep such as landscaping, snow removal and maintenance will be handled. -30-
ABOUT PODIUM DEVELOPMENTS (http://www.PodiumDevelopments.com)
Podium Developments was founded in 2004 by successful professionals who share a new vision of excellence. This award-winning company has a proven track record in rezoning and developing sensitive urban infill locations across the Greater Toronto Area, Southern Ontario and Southern United States. A vertically integrated firm, Podium collaborates with other industry professionals to maximize quality and efficiency, and to continually improve what it delivers.
ABOUT BUILDING CAPITAL (https://buildingcap.ca/)
Founded in 2008, Building Capital has focused largely in North Oshawa, having built and sold several student housing projects and earned a reputation as one of Ontario’s leading student housing developers. Each project has been profitable and completed on time.
ABOUT CLOCA (https://www.cloca.com/)
Central Lake Ontario Conservation (CLOCA) is a local, community based, environmental organization and one of 36 Conservation Authorities responsible for managing watershed resources across Ontario. Established in 1958, CLOCA's jurisdiction is based on the watershed boundaries of 4 major watercourses and 18 minor watercourses draining an area of over 639 square km. This watershed stretches from the municipal boundaries of Ajax/Pickering to Clarington, and north, from Lake Ontario to the crest of the Oak Ridges Moraine.
416-696-9900 ext. 36