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New York firm crafts luxury condo building in Toronto’s Annex


A twisted tower for a tree-lined street

New York designer crafts a luxury condominium in the Annex

64 Prince Arthur.

THE DEVELOPMENT 64 Prince Arthur

BUILDER/DEVELOPER Adi Development Group

SIZE About 900 to 7,000 square feet

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Burlington-based developer Tariq Adi is accustomed to project delays because of consultations with local residents. So he wasn't prepared for the reception to his latest luxury condo project in midtown Toronto.

"For once, the neighbourhood wants this building built," said Mr. Adi, chief executive of Adi Development Group. "I've never seen that kind of positive response to a building."

(Both the Annex Resident's Association and the local councilor Joe Cressy strongly oppose the proposed project due to the height, density and the process followed.)

"We're doing a lot of things that are innovative and taking a lot of risks, so it is going to be more expensive, but we feel the Toronto market is there."

To push the boundaries of conventional architectural styles, a New-York based firm, CetraRuddy Architecture, was selected to spearhead the design of this 29-storey tower at 64 Prince Arthur Ave., near Bloor and St. George Streets.

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The exterior will be wrapped in a curtain wall with stainless steel and bronze finished panels.

"It's golden like a trophy and it's shaped very slender, sleek and sexy that thins at the waist and comes out at the top," Mr. Adi said. "It's a trophy property that ended up looking like a trophy."

CetraRuddy aimed to minimize the building's impact on nearby Taddle Creek Park.

"The building shape was really created by a careful analysis of how the sun moves through the day and how the shadow falls onto the park," principal architect John Cetra said.

"The building has a wider base and as it goes up it twists and narrows, so its wider dimensions are perpendicular to the sun. So it's on the same axis, and if you follow that axis across … the narrowest portion of the tower's shadow is falling onto the park."

CetraRuddy Architecture is spearheading the design of the 29-storey tower near Bloor and St. George Streets.

The silhouette will also lend a sense of lightness compared with neighbouring mid-rises.

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"As big as the building is, it's not going to be blocking sky views because it's so slender," Mr. Adi said. "It's probably half the thickness of any typical point tower, so it's going to feel very light."

Balconies have been integrated into the tower's shifting form. They will vary in shape and size for each unit, with some extending to 1,500 square feet.

"They'll be very user-friendly because they'll be wide enough you can sit out there comfortably and fit a table, so it feels more like a terrace," Mr. Cetra said.

"Though they are odd shaped and triangular, they're … not lined up. Typical buildings line up their balconies, so if you're on your balcony, there's another 20 or 30 storeys of balconies above or beneath," Mr. Adi said.

Interior plans will be equally unique with just one to three units on each floor. "It's 29 storeys with only 60 units. A typical building of this size would have about 200 or 220 units," Mr. Adi said.

"So there's not going to be anything smaller than 900 square feet, and all the way to the top end are suites as big as 7,000 square feet."

A portion of the lower levels will be reserved for hotel-style amenities, concierge, doorman, porter and valet parking.

"We're one of the first to introduce fully automated parking," Mr. Adi said. "It's like a vending machine, so the valet pushes a button to call your car up and shuffles it through the system and brings it up to street level where you take it."

Additional attractions are within walking distance. "This is probably one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Toronto; very close to the core, 100 metres to transit, right next to U of T and Bloor Street," Mr. Adi said.

"And it's on a treed and quaint street that gets very quiet, so when you get off Bloor onto Prince Arthur, it almost feels a bit suburban there."

Clarification: An earlier version of this story quoted the chief executive of the development group saying the neighbourhood wants this building built, calling it a positive response. In fact, both the local ratepayers' group and the local city councilor strong oppose the proposed project.

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