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Waterworks condo project taps a well of possibilities

Waterworks will house a food hall and contain access points to St. Andrew’s Playground, which will be expanded by 25 per cent.

The project Waterworks

Builder/developer MOD Developments Inc. and Woodcliffe Landmark Properties

Size 448 to nearly 3,000 square feet

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Price Low $400,000s to more than $2.5-million

Sales centre 505 Richmond St. W., west of Spadina Avenue. Open by appointment only.

Contact Phone 416-551-1505 or visit waterworkstoronto.com

Woodcliffe Landmark Properties has revitalized several heritage properties into landmark destinations in the city, such as North Toronto Station and Market Street.

But the challenges of reinventing the old train station in Summerhill and merging three historical sites with a new one across from St. Lawrence Market now pale in comparison with plans for a former utilities facility occupying an entire city block.

"It's by far the largest and by far the most complex because there are so many different aspects. There are condominiums, a YMCA, 15 affordable suites that Artscape is encouraging artists to purchase and 35,000 square feet for a European food hall and restaurants," chief executive and president Eve Lewis says.

"We have 84 different plans for 290 suites … so we have more one-of-a-kind suites than in 20 buildings I've done."

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Unveiled this fall with co-developer MOD Developments Inc., the mixed-use development will rise 13 storeys, resting atop the Water Works Building at 505 Richmond St. W.

In 1837, the 1.3-acre site was designated for the city's third public market. The first building was destroyed by fire and a second demolished after a decline in use.

In 1932, a horseshoe shaped structure was constructed to house operations to purify city water. Many architectural details and industrial apparatuses there will be incorporated into the community's design by Diamond Schmitt Architects and heritage consultants, ERA Architects.

"It's a very interesting and attractive art-deco building, but most of all it has an amazing hall that's 22,000 square feet, 4.5-storeys high and has these beautiful atrium windows on top," Ms. Lewis explains. "The original cranes are there and all the details from that industrial period, when they were fixing machinery in that building, is all still there for us to restore."

That hall will house various eateries and access points to St. Andrew's Playground, which will be expanded by 25 per cent.

"That park is packed with people coming from Spadina, which is only a block away, so we're looking at food that people can pick up for lunch and go for coffee in the morning, and it's more communal seating so you can go with four friends and one could get sushi, another can get dumplings and another could get pizza or pad Thai," Ms. Lewis states.

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"We believe it's going to be a destination, like when people check out Chelsea Market in New York."

Elsewhere in the building, there will be shops, Eva's Initiatives for Homeless Youth and a YMCA with a pool, for which residents will gain special access and discounts to utilize.

"There are so many amenities you'd never get in a condominium this size," says Ms. Lewis, who notes monthly fees will be just 56 cents a square foot. "In addition to the YMCA, we're going to have multiple entertaining rooms with a fabulous terrace and a gym as well if someone wants to work out at 3 o'clock in the morning."

New floors above will be completed with one- to three-bedroom suites by 2020. About 20 per cent will be more than 1,000 square feet and various plans featuring open principal rooms, dens along the windows and up to three balconies.

"We wanted to create a lot of terraces and extra deep balconies, so that's the number one selling feature other than the historic component," Ms. Lewis adds. "Most are nearly eight-feet in depth, so they're like living rooms off a living room."

Appointments by Cecconi Simone Interior Design will range from pantries to pot lights to water wheel faucets.

"We're not only trying to put in features that are not only incredibly high-end … but also relate to the industrial aspect of our project," Ms. Lewis says. "So for example, we have black matte plumbing fixtures, faucets and shower heads that have been custom-made for this project."

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