There are two sides to this condominium story: one facing the venerable thoroughfare of Queen St. E., the other overlooking Ashbridges Bay and Lake Ontario on Eastern Ave.
Bordered by two streets on a deep lot, Queen & Ashbridge Condominiums in Toronto’s east end offered an opportunity for a “pretty unique architectural response,” said architect Stephen Teeple.
The result is a 17-storey pyramidal complex rising from the site like “a timeless, sun-washed hill-town” evocative of the Greek island of Santorini, he said.
“That it has both water and Queen St is really enticing,” noted developer Howard Cohen, co-founder of Context, which has partnered with RioCan Living on the project.
Cohen expects Queen & Ashbridge Condos, just west of Coxwell Ave., to become a landmark in the city’s newest old neighbourhood, “Coastal Queen East.” The name — so far just a marketing moniker — defines the area that links the neighbourhood of Leslieville and The Beach.
“It’s almost a bit undiscovered in a way,” said Cohen, who’s hoping to put Coastal Queen East on the map with the delivery of the development in about four years.
With 366 condo suites, about 185 rental apartments and must-haves of abundant green space and outdoor entertainment areas — in demand due to COVID-19, according to Cohen — it’s the kind of place where everyone from youngsters to young professionals and empty nesters will feel at home.
With the most parkland per capita in Toronto, the area lends itself to activities for all ages, he said, listing jogging, cycling, swimming, sailing, skateboarding and “promenading.”
Although moving day may be years off for Dawn Chapman, she can already see herself rollerblading on the boardwalk and cycling to the Leslie Street Spit.
The Upper Beaches resident is considering the purchase of a two-bedroom unit for her parents, who now live in Brampton, so they can be closer. Eventually, Chapman and her husband James would live there after their kids, now aged 13 and 15, leave home.
“What I love about Q&A Condos’ location is the feeling of openness … the green space and walking along the beach near the water,” said Chapman. “It’s the fabulous feeling of a countryside as opposed to (being) locked in a concrete jungle,” said the long-time east-ender.
At the same time, the condos are close to restaurants, schools, businesses and specialty shops, the Queen St. streetcar, Ashbridge’s Bay and Woodbine Beach.
Chapman, proprietor of Lazy Daisy’s Café on Gerrard St. E. — a café and general store specializing in fresh, local food — is excited about the business prospects with the arrival of new residents. (She named her shop after a dairy cow on her grandparents’ farm where she spent summers as a child.)
As well as new residents, dogs will be welcomed at the building where a rooftop dog run is among the amenities.
“It’s important for dogs to have a nice view of people shopping on Queen St.,” Cohen joked.
With suites ranging from 503 to 1,843 square feet and prices starting in the mid-$500,000s, he expects purchasers to include a “big move-down component” from Beach folks.
“You can sell your house, buy a condo and still have money in the bank,” noted Cohen, whose 27-year-old company focuses on mixed-use projects, condominiums and affordable rental housing.
With its two fronts, the building presents different façades to fit the surroundings, according to Teeple, principal at Teeple Architects. http://www.teeplearch.com/ On the “vibrant lakefront” side, it looks like a “modern white sculpture” while on Queen, where its 16,000 square feet of retail space meets the street, it adopts a more traditional urban façade, he said.
The structure is designed in two wings joined by an eight-storey podium. The 16-storey east side comprises mostly rental units while the 17-storey west wing houses condos of one to three bedrooms, including penthouse-calibre suites that boast the best views of the lake and skyline.
The tiered design allows “extremely large terraces,” adding to the suites’ allotment of indoor/outdoor space, said Teeple.
The development’s south-facing Eastern Ave. front, a landscaped courtyard called The Valley will have a private park and garden plots for residents to grow their own food. On the Queen St. side, an eighth-floor rooftop offers a terrace for lounging and dining, and access to indoor amenities.
A 5,000 fitness centre will provides everything from spin and yoga studios to training zones and steam saunas. “It’s the best fitness centre we’ve ever done in a complex,” Cohen said. There’s also a ground-floor co-working lounge catering to the work-from-home cohort.
Cohen also points to the development’s “high sustainability rating” and reduced carbon footprint due to energy-saving mechanical systems, geothermal energy, abundance of greenery and natural building materials. As well, it will have an energy recovery ventilation system.
Queen & Ashbridge Condos
Developer: Context and RioCan Living
Location: 1555 and 1575 Queen St. E.
Architect: Teeple Architects; Landscape architect: Public City Architecture; Interior designer: Mason Studio
Suites: 366 condo units from 503 to 1,843 sq.-ft. One-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom layouts, some with den, starting in the mid-$500,000s
Amenities: 5,000-sq.-ft. fitness centre with training zones, spin and yoga studios; rooftop party room, lounge and outdoor terrace with dining and cooking zones; rooftop dog run; landscaped courtyard and garden plots; co-working lounge
Tentative occupancy: Fall 2024
Info: register at qacondos.com or email [email protected]