Yorkdale Condos Construction Update!

We are currently pouring the third level of Yorkdale Condos 1B (Phase 2) and hope to complete the top floor by early summer. Here are a few images of the recent progress!

Terrace Suites Under Construction (Before…in 1B)
Terrace Suites at completion (After…in 1A)

Stay tuned for further information as we move forward to the exciting phase of move-ins.

For regular updates we invite you to visit our Twitter page – https://twitter.com/HelloContext

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As part of the ongoing approvals process, Context recently hosted a Community Open House for the Queen Coxwell Revitalization.  The event was held over several days at the Duke of Connaught Public School (located around the corner form the site) and saw 200 hundred community members visit to learn more about the redevelopment.  The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and a series of new images from the architect were on display.



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Fore more information on the Queen Coxwell Revitalization please visit: https://queencoxwellrevitalization.com/



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The Queen Coxwell Revitalization is a mixed use development near Leslieville and The Beaches by Context and RioCan.  The redevelopment will feature a mix of Market Rental and Condominiums and new retail along Queen Street East.  Designed by Teeple Architects and Public City Landscape Architects, the development features striking architecture and numerous public and private outdoor landscaped areas.  “The Boardwalk” is the main north‐south pedestrian corridor through the site that connects a series of publicly accessible spaces. At its north edge, along Queen Street, is a new community park.  The Boardwalk leads pedestrians south to Eastern Avenue through a shared ‘Woonerf’ and also contains the lobby entrances, numerous seating and landscaped areas.  Many of the condominiums will feature stunning park, lake and skyline views and scattered throughout the building will be numerous larger suites with sprawling terraces.


Located between Leslieville and The Beaches, the site is immediately north of Ashbridge’s Bay and Woodbine Park.  Steps to some of Toronto’s best restaurants and shops and minutes to downtown on the Queen street car, the Queen Coxwell Revitalization is set to become one of Toronto’s premier living destinations!



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Stay tuned for more information!



Yesterday, Context President Howard Cohen joined Mayor John Tory, Councillor Paula Fletcher and City officials in the announcement of the redevelopment of City lands at Queen Street East and Coxwell.  Context and our partner Riocan, are joining forces with the City of Toronto to redevelop 3.3 acres of land that is currently home to 120 rent-geared-to-income (RGI) homes.

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The redevelopment will feature a mix of housing types including the replacement Rent-Geared-To-Income (RGI), Affordable Rental, Market Rental and Condominiums in addition to new Queen Street retail along the entire northern edge of the site.  The new development will see 750 new homes brought into the community.  The rental units total 400 and the condominiums are at 350 and the redevelopment is at no cost to City as they are utilizing the value of their land in the partnership.


We at Context believe that this redevelopment can act as an innovative model between the private and public sectors and show how working together can benefit the city as a whole.  The anticipated market release of the condominiums will be in 2020.  Stay tuned for more news in the coming months!


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In our latest blog posting, we take a look at the historic building that we call home.  The Ryrie building, located at Yonge and Shuter Streets, was designed by Langley & Burke Architects and built in 1891 and is listed on the City of Toronto’s inventory of heritage properties.



The building was first altered in 1913 and has received several renovations/alterations in its lifetime.  In 1947, The Silver Rail, Toronto’s first cocktail bar opened on the corner with what would be the first LCBO license in Toronto.



Today the building is home to many offices which feature the brick and beam construction, as well as Urban Outfitters on the Yonge Street facade.  Soon to open in the corner space that once was home to The Silver Rail,  is Sweat and Tonic – a comprehensive group fitness facility, bar and event space which promises to offer premium cocktails which originally made the Silver Rail famous!


And in closing, here is the beautiful Ryrie building today.  If you asked us, bring back the awnings!



In this edition of Different By Design, we turn our focus to Italy to study a unique high rise condominium project.  Bosco Verticale is a condominium complex located in the Porta Nuova district of Milan.  Designed by Boeri Studio and completed in 2014, Bosco Verticale features two towers (26 floors and 18 floors) with 900 trees each located on over 96,000 square feet of terraces throughout the towers.


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Bosco Verticale or “Vertical Forest” in English was designed to Leed Gold standards and is comprised of 400 condominium units.  In addition to the 900 trees per tower, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 floral plants ensconce the towers in greenery and help mitigate smog while producing oxygen.


The 20,000 trees and plants contribute positively to the environment by converting approximately 44,000 pounds of carbon each year.  The more than 90 species in the buildings’ biodiversity are expected to attract new bird and insect species to the city. It is also used to moderate temperatures in the building in the winter and summer, by shading the interiors from the sun and blocking harsh winds. The vegetation also protects the interior spaces from noise pollution and dust from street-level traffic.


Self-sufficient renewable energy is generated from solar panels and filtered waste water to sustain the buildings’ plant life. These green technology systems reduce the overall waste and carbon footprint of the towers. Lead designer Stefano Boeri stated, “It’s very important to completely change how these new cities are developing. Urban forestation is one of the biggest issues for me in that context. That means parks, it means gardens, but it also means having buildings with trees.”


For more on this ground breaking condominium project, visit Boeri Studio at:  https://www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/en/project/vertical-forest/


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Phase 2 of the Yorkdale Condominiums continues to make construction progress.1CD08225-6D23-4B24-82D1-0A8A666B5914

The crane is busy on site and we are pouring the first floor with roof topping scheduled for Winter 2020.  Window installation will commence this fall and suite finishing is set to begin in early 2020.


Ever wonder how all the construction cranes stay standing up?  They are usually encased in the concrete slab of the building itself and get jacked up as the buidling goes higher.  The base of the crane (shown below) is fixed directly into the concrete in the parking garage for added stability.


Stay tuned for future updates!

We recently dedicated the community art collection at The Yorkdale Condominium (the first phase of the redevelopment of the New Lawrence Heights) and wanted to share a great story with you!


Artists from the community and residents gathered in party room of the The Yorkdale Condominium to celebrate the dedication of the community art collection.  We at Context and Metropia had commissioned a collection of art by artists who live within Lawrence Heights to hang in a gallery space within the condominium.  PC Geoff Kerr of The Toronto Police Service who works in the Lawrence Heights Community was in attendance and admiring one piece in particular.  The work in question was by artist Christina Bonas and it struck a chord with him.  “I looked at the picture and was moved by the words that I saw, it covered the full gamut of human emotions and spoke to human nature – life isn’t always perfect. Because I cover mental illness and sing about it in workshops, I saw the connection there and thought the art would be a good accompaniment to all my presentations going forward. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this picture says it all; people could just look at the artwork and see the correlation in my music.”

PC Kerr asked us if it was possible for him to personally purchase the piece that had just been hung in the gallery space of the condominium so we contacted Ms. Bonas and she agreed!  As a result, we have commissioned Ms. Bonas to create another piece which will take the place of the work that will now be hanging in the home of PC Kerr.

In closing, we asked Ms. Bonas what the meaning was behind this work….“As human beings, we are not always willing to be vulnerable. This piece highlights emotions that people feel but hide from others because they think they will be judged. This is especially true when you come from a place where people are typically labelled. The words in blue are how Lawrence Heights was described to me by others when I first moved to the community. People automatically believe the negative things they hear, which is heightened by social media, but once you actually experience Lawrence Heights, you see it’s not like that at all. The words in gold are what I actually feel when I think of my community today and I’ve seen the positive contributions revitalization has had. My hopes are people will hear the good happening in the community and see Lawrence Heights how I see it.”

A special thank you to Christine Bonas for her wonderful art and to PC Geoff Kerr for his ongoing commitment to the Lawrence Heights Community!


1In this edition of Different By Design, we celebrate Canada Day by looking back on the design history of the Canadian Flag and how it came to be.


In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson set out to give Canadians a flag of their own.  Until this time, the unofficial but commonly used flag for Canada was the Red Ensign.  A combination of the Union Jack, a solid red background and a shield from the royal the coat of arms, The Red Ensign dates back in Canada to 1682 where it had been flown on Hudson’s Bay Company posts.

2Pearson organized a bipartisan flag committee which received almost 6000 design submissions.  The Prime Minister also contributed with a design of his own, named the “Pearson Pennant”.  Incorporating the 3 leaf design from the royal coat of arms, the design also featured bold blue stripes at both ends of the flag which were to symbolize the Pacific and Atlantic edges of Canada.

Musée canadien des civilisations, Artefacts = Canadian Museum of Civilization, Artefacts



Ultimately, the committee preferred a single leaf design that would be highly recognisable and visible from far distances in a variety weather conditions.  On February 15, 1965 Lester B. Pearson raised the single red maple leaf over Parliament Hill and the rest is history.


Happy Canada Day!


The New Lawrence Heights neighbourhood transformation has reached an important milestone with site preparation now underway!

It all started with demolition of previously existing structures on the future site of The New Lawrence Heights Townhomes.  In the coming months, site servicing will be completed and we will be ready to move into the construction phase of the Phase 1 Townhomes on the park.

This major milestone at The New Lawrence Heights is a continuation of a transformation that began with the completion of The Yorkdale Condominiums on an adjacent site.  These celebrated condominium residences were the first component of The New Lawrence Heights which introduced new, modern housing to this highly desirable central Toronto location.

We will be sharing more updates about the progress of the Townhome construction in the coming months so stay tuned!