Take a look around our city. Condos are sprouting up everywhere, rejuvenating older, traditional neighbourhoods and filling in vacant lots. New condo sites will forever change a district’s character – specialty retailers, exotic or down-home eateries and unique hole-in-the-wall attractions that are emblematic of an area’s particular ambience and style will be in close proximity to sleek high-rise condos.
So, where are the condo hot spots? Let’s start with Little Italy. SoHo Italia, a 30-storey project at the corner of Preston Street and Carling Avenue that received city approval this summer, is on the way. Claridge’s Icon on Preston will soar over 40 storeys – providing a scenic and panoramic view of the capital.
Developers are buying the few remaining vacant lots in Centretown, as well as space in Vanier and Hintonburg. Rideau Street, Parkdale Avenue and the Bronson/Carling axis are red hot. This is driven by City Hall’s policy to encourage the building of residential units in the core. More people living in the central business district means a more sustainable downtown community and more people using public transit. Condos are good revenue generators for the city. Condos today are affordable, airy and modern.
Even with the uncertainty caused by cutbacks in the federal civil service, starts for condominiums are forecast to hover around 2.5 per cent over the next two years, according to a 2012 report by the Conference Board of Canada and Genworth Financial Canada entitled Insights Into the Apartment Condominium Market in Eight Large Canadian Metropolitan Areas.
The Financial Post reports that Canada’s condominium market is growing rapidly – and that the future holds even more demand for condo living. Fueled by many factors, this surge in condominium demand has sparked an influx of new highrises in downtown Ottawa. Construction will soon begin on The Slater, a unique building that offers condo and hotel suites.
With an increasing number of residents moving into the urban centre of Ottawa, condominiums offer the privacy and luxury that homeowners want without requiring them to sacrifice the ideal location. The Slater was designed to provide residents with a luxurious lifestyle while allowing them to live closer to their workplaces, and steps away from downtown retail and cultural attractions.
At 22 storeys tall, The Slater (wedged into a small lot near the corner of Slater and Bank) offers 164 units and 150 hotel suites. A sleek black-and-white structure with a bold grid overlay, the exterior of the building encompasses sophistication and elegance – with a contemporary twist. Inspired by the clean, square lines of mid-century modernism, it marries a hip 1950s aesthetic with a thoroughly modern sensibility. The Slater is central to restaurants, entertainment venues, retail destinations, and more.
Developed by Broccolini Construc-tion, Richard Chmiel Architects & Associates, and II by IV Interiors, The Slater will be a splash of colour on a street of grey.
Even the federal government is getting in on the act. Ottawa is planning a major overhaul of its 49-hectare Tunney’s Pasture property – a sprawling campus-style development that is home to Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada. Many of the buildings there need to be completely renovated or torn down and the federal government will fill in the space between buildings with condos and commercial space. The neighbourhood around it is already one of the hottest spots for new condo development in the capital. A master plan of the site is expected to be produced by 2013 that will guide development over the next 25 years.
With the first phase of LeBreton Flats, Ottawa embraced a new concept in downtown living – an exciting and innovative urban village located right on the riverfront, designed and built by Claridge.
Now a second 13-storey building is being launched. With modern architecture complementary to its predecessor, the luxury residence will also incorporate all the same energy-saving features which marked this eco-friendly community as Ottawa’s first fully LEED-qualified neighbourhood. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.)
Offering a luxurious selection of podium and tower suites, including one- and two-bedroom models, Tower 2 will appeal to everyone seeking the vibrancy of downtown living. However, the complex may remain an island of development in a sea of grass for the foreseeable future. At the rate development of the Flats is progressing, the LeBreton Flats community may be rebuilt over the next 50 years.
38 Metropole Private, the stylish high-rise condominium developed by Minto, is the third tallest building in Ottawa, with 32 floors. The Metropole towers over its surrounding landscape and neighbourhood, and its 32nd top-floor nearly touches the clouds. The Metropole is located in the western part of the city on Island Park Drive, overlooking the Ottawa River, just a short walk from the heart of Westboro.
Closer to the downtown core, The Cathedral Hill condo development (on Sparks near Bay) will be one of the most breath-taking
structures transforming the look of this area. A bold 21-storey curved condo tower will be located on an escarpment overlooking the Garden of the Provinces at the corner of Sparks Street and Bronson Avenue. The project is being built on Anglican Church land, next to Christ Church Cathedral.
Located at the geographical centre of Ottawa, Minto@Lansdowne was designed to be a sustainable community. Everything that residents will need will be within walking distance.
As part of the belated rejuvenation of Lansdowne Park, Minto@Lansdowne will be just steps from exciting new retail and dining experiences. Entertainment spaces throughout the park (including a new football stadium) and a state-of-the-art movie theatre mean that there will always be something happening at this year-round attraction.
As a LEED community, Minto@Lansdowne units will consume less water and energy, use sustainable and local building materials and have increased insulation levels. All of this will reduce residents’ energy consumption and save them money on monthly utility costs.
All in all, these developments will infuse new life in the city. Everyone stands to benefit. Condos away.