Location: Downtown Toronto
Builder/developer: MOD Developments
Size: 377 to 1,085 square feet
Price: $294,750 to $889,000
Sales centre: 197 Yonge St., north of Queen Street. Open Monday to Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.; weekends from noon to 5 p.m.
Contact: Phone 416-966-0197 or visit www.themasseytower.com
Directly across from the Eaton Centre in the heart of Toronto’s downtown core, a historic bank was boarded up and abandoned 25 years ago. But plans to transform the heritage building into a modern highrise has the public returning to make financial transactions of another kind.
“We were one of the highest-selling projects in the third quarter with over 75 per cent sold already,” says Gary Switzer, president and CEO of MOD Developments. “It has been very satisfying for us that we’ve rescued this building, and it’ll become part of a new development.”
Hariri Pontarini Architects designed this 60-storey residence with fritted glass and sculptural balconies surrounding 698 suites above a four-storey portion of the bank, which was one of three constructed for the Canadian Bank of Commerce along Yonge Street between Queen and Shuter streets circa 1905.
“People don’t want to live in another condo tower; here’s something with personality and quality,” says Mr. Switzer. “We’ve used one of the best modern architects to do the tower itself, which is a stunning, articulated tower behind the old bank, so you get this combination of old and new, which is great.”
Just as the exterior will be restored, the developer refurbished intricate mosaic floors, vaulted ceilings and plaster mouldings showcased inside the sales centre, which will eventually become the residential lobby with concierge and a porter.
“It’s probably the grandest entrance to any condominium in Toronto,” Mr. Switzer states. “And Cecconi and Simone have done a hip version of Edwardian architecture with chandeliers to play on this whole theme.”
Though buyers may not be familiar with the interiors, it is likely many walked past the landmark at 197 Yonge St., which is just steps from hundreds of shops and restaurants in and around the Eaton Centre, major theatres and event venues, as well as several hospitals and universities.
“It’s a great location,” Mr. Switzer adds. “It’s literally right at the Queen subway stop … but a lot of people living here will walk to St. Lawrence Market, Queen West and the Financial District.”
For those who go further distances, GO and VIA train stations, Billy Bishop Airport and highways are all nearby. The project’s name and music-themed art also pays homage to its famous next-door neighbour, Massey Hall, which will be given a parcel of land from the Massey Tower site.
“They can finally do an addition and renovation of Massey Hall, which they’ve never been able to do because they were land-locked,” says Mr. Switzer. “It’s cool that we can help out this national institution.”
The building will also be a beacon of activity with fitness studios, a juice bar and treatment room on the ninth floor, plus a cocktail lounge, dining room, piano bar and dance hall surrounded by a rooftop terrace on the 10th floor.
“Instead of another boring party room, we set it up [as] a place where you can have a proper party and have live music,” Mr. Switzer explains.
To entertain or relax in privacy, there will be one- to three-bedroom suites – though buyers have combined two to create larger spaces – with open principal rooms and nine-foot ceilings. Cecconi Simone will assemble three finishing packages with sleek, Euro-style appliances, contemporary kitchens cabinetry and granite, composite stone or Corian countertops, among other luxury finishes.
Monthly fees will be 53 cents per square foot and parking priced at $69,000 for suites over 800 square feet. Occupancy is slated for November, 2016.