The first towers that will soon comprise an iconic new skyline for the City of Vaughan are finished and already inhabited.
The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) is quickly becoming almost a downtown for the city, with developments popping up on both the north and south sides of the VMC. Residents of the new Festival Condos from Menkes Developments Ltd. are living in eye-catching buildings with surrounding space that will be developed into its own pseudo-downtown core.
Henry Burstyn, director and senior practice lead of architecture at IBI Group, says the design of the buildings was inspired by movement, using contrasting colours to create a striking visual on the skyline.
“Along the highway-facing front are perforated fins, which move along the facade,” Burstyn says, “almost like a wave, which leads people towards the centre of the area.”
Festival was the best-selling condo development in Canada last year, thanks in part to the meticulous design work on both the buildings and surrounding landscaping. Both were overseen by IBI Group.
The base of the buildings is designed with this sense of community in mind, with flowing lines built into the architecture itself, which guides the eyes – and feet – into a sort of city centre and park.
The curves almost act as a wave moving people as the current, Burstyn says.
The goal was to create an exceptional public area with an overarching theme of mixed-use buildings that offer both amenities and residences – an area where buyers are just steps away from everything they need, but for whom Canada’s largest city is easily accessible.
The ample outdoor space lends itself to future developments that will include restaurants, grocery stores, water features and public art pieces with spectacular light shows. The area will have 25,000 square metres of retail space when completed.
“We really want to create an exciting place at the doorstep of the residence,” Burstyn says. “It’s really important to do something that isn’t the standard and create a kind of a vibrant, urban, downtown feel.”
Festival is in a remarkable spot, with residents able to get to downtown Toronto thanks to the nearby Vaughan Metropolitan Centre subway stop. People are able to live outside of the city core in Vaughan and have access to theatre, concerts and pro sports (when they open up).
“You get the best of both worlds,” says Mimi Ng, Menkes’ senior vice-president of residential sales and marketing.
“You get that downtown lifestyle, you can get to employment, shopping, retail, all the attractions of downtown within 45 minutes. But you still have the affordability of suburban condominium projects and larger units,” Ng says.
The City of Vaughan’s skyline has already started to shift from the rollercoasters of Canada’s Wonderland to astonishing towers for its growing population – those looking for a home outside of the city with all the attractions only a big city can provide.
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.