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Evolo NEX has been designed so residents have access to nature as well as stunning views of the city.Supplied

Sitting on the St. Lawrence River, Nuns’ Island is located in the Montreal borough of Verdun. Technically a suburban neighbourhood, it has a reputation for offering residents a taste of country living, while still being close to the city. But Pointe Nord, on the northern tip of the island, offers an entirely different quality of life.

Veronika Molnar loved living in downtown Montreal for more than eight years. She couldn’t imagine living anywhere else – the urban architecture, the proximity to arts, culture and work, the hustle and bustle pace were all reasons she stayed in the city. But when she needed more space, she realized she wasn’t going to get it at a price she could afford without compromising her lifestyle. Fortunately, there was another option not too far away: Pointe Nord on Nuns’ Island.

“The buildings give a big-city vibe. You have the urban feel without all the downsides of living downtown,” Molnar says. “You don’t feel like you live in the suburbs, but it is safe. You have gorgeous, protected parks, and you can still walk to get around.

“I didn’t want to feel like I downgraded from what I had in the city, and I think this project was the only one that felt like an upgrade. It offered more than what I had being downtown.”

Neighbourhood rooted in history

That neighbourhood design was very intentional, says Ilan Gewurz, executive vice-president of Proment, the real estate developer behind Pointe Nord. Gewurz’s father was the mastermind behind many of the original high-rise buildings on Nuns’ Island; in the 1980s, he spearheaded a style of development that prioritized sustainability and protected the island’s natural forests. When the chance came up to develop the northern tip of the island, the team at Proment jumped at the opportunity.

Proment worked with several world-class urban planners to come up with an approach that maximizes views of the river and city skyline, offers access to green space and still feels urban. Part of that comes from offering a variety of housing styles, high-rises, mid-rises and townhouses, to attract a diverse mix of residents.

Where community is priority

“There are neighbourhoods in Montreal that have developments offering very small condos, and they attract only singles or young professionals. Or, there are a lot of people who buy as an investment and then rent their condo out. But, residents don’t get a sense of belonging. They don’t see that people can put down roots and age in that community,” Gewurz says. “One of our goals was to create a sense of place where people feel like they belong, like they are connected.”

Developer Proment has designed the neighbourhood to foster connection with common public spaces like the plaza, where performances are held.Supplied

That community-focused design is obvious in the site plan. The development is surrounded by a waterfront park, with walking and bike paths that offer sweeping views of the river in all seasons.

There’s also a plaza in the middle of the neighbourhood where residents can mingle with their afternoon coffees or take in a concert in the evening. The main street, which is walkable, has commercial spaces at street level. Mom-and-pop small businesses create a heart and soul for the development, including a bakery, restaurants and several charming boutiques. “We said no to franchises and big chains,” Gewurz explains. “We’re looking for people who put love and soul into their stores.”

Latest project has conveniences built in

The latest project from Proment is Evolo NEX; currently under construction, it’s already 50 per cent sold. This 26-storey building with 258 units offers more spacious condos than you’d find in downtown buildings, and feels even bigger when you consider the balconies, which are enclosed on three sides so they can be used longer into the seasons. Evolo NEX common areas are as thoughtfully designed as the private ones, and function as both social spaces and co-working spaces. The building even has a dog-wash station so residents can clean their pets’ muddy paws before they head up to their homes.

Built with sustainability top of mind

The development’s other standout feature is its commitment to sustainability. All of the high-rise buildings are either LEED Gold- or Silver-certified, and the entire development is one of the few LEED ND Gold-certified neighbourhoods in Canada.

The condo is seeking LEED certification and units are spacious with balconies designed for use from early spring until late fall.Supplied

“We studied the distance between buildings and the height of the buildings to create walkability, offer a sense of human scale and allow sun in. There is a system of rainwater recuperation, green roofs on all the townhouses, and the parking is underground and covered by green roofs that become courtyards for the neighbours. It’s very sophisticated in its sustainability,” Gewurz says.

The project is well-served by transit; it’s on two STM bus lines and the upcoming REM light-rail station is located in the neighbourhood. And all of the parking spaces of the Evolo NEX tower are configured to accommodate electric charging stations.

It’s all part of Proment’s goal to create connection, which is what Molnar appreciates the most about her new home.

“The community is the best part,” Molnar says. “That’s something that was missing from living downtown. This small area is very favourable for making connections. You run into your neighbours at the gym, at the restaurant, at the grocery store. People here say hi to each other, talk to each other, help each other. It is great! I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with Nex Condominiums. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved