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MacPherson Builders is creating a large master-planned community in Fergus, Ont., that will have a small-town feel.
MacPherson Builders is creating a large master-planned community in Fergus, Ont., that will have a small-town feel.

On Site: Space and affordability push builder to Fergus Add to ...



SIZE 1,300 to 3,200 square feet

PRICE From $290,000 to over $500,000

SALES CENTRE 71 Goodall Court off Highway 6, north of Sideroad 18 in Fergus. Open Monday, Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; weekends from noon to 5 p.m.

CONTACT Phone 519-994-4800 or visit macphersonbuilders.com

In southwestern Ontario, the number of sites for new low-rise communities are shrinking, as are those priced affordability, so MacPherson Builders sought out a small town to create a large master-planned community just an hour northwest of the GTA

“We view this as a real opportunity for people to buy because they can’t in other communities, like Guelph 15 minutes away and Kitchener-Waterloo about 20 to 25 minutes way. You can’t really find a large selection – or much of a selection at all – of product in the 30, 40 and 50-foot lot range, they’ve just run out of land,” says president Russell Higgins.

“On our single-family product, if you compare the same square footages on the same lots, there’s a $75,000 to $100,000 price differential between Fergus and Guelph. The Fergus houses are just that much less expensive, all due to land value.”

The builder has already sold half of the 68 homes on fully sodded 30 to 55-foot lots in the first phase of the project, called Strathlea Fergus, which is due 224 homes at the north end of Fergus off Highway 6.

“This Fergus [site] was a natural fit for us because we’d been there already and enjoyed the experience 20 years earlier,” says Mr. Higgins, who created a 27-lot infill project with partner Irving Teper shortly after being introduced by their Toronto barber.

“It’s a real quaint old Ontario town: it’s got a beautiful gorge and river running through the centre of it with trails, and there’s a beautiful old downtown with lots of stone buildings.”

The town hosts everything from shops and restaurants to scenic waterfalls, parks and farmland, plus annual festivities, such as the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

“Not only is it a beautiful town, but it’s also in fairly close proximity to large urban centres,” Mr. Higgins adds.

With services now on site, construction has begun on phase one, which will consist of a park and play structure surrounded by bungalows and two-storey models with attached garages.

“It will have a small-town Ontario feel,” Mr. Higgins says. “We never build double-width garages you sometimes see in more urban sites in the GTA. Instead we’ll have either a single garage or two single garages side by side, and porches are always a big component of the homes we build.”

Two model homes – the Belmont and Paisley – represent the collection of two to four-bedroom plans, which were all named in reference to the town’s Scottish heritage.

Homes will generally offer eat-in kitchens at the rear, family rooms and separate study and dining areas in larger homes, as well as main floor laundry rooms and master bedrooms with private bathrooms and walk-in closets.

“We follow a classic formula with the layout of the houses and rooms,” Mr. Higgins explains.

Exteriors will feature all vinyl, all brick or a combination of stone and vinyl facades, while interiors will bear nine-foot ceilings on the main level; ceramic tile floors and 40-ounce broadloom or berber carpeting; and custom kitchen cabinetry, islands and breakfast bars in some cases.

Additional upgrades will be offered according to lot size.

Occupancy begins summer 2015.

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