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FAIRGROUND LOFTS

Location: Vaughan, Ont.

Builder/developer: Wycliffe Homes

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Size: 676 to 1,349 square feet

Price: Low $300,000s to over $449,900

Sales centre: 177 Woodbridge Ave. east of Kipling Avenue. Open Monday to Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; weekends and holidays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact: Phone 905-605-5900 or visit www. wycliffehomes.com

Gary Bensky began his career with an architectural firm renovating and restoring townhouses in downtown Toronto before shifting his focus to constructing custom homes across the GTA through Wycliffe Homes, over which he now presides.

So he relishes this company's latest development of a modern townhouse community disguised as a collection of historic structures inhabiting old Woodbridge Village, just north of Toronto.

"They're in a heritage district that used to be an industrial part of town with a lumber yard across the road that just closed down and a couple remnants of other buildings," Mr. Bensky said. "So we designed these houses to look like old factories with red brick and black window frames.

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"That's what appeals to the young and young at heart."

Since the grand opening this summer, locals have purchased over a third of the homes in the unique infill project on Kipling Avenue adjacent to the Woodbridge Fairgrounds.

Among the first sold were two detached Victorians on site – the Thomas P. Wright House and McGillivray-Shore residence – that will be restored and relocated to frame the entryway into a landscaped courtyard surrounded by five buildings containing new stacked townhouses.

"The beauty of it is that the whole thing is only 67 units, two of which are heritage houses," Mr. Bensky said. "So you'll have some neighbours, but you're not going to have endless corridors and masses of people waiting for elevators."

More importantly, residents will become close acquaintances with established attractions nearby, such as the Market Lane Shopping Centre.

"It's a real short walk to the Market Lane, which after 20 years has finally come into its own with shops being well patronized and a grocery store taken over by a good operator akin to Pusateri's and Bruno's," Mr. Bensky said.

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"It makes sense for young working people to live in close proximity to those amenities and there is a bus [route] outside the door."

Plus, there are plans to extend the Spadina subway line up to Vaughan, which is already easily accessible to several highways and is home to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Boyd Conservation Area and Board of Trade Country Club.

Though these townhouses will have historic brick exteriors to complement the existing streetscape, the interiors will exude a modern loft atmosphere with nine-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, sliding bedroom doors, custom European-style cabinetry, granite counters and stainless steel appliances.

To cater to first-time buyers, empty-nesters and families, units will offer a wide variety of single and multi-storey layouts with street-level access, one to three bedrooms, open entertaining areas, U-shaped or open galley-style kitchens and private outdoor space with glass railings.

"One has a 400-square-foot deck overlooking the Woodbridge Fairgrounds, which means once a year there's an event there," Mr. Bensky added. "Otherwise, it's a big, green open space and there are horses trotting around the track from time to time."

The versatility of many plans is demonstrated at the sales centre with a 700-square-foot model suite that recreates the one-bedroom-plus-den Fairground design.

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"We put in a sliding frosted glass divider that divides the dining and kitchen area from the TV/den room, so when you close it, it creates another bedroom," Mr. Bensky said.

"And we put a closet back to back from the bedroom to the den, so you can use it from both sides."

Units will come with parking, most outdoors and some in private garages.

Services will go in later this year for occupancy next fall.

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