Architects and building designers beware, renowned architecture critic and veteran journalist Christopher Hume is reviving his condo critiques, exclusively for TorontoStoreys.com.
Developer: Concord Adex
Address: 29, 33 Singer Court
It might have been easier to turn lead into gold than transform the wastes of Sheppard and Leslie into an attractive residential neighbourhood. Against the odds, however, developers have been attempting just that since the Sheppard “subway to nowhere” opened in 2002.
Nearly two decades later, the area has undergone enormous change, but whether it has become a neighbourhood in more than a technical sense is debatable. Regardless, in years ahead urban historians will find much to study in this section of North York, now called Toronto.
After all, this community entered the world as a post-war suburb, consisting mainly of low-rise housing punctuated with shopping malls and their enormous parking lots. Then suddenly Sheppard became high-rise city; today the street is lined with condo towers that loom over the original subdivisions. The contrast couldn’t be starker; from post-war to post-apocalypse, or so it can seem.
The growth-speed in North York is so fast that the Discovery Condos at Concord Park Place, a cluster of residential towers organized next to the Canadian Tire site on the south side of Sheppard, now feels old. With high-rise buildings sitting atop a sprawling podium, this is the sort of development that’s now ubiquitous on Sheppard.
Architecturally, the project is pretty ordinary. What stands out are the many amenities, which include everything from a hot yoga studio and badminton court to a kids’ play space and karaoke/band room. The developer refers to Discovery as a “town within a city.” More than anything, perhaps, this is a practical response to a part of the city that has so little to offer.