In an effort to reconnect urban centres with nature, Toronto-based Curated Properties has partnered with Ottawa’s Windmill Developments to launch The Plant in Toronto’s popular West Queen West neighbourhood. The 77-unit residence is designed to be self-sustaining and self-reliant by introducing residential agriculture and food production to the community. While rooftop gardens aren’t new to the condo scene, The Plant takes the concept one step further by incorporating elements that facilitate terrace-to-table food production.
“Being able to grow your own food where you live has always been how humans lived. It’s a recent North American phenomenon to identify food growth as something that takes place outside of the city centre,” said Jonathan Westeinde, CEO of Windmill. “As developers, our opportunity to address this misconception ultimately rests with the land we own and the projects we introduce.”
Located just south of Queen Street West, the 10-storey midrise is situated at the corner of Dovercourt Road and Sudbury Street, next door to Curated Properties’ Cabin residences. The site was the original location of the popular local bakery chain Dufflet Pastries — one of Toronto’s pioneering food production brands.
Food-focused amenities include an internal greenhouse/nursery to cultivate seeds and grow plants, as well as an industrial style kitchen designed to accommodate food preparation and host social events. The development also features retail and office spaces on the first and second floor creating a true mixed use urban lifestyle in which residents can live, work and grow.
“The choices we make as developers dictate the lifestyle available to the people that live in our buildings,” said Adam Ochshorn, partner at Curated Properties. “Urban living used to mean choosing between being a cool neighbourhood full of amenities or having enough land to cultivate a robust garden. When you consider two-thirds of all humans will soon be city-dwellers, having to choose between an urban residence or the ability to comfortably grow your herbs and vegetables no longer makes sense.”
Designed by SMV Architects, the angular construction of the building ensures an unimpeded flow of sunlight through floor-to-ceiling windows. The layouts have also been designed to be wide rather than narrow to allow for more natural light to filter into each living space.
Inside, interior design studio +tongtong have created open living spaces with plenty of pantry space for storage, counter space for food prep and optional industrial metal racking to keep things organized. The suites also feature terraces or balconies with micro-garden beds for fresh herbs and boast ample space for plants, accessories and furniture.
“The balconies and terraces at The Plant are really more like an eight-storey porch,” explained Westeinde. “They have their own structure, with railings and lattices, as well as a thermal break. So not only are they large and spacious, but they’re orientated to work with the sun and encourage plant life to take hold.”
To learn more about the project and the upcoming April launch, make sure to register online at theplantqueenwest.com.
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