In a pandemic-influenced era, personal health and wellness is becoming an increasingly fundamental part of consumers’ lives. The global wellness market is valued at more than $1.5 trillion, increasing at a rate of five to 10 per cent each year, according to recent market research.
Following in step with the growing wellness industry, one local developer plans to bring better personal health and wellness opportunities to Toronto’s real estate market with its newest residential community.
AKRA Living is a collection of 211 condo suites near Yonge and Eglinton by the award-winning boutique developer, Curated Properties. Planned for Erskine Avenue across from a public park, AKRA Living will be a new residential development focused on health and wellness, offering restorative amenities, soothing interiors and thoughtful design.
An unexpected addition to the bustling Yonge and Eglinton intersection, the future high-rise intends to balance the transformational development occurring in the area with a modest, human-centred community. AKRA Living focuses on five key wellness categories in its suites and communal areas that were selected by Curated Properties and its industry-leading consultants — health, fitness, nutrition, sleep and mindfulness.
“What has guided us throughout the development process, the design and creating the brand for the project has been focusing more on the human scale and really drilling into creating a unique space that helps to improve the health and wellness of future residents,” said Jesse Speigel, senior vice president of development at Curated Properties.
AKRA Living will rise 22 storeys between a neighbouring residence and a bank of townhomes, producing a feeling of privacy and intimacy near the nearby major intersection. Architecture firm RAW Design made use of a warm material palette of handcrafted Danish brick and brushed bronze panels on AKRA Living’s façade to evoke the theme of health and mindfulness. A series of architectural setbacks integrated into the building’s design will make room for a range of private, deep terraces and common outdoor amenities for residents to enjoy.
“For AKRA, in the same way as we’ve done with many of our other projects, we are in a centralized location, but we’re ever so slightly removed,” explained Speigel. “You’re a few minutes away from Yonge and Eglinton, but the building is nestled into a side street, a block east of Yonge Street. It’s of a scale that is not the same as some of the larger, more commodity-type developments that have sprung up in Yonge and Eglinton over the years. It’s a more human-centric scale.”
Renowned design firm Chapi Chapo, which is also known for its hospitality work on spas in The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons and The St. Regis hotels, brings a sense of calm to AKRA Living’s interiors and amenities. Stepping into the building, residents and visitors are greeted by a double-height lobby with pre-programmed lighting that responds to the time of day to support healthy circadian rhythms. Throughout the common areas, residents will find layered textures, natural materials and indirect lighting.
“Having not designed a spa-type amenity ourselves, we thought it was important to bring in an expert consultant. Chapi Chapo has the credibility and the track record of creating impressive and beautiful spaces like this,” said Speigel. “Chapi had a hand in everything, from the selection of the types of spa amenities that we are incorporating into the AKRA Ritual Centre, to the selection of materials and the finished palettes to give that sort of luxurious but also calming aesthetic to the space.”
AKRA Living will deliver an array of health-focused amenities. Residents can wander the communal herbal and Zen gardens that will feature herbs with medicinal properties. Aura Air filtration systems will be fitted in the private, state-of-the-art fitness rooms, which use UV filters to reduce particulate levels in the air.
Relax and unwind in the spa on the seventh floor, branded as the AKRA Ritual Centre. Residents can enjoy infrared saunas with integrated red light and halo therapy, hot and cold plunge pools and an experiential shower with integrated chromotherapy functionality.
All spa features were specially programmed to optimize health benefits for future residents. For instance, the infrared saunas were chosen to improve blood flow and aid muscle recovery while rejuvenating cellular tissue. The cold plunge pool helps to invigorate the skin and awaken the circulatory system, supporting the body’s cardiovascular and immune system while providing pain relief, muscle healing and inflammation reduction.
“We focused on providing amenities and design elements in the building that are truly going to improve the health and wellbeing of the residents,” explained Speigel.
Each suite in AKRA Living will be finished with an Energy Recovery Ventilator device to provide a continuous supply of fresh air and support a restful environment. Similarly, each residence’s HVAC unit will be equipped with HEPA/MERV filters to maintain the highest standard of indoor air quality. Built-in closet units, pantries, functional kitchens and linen closets will lend plenty of storage in every home, allowing each residence to feel organized and clutter-free. Integrated Curated Intelligence technology powered by Smart One will help make everyday tasks more seamless with hands-free entry, automated parcel delivery and smartphone access. Suites at AKRA Living will range from studio to three-bedroom layouts, catering to different households across all phases of life.
“We’ve designed suites and created spaces for storage so that people can live less cluttered, more peaceful lives. All of that was top of mind when we were picturing the design and concept for this project,” said Speigel.
For more information on AKRA Living, register your interest today at akraliving.com.