North York isn’t exactly downtown, but a new condo project coming to 4050 Yonge St. is hoping to offer the best of both worlds. The Gupta Group’s Yonge City Square, the first high-end residential complex planned for Hoggs Hollow in 20 years, has frontages facing the cityscape and the Don Valley Golf Course, on the threshold between the core and the burbs.
“We purchased Yonge City Square about eight years ago and that’s when we first started brainstorming about a possible multi-purpose structure,” says Steve Gupta, founder and chairman of The Gupta Group. “The plan is to create residences that merge resort-style living with transit convenience, as the complex sits at the hub of all Toronto has to offer.” The 704-unit condo will launch two residential towers at 14 and 28 storeys.
“This is a really unique area because it’s close to St. Clair Village and Yorkville but also convenient for those who might head to cottage country around Muskoka,” he says. “On average, it might take people 45 minutes to get to the 401. This project is just one minute away. That’s a lot of time saved on your commute to a weekend getaway.” The location is also close to Yorkdale and Fairview malls and has a direct, built-in connection to the York Mills subway station.
Mansoor Kazerouni, global director of buildings at the IBI Group, says the buildings’ architectural design takes cues from the contrasting environments surrounding the property: “The complex really mediates between an urban environment to the south (and) east and a protected conservation area to the north (and) west.” IBI wanted to steer clear of the generic glass tower look, he notes, given the variable landscape found within the 3.5 acres of land sequestered for the build.
“For the taller building, we integrated vertical shaft-like elements made with precast limestone with a grid pattern to them,” says Kazerouni. “These frame the balconies, which move back into a step formation.” Grounded by a four-storey podium, the taller building exudes what he calls “classic New York buildings” and is punctuated by dramatic bay windows.
“For materials, we created a visual play between the use of alternating light limestone and dark metals,” explains Kazerouni. “The overall look is classic, but with a bit more personality.”
The IBI Group also worked with Gupta to conceptualize access to the outdoors. Oversized terraces provide outdoor living space and are partially covered for protection from the elements. “This is really important for those who might be downsizing from a more generous-sized home and backyard,” says Gupta.
In the east tower, Kazerouni says the architectural style picks up on a similar vocabulary but projects a more formal exterior. “It has a more modern vernacular, with simpler lines, and is a little more contemporary in its disposition.” The east building suites also sit above designated office space; it faces Yonge Street and is directly above the entrance to the York Mills subway. The main access for vehicles is off Wilson Avenue.
Amenities include an outdoor pool on the ninth floor terrace, alongside cabanas, barbecue stations, an outdoor prep kitchen, fire pit and dining lounge; an entertainment lounge outfitted with golf simulators overlooking the picturesque Don Valley Golf course; an all-ages games room, children’s playground, library with fireplace, business and fitness centers, 24-hour concierge, private movie theatre and an art gallery.
“The lobby is really spectacular,” says Alessandro Munge, principal at Studio Munge, which is overseeing the interiors. “Together with Mr. Gupta and IBI Architects, we really co-created a vision for what this residence could be on a human scale.” To bring drama to the moment of arrival, Munge says, organic bronze was used, creating a dynamic ceiling that complements limestone walls and marble floors.
“When people come into this space, they will feel as though they’ve arrived in a hotel — or imagine you are in Tiffany’s in New York,” says Munge. “It’s got that level of glamour and sense of luxury.” An oversized chandelier hangs above; behind the concierge desk is an artist-commissioned mural.
The suites themselves have ceilings as high as 12 feet, along with quartz countertops and backsplashes in the kitchens, while flooring and fixtures can be customized by the purchasers. Suites begin at 350 square feet; pricing at $599,990.
“It’s always a challenge to create the best-looking kitchen, especially when you are working with a 350-square-foot living space, but we achieved this (by) making sure the kitchens felt tall,” says Munge, using higher baseboards, Cornish trim and upper cabinets with ribbed glass.
“This likely isn’t a first-time buyer,” says Munge of the typical resident at Yonge City Square. “It’s someone downsizing or investing in something, possibly for their own children.”