There is a lot in store for Toronto’s scenic waterfront community, including a variety of developments. One of the most expansive however, is Pinnacle International’s Pinnacle One Yonge master-planned community headed to the luxurious coveted 1 Yonge address.
The project will be comprised of three towers, standing at 65, 80 and 95 storeys. The end goal of the development is to include a public square, promenade, and most exciting, direct access to the underground PATH system.
We caught up with Anson Kwok, VP of Sales and Marketing for Pinnacle International, to chat about their exciting, ambitious development.
Check out the video below to hear what he had to say, or read through our questions below:
GTA-HOMES: One Yonge is an iconic address. What can you tell us about what the site itself offers for residents?
ANSON KWOK: Well it definitely is a iconic address, but also a really great neighborhood and community that we’re creating. It’s three residential towers; it’s two commercial towers along with retail, 50,000 square feet community centre — [it’s] really kind of one of those communities that has everything in one place.
AK: I think the great thing about the waterfront right now is that there’s so much growth. I mean, I think we started off with George Brown and Corus, but now we’re pretty much opening up the gateway to the entire East Bayfront. I think one of the things that’s been lacking is really the connection between this entire waterfront and Union Station in the rest of downtown, so we look forward to building this great community so that we connect through that.
GH: Let’s talk about the project itself. Tell us generally what we can expect from the first phase.
AK: The first phase is actually kind of the instrumental component of the entire community. It is a 50,000 square foot community centre for the entire neighbourhood. We’re building 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity for the entire community, but it’s a start off point. The first building is 65 storeys, 500 residential units — so it really is kind of the kick starter for a really great community.
GH: What are some unique features the project’s first tower, The Prestige, will offer?
AK: I think a couple of things that are really interesting, for the outdoor amenities we have our own 10,000 square foot dog park dog wash — which is kind of unique to have it in your own site, as well as a outdoor 150 meter walking track with exercise equipment. So, those are some outdoor amenities that you don’t really see unless you have a project or a community that’s of quite a large volume.
GH: Tell us about Hariri Pontarini, the architect. What made you choose him for this project?
AK: We have a quite a great relationship with HPA, with David Pontarini. We did the Pinnacle on Adelaide with David and his team in the past. They’re one of the most popular, great architects in Toronto.
You’re looking at projects such as Massey Tower, One Bloor — those are actually all from Hariri Pontarini. They’re actually great at building large master plan communities, because it is kind of unique to have an architectural firm that’s great at doing both planning residential and quite extensive commercial work as well.
GH: What kind of units and layouts will The Prestige feature? What kind of demographic do you see living here?
AK: Well, like tradition, I think Pinnacle tends to build bigger compared to most of the city. So, you won’t see us building any studios — but we’ve combined a lot of units. We’ve provided 15% three-bedroom units, so you’ll see units up to 1,900 square feet.
We start at 500 square feet, but definitely our focus is more two bedrooms than three bedrooms — because I think the population kind of demands that. You see a lot more people living downtown because they enjoy the lifestyle but they kind of outgrow their space.
one of the things that’s lacking is the connection between this waterfront and Union Station in the rest of downtown, we look forward to building this great community so that we connect [THAT]
GH: This development will eventually be an entire community. What can we expect from the remaining phases?
AK: I think the two remaining phases are going to be quite interesting. I mean, obviously we have a 95 storey building which will be the one of the tallest buildings in Canada, if not the tallest. It’s over one thousand feet tall and 95 storeys, but it also provides a nice hotel inside as well, which will add to the community.
Then, the second [and] third phase of the residential component will help bring The PATH over to our site. The PATH is obviously instrumental in being part of the residential community but also the two office buildings. In this building we have in total about 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, so The Path will be a beneficial component to that.
GH: The development has a significant commercial aspect to it as well. What kind of retail or office opportunities will we see?
AK: We’re working with a bunch of retailers right now. We have 75,000 square feet of retail on-site, so we’re speaking with restaurants and a grocery store. It really is going to make this neighborhood kind of a morning until night neighborhood, not just your typical office environment where it’s you know 8:00 to 5:00. Including 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, there’s going to be a very vibrant, kind of “live, work and play” community that we’re trying to create.
GH: What do you believe makes the perfect master-planned community?
AK: I think master-plans are something that we work on quite a bit with Pinnacle, and the interesting thing about community is that we we need to appreciate that it’s never going to be the same from when we first planned it. It has to continue to evolve, and I think we’ve seen a lot of the families starting to evolve within our own communities. So, Pinnacle Center — which is behind me here — we have many purchasers that purchased in two, three, four of the buildings because their families just got bigger and the demands changed.
That’s what we’re really kind of trying to push. You know, creating that family-friendly environment for families to grow up in — and definitely in Toronto…a lot of people start off with a small one-bedroom unit but they need to grow, and we don’t want them to grow out of the building and community. So, for us it’s spending the time to focus on the layouts so that — as well as bringing other pieces in such as retail, office — people can really sustain their livelihoods for a long period of time.
GH: Pinnacle International has developments all over the world. What makes the GTA so desirable to build in?
AK: For Pinnacle International, we’re a Canadian-based company. We’re based out off Vancouver, Edmonton, San Diego and Toronto — we build in all those cities. The GTA is extremely attractive in Canada because it is the finance capital of Canada, but it’s also very vibrant so we’ve been able to find very strong locations where it’s really changing the culture of live, work and play. [We’re] using that kind of mantra to find great locations and create great living opportunities for Canadians.
Pinnacle International boasts ample experience with development, design, construction and management of luxury projects including condos and hotels. Based in Vancouver, they are responsible for the building of some of its most high-end hotels. They also have expanded into the GTA, developing a variety of skyscrapers within the cosmopolitan city.