With Occupancies at Selene Underway, the Last Phase of Metrogate is Almost Complete
Not long ago, the 17-acre site that would become the successful Metrogate community was not much more than a sprawling patch of asphalt that housed a TTC trucking depot. Now, just over a decade later, keys are being turned over, and homeowners are taking occupancy of their new homes at Selene, the seventh and final phase of the award-winning Metrogate community.
As we put the finishing touches on Selene and celebrate occupancy for the homeowners excitedly moving into their new homes, we look back at the success of this Scarborough community.
The seven Metrogate towers stand proudly alongside the neighbouring Metrogate townhomes, all overlooking the self-contained enclave of pedestrian-friendly streets, and beautifully manicured Metrogate Park. At the south end of the park stands the two 40 storey towers of Solaris 1 and 2. Ventus 1 and 2, each standing 30 storeys, mark the eastern edge of the neighbourhood. Nestled along the western edge of the park, flanked by walking paths, are the 3 and 4 bedroom Metrogate townhomes and to the north are the two 35 storey towers of Avani 1 and 2. Selene, a new 31 storey tower compromised of 296 suites snugly tucked back from the main thoroughfare at the north-east corner of Metrogate gate, now joins the new community.
A LEED® Neighbourhood Development
One of Canada’s first LEED® Neighbourhood Developments, Metrogate was constructed using the latest state-of-the-art sustainable green technologies to create a community that improves residents’ overall health and lifestyle while using less energy and water to achieve cost savings. More impactfully, a fundamental principle of a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Neighbourhood Development is it’s the community-based approach, focusing not only on the ensuring a home that operates in a more energy-efficient manner but also on creating a community that enhances your lifestyle; with proximity to transit, green space, jobs, and other amenities.
The 1.7acre Metrogate Park, located at the heart of this new Scarborough neighbourhood, is a place for all residents to gather and enjoy. “The idea was to recreate a ravine type of setting because Toronto has so many ravines,” said Matthew Bernstein, Landscape Architect, at the time of the parks’ opening. “On the corner, there’s a public plaza for gathering. You can walk through the pathway below grade then come up to the main access area that leads to the playground. It’s got an amazing playground. The north end is an open space, kids can kick a ball or play catch or run around on the grass.” Indeed, the park is a hub that draws residents in, with quiet park benches, a playground area, and an inviting landscape.
A Self-Sufficient Neighbourhood
One realization of this self-sufficient design led to the inclusion of the two thoughtfully planned, independently operated Daycare Centres. Neighbourhood residents, whose children have priority admission, have access to daycare, just steps from home. A dental office at the foot of Solaris was also a welcome addition to the community.
For Tridel Project Director, Luke Johnson, who has worked in the community for over a decade, Metrogate represents some personal and professional achievements. One of the original members of the Project Management team for the new development, Luke remembers Tridel first purchased the property from the company he had previously worked for. “It was funny to buy the site from my previous company, who hadn’t had a clear vision on what to do with the property, Luke notes. “At Tridel, we pride ourselves on building communities, not just homes. Once we saw the Metrogate site, the scale, and the location, we realized we had an opportunity to develop an entirely new neighbourhood that would enrich the lives of those who lived there and enhanced the surrounding community. The LEED Neighbourhood Development guidelines offered us a comprehensive guideline on how to do that.”
A Community Focus
At the time, the LEED-ND designation was a pilot program that was only beginning to be introduced in Canada. This meant that the only guidelines available were those laid out and administered by the American Green Building Council, which offered some unique challenges for a Canadian project. “First, we had to convert everything from the imperial system of measurement to the metric system. For example, in the U.S., the residential speed limit is 25 miles per hour. Here, we had to change that to 40 km/hr. There were a lot of details like that, that we had to work out to ensure we designed the best community for our future residents.” In the end, Luke says, the challenges were very rewarding, “not only for having learned what was involved to be certified and to build a neighbourhood that was community-centric but also when you saw the list of projects involved in the pilot project. To see the Metrogate community listed with iconic, international projects like Whistler’s Olympic Village and the Beijing Olympic Village, it was pretty incredible and something I think the residents at Metrogate can take pride in.”
While it’s taken more than a decade of planning, hard work and dedication from the entire Tridel team and its affiliates, what was once a sprawling patch of land covered in asphalt in a great but under-appreciated location in Toronto’s east end has now become a thriving community, built on the principle of positively impacting the lifestyle of its residents.
For Nicholas Lin Yang, Sales Manager at Tridel, who began his career at the Metrogate community and purchased his first home in Solaris at the very beginning of the community’s transformation, and has also invested in the final phase at Selene. “I loved the neighbourhood. In fact, I helped my sister buy a townhouse here, also,” he said. “It feels like a private enclave within the city, with its own central park, but you can hop onto the Hwy 401 in minutes. It was perfect for my fiancé and me. Seeing it now, an established community of more than 2,580 homes, where friends and family live, there’s a deep sense of pride in having been a part of the development of this neighbourhood.”