Urban living in Toronto definitely has its perks, but for renters and condo owners, the lack of gardening space and connection to nature is a big issue.
“People want homes they can actually live and grow in,” says interior designer John Tong. “They want communities where neighbours know each other and have something to share. A condo should be part of a longer-term vision for living in an urban environment while also remaining connected to nature.”
That’s why he’s working with developers Windmill and Curated Properties, who are partnering to create the Plant. It’s a condo building set to be developed on the site of Dufflet Bakery’s Toronto food production plant on Dovercourt at Sudbury.
“When we started planning the Plant with Curated Properties, we wanted to push the boundaries of what it means to be sustainable,” says Jonathan Westeinde, CEO of Windmill.
“Sustainability means designing highly efficient buildings with eco-friendly technologies. But there’s also social sustainability, as well as promoting a general awareness and consciousness around our connection to nature.”
And so, although both community green spaces and rooftop gardens have been seen in real estate before, this project plans to include an internal greenhouse where residents can cultivate seeds, along with amenities designed specifically to allow food prep and event hosting.
“There is no reason you can’t live downtown and grow your own herbs. The benefit of this project is that residents can maintain that connection to nature and experience the social interactions that emerge around gardening and food in general,” says Westeinde. “As more people trend toward condo living, it’s up to developers to continue to innovate.
“Urban agriculture is an area that is ripe for innovation.”
This is the third project on Dovercourt from Curated Properties targeting a demographic of individuals committed to sustainability.
Westeinde says that the Plant’s project planning has integrated food-growing opportunities into the entirety of the building, incorporating container gardens in rooftop amenity spaces, ample outdoor space, shallow units with angled terraces to allow light in and a south-facing glass wall in the kitchen amenity space to optimize incubating seedlings.
“Although the project is located in a neighbourhood with an abundance of venues for amazing food and entertainment, we feel that people who are interested in food not only like to eat, but also like to cook,” adds Tong.
“The concept for this development was to create homes that promote the well-being of inhabitants and of the larger community.”
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