Birchley Park was named the best overall project recently when the Canadian Brownfields Network announced its annual Brownie Awards. The awards recognize innovative efforts to rehabilitate sites that were once contaminated, under-utilized and undeveloped by remaking them into productive residential and commercial projects.
Birchley Park is located on Victoria Park Avenue, just south of Danforth Avenue and close to the Victoria Park subway and Danforth GO Transit stations in eastern Toronto. While development is well under way at the site, there’s a lot more still to come.
Scale of Birchley Park site was appealing
“The first thing that we're always looking for, and that gets us really excited, is scale,” Diamond Kilmer president Ty Diamond told RENX about the appeal of the site, which allows the developer to master-plan a community.
“There's a significant amount of remediation work associated with the redevelopment of the site,” said Diamond, noting that Kilmer Group has expertise in that area.
“Kilmer has the ability to recognize where the environmental contaminant risks are and design a development concept that allows you to mitigate that risk. In this case it’s predominantly through the removal of contaminated soil.”
Infrastructure, road and subdivision construction work is underway and — with the help of Enwave, CreateTO, Habitat for Humanity Canada, Evergreen and the City of Toronto, among others — Diamond Kilmer is developing a mixed-use community with new streets, more than 5.5 acres of public park space, more than 1,050 residential units and a retail component.
Birchley Park’s housing component
Habitat for Humanity will deliver affordable housing to the site through a 58-unit townhome block and a 124-unit mid-rise block that will be conveyed back to the City of Toronto to execute on.
There will be 870 units of market-priced housing developed over three phases at Birchley Park.
Condominium units, ranging in size from 374-square-foot junior one-bedrooms to 921-square-foot three-bedrooms, at the 12-storey Birchley Park 1 are on sale now. Occupancy is targeted for late 2026.
“Subsequent phases will be a function of the market timeline and absorption, but we're hoping they’ll follow shortly thereafter,” Diamond said. “All of the site infrastructure, including the park land, is tracking on the same timeline as Birchley Park 1, so this will be a livable community right away.”
The first two phases will include close to 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities. The focal point will be a shared courtyard with a four-season swim spa, while other amenities will include:
- a sauna and fitness centres;
- yoga and meditation space;
- a gym with a basketball half-court;
- an indoor children's play zone;
- a private dining room;
- a large terrace with tables, chairs and a fireplace;
- a party room;
- vehicle and bicycle parking;
- outdoor exercise equipment;
- and an open green space.
With a focus on climate resiliency and greenhouse gas reduction, Diamond Kilmer is working with Enwave to implement a geoexchange heating and cooling system for the first phase of the project. Enwave is one of the largest developers, owners and operators of district energy systems in North America and is recognized for its ability to optimize green energy sources.
The geoexchange system is expected to reduce annual carbon emissions by 62.3 per cent compared to traditional mechanical systems.
Other sustainability initiatives at Birchley Park will include 60 per cent green roof coverage, electric vehicle charging stations and a car-sharing service.
Other Diamond Kilmer developments
Reunion Crossing, an 11-storey condo and 76 stacked townhome development at 1808 St. Clair Ave. W. in Toronto, has been registered and construction is being finalized. A few units remain available for sale.
Zoning has been approved but no timelines have been set for a 14-storey, 183-unit condo at 954-958 Broadview Ave., a few blocks north of Danforth Avenue in Toronto. The development will include a heritage building restoration.
"We're a young company in the grand scheme of development, but Diamond Kilmer is a partnership between two long-standing veteran developers who have done many projects together in the past and formalized that partnership in a way that allows us to take on some of these more complex city-building sites,” Diamond explained.