Mattamy Homes is returning to a familiar Alberta community for its latest project, a new phase of about 625 homes plus neighbourhood amenities at the master-planned Southwinds development in Airdrie, just north of Calgary.
“Airdrie was the first market that Mattamy entered in Alberta, back in 2007," said Joe Case, Mattamy's vice-president, land development for its Alberta division.
"Airdrie’s always been a great place to do business for us as a company. It’s a great community for young families to live in. It’s a real family-oriented city. There is a real appreciation of open space and the connection to nature and the agricultural history of the area.
"Getting to blend the love of open space, that respect for agriculture and the history of the area, into a new built-form, a new community and new houses is a really unique and fun opportunity for us. It’s been a great place for us to put down roots in Western Canada.”
The new phase at Southwinds also incorporates space for a future recreation centre and high school.
While the number of homes in this phase is somewhat smaller than what Mattamy is used to, it’s part and parcel with accommodating those facilities. The homes will be a combination of single-family and row townhomes.
Case said full build-out for the residential component is anticipated in 2026 or 2027. Development at Southwinds began in 2013 and it will be about 1,750 homes when it the community is completed.
Mattamy in Alberta
As might be expected for a company returning to a community where it's already completed one major housing development – the 1,250 homes at nearby Windsong – Case is a big booster for the city, and the province as a whole.
“It’s a great place to raise a family," Case said. "When you look at the other markets that Mattamy operates within Canada, Alberta always stands out for the level of amenity within close proximity, the opportunity for a great job and then the affordability factor.
"You look at our operations in the Ontario market and Alberta is certainly distinct for all three of those things that I mentioned."
From its initial launch in Airdrie, Mattamy has significantly grown its presence in Alberta. It has three master-planned communities at various stages of the development cycle in Calgary - Yorkville, Carrington and Cityscape.
On completion, Yorkville and Cityscape will have about 3,000 homes each, while Carrington will have about 2,600 dwellings.
Mattamy is also active in Alberta's other major urban centre, Edmonton.
It has a master-planned community in Stillwater and is opening its second development, Hearthstone, in Sherwood Park, just east of Edmonton. Stillwater will ultimately have about 1,600 homes while Hearthstone is to comprise just over 1,800 homes.
Case said Mattamy’s major focus right now is on energy efficiency in the product it develops.
“We are targeting to have every single one of our houses Energy Star rated. So that’s really looking at reducing the energy required to heat or cool a house.
"That makes it, for our customer, a lot more affordable for them to live in the house and it also makes the house a lot more comfortable to live in," Case said.
However, Case said Mattamy is also beginning to introduce energy production within its communities in a further effort to reduce its carbon footprint and to prepare homes for a future with less reliance on fossil fuels.
"We know that as we strive toward reducing our carbon emissions and getting to net zero by the targets that we’re working on establishing, we need to supplement that energy reduction with some energy production," he said. "So we are piloting and experimenting with geothermal heating and cooling in our community of Hearthstone in Sherwood Park and we are piloting and offering solar panel systems across the province.
“But the real focus is on that energy efficiency and home comfort, which is working on reducing the energy requirements of our housing operations."
An update in Toronto
On another front, Mattamy has just received approval for a proposed 13-storey multiresidential development at 1660 Bloor St. W., in the highly desirable neighbourhood of High Park in Toronto.
Known as Westbend Residences, the BDP Quadrangle-designed project is to contain 174 condo apartments. They'll be a blend of one-, two- and three-bedroom units with prices starting in the $600,000s according to Mattamy's website.
Part of the attraction for the project is its proximity to transit, with two TTC subway stations within a short walk, as well as the Bloor GO and UP Express station.