Property Biz Canada

Toronto’s innovative The Plant wins BILD award


The Plant won’t be completed for more than a year, but the mixed-use development at 41 Dovercourt Rd. in Toronto is off to a great start as BILD’s mid-/high-rise project of the year.

Image: The Plant in Toronto, being constructed by Windmill Development Group and Curated Properties.

The Plant in Toronto, being constructed by Windmill Development Group and Curated Properties. (Rendering courtesy Windmill)

“We’re very pleased to have won the award, especially given the many other projects that are now underway in the Toronto area,” said Alex Speigel, a partner with Windmill Development Group, which is developing The Plant with Toronto-based boutique developer Curated Properties.

“It is encouraging to see that BILD recognized the many innovative features in the project in such a crowded field.”

All of The Plant’s 78 units are sold, and almost all of them were claimed within two weeks of becoming available — owing not only to its enviable location in the vibrant West Queen West neighbourhood, but everything else the 10-storey, Kohn Shnier architects and SMV Architects-designed condominium will offer.

The Plant’s features and amenities

About two-thirds of The Plant’s suites have two bedrooms, but there are also studios, three-bedroom and four-bedroom suites. They range in size from 420 to 1,500 square feet and in price from the low $300,000s to $1.5 million. The interiors were done by multi-disciplinary design studio + tongtong.

The Plant’s eco-friendly suites will also feature geothermal heating, LED lighting and low-VOC materials. They can be customized with extra pantries, industrial metal racks and integrated wood table extensions. The Plant will also feature large balconies and terraces as well as heated bicycle parking and a bike repair zone.

What really sets The Plant apart, however, are its plans to be self-sustaining and self-reliant by introducing agriculture and food production to the community. The “terrace-to-table” concept will bring features and amenities that facilitate food production, including an internal greenhouse/nursery to cultivate seeds and grow plants and an industrial-style kitchen.

The Plant will feature a green roof, planter boxes, communal garden plots and eating areas, a cistern for irrigation, a façade of greenery on a large exterior accent wall, and efficient building materials and practices.

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“There was a strong response due to the building design, wide and shallow unit design with ample daylight, oversized balconies and the emphasis on urban agriculture,” said Speigel.

The Plant will include 9,500 square feet of street-front retail along Dovercourt and Sudbury Street. A fitness facility has signed on and there are discussions with a juice bar and a café/restaurant that will reinforce the healthy living theme of the building.

There will be 12,500 square feet of office space on the second floor. Windmill and Curated Properties will occupy about one-third of the space and will co-manage a co-working space meant to attract like-minded people and companies involved in such fields as design, sustainability, technology and marketing.

Windmill and Curated Properties

Ottawa-based Windmill is a development company that harnesses innovations optimizing the use of land, water, air, energy and building materials towards a goal of zero ecological footprint buildings. All of Windmill’s projects have achieved LEED Platinum certification.

Curated Properties is known for designing bold and innovative residences, including: The Plant’s neighbour property (Cabin Condos): a boutique loft townhome project (Annex Loft Houses); a converted century-old yarn factory (Lanehouse on Bartlett); and a townhome project atop a low-rise office building (Dovercourt 455).

“We think there are complementary skills in both companies,” said Speigel. “We are very pleased with the synergies that have developed between our two companies and are now looking at new opportunities to pursue together.”

While it’s too early to reveal any more details, Speigel said Windmill and Curated Properties are looking at two other Toronto sites on which to joint venture.

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Steve McLean

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot Canadian Bands and has taught reporting to college students. He is based in Toronto.

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