In Toronto, the explosion of condominiums over the past 30 years has resulted in a number of different architectural building styles as trends in design have moved this form of shelter beyond simple utilitarian production-based shelter into slick places geared to specific lifestyles and target markets. I wrote about this back in 2013 in The Face Of Toronto Condo Living, which is just as relevant today for those interested in how the facades of condos have evolved.
One of my personal favourites - dating from 2010 - is well-suited to those who love light like I do. The arrival of condominium residences with crisp clean lines and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows was a much-welcome relief from the traditional brick facades with small windows endemic to Toronto condominiums dating fifteen to twenty-five years prior. Even on the dawn of the new millennium when condominiums were becoming more cutting-edge contemporary, they never successfully executed the strong linear scale and rhythm rooted in the International Style of the Modernist Architecture Movement.
In my opinion, this evolution in contemporary housing was a long time coming, given the pioneering masters of Modern Architecture, such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier were developing this new architectural style in the 1920's and 1930's. Subscribing to extreme clarity and simplicity, and the use of modern materials such as industrial steel, concrete slab and plate glass, the philosophy was to create an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order that would result in expansive free-flowing open interior space. Rooted in a rational approach of exacting proportion and scale to guide the creative process of architectural design, and known for the aphorism "Less Is More", this style blossomed in commercial architecture. In Toronto, the Toronto-Dominion Centre, a cluster of six towers and a pavilion covered in bronze-tinted glass and black painted steel, dating from 1967 to 1991, best exemplifies this Style.
It wasn't until 2007 Toronto began seeing the construction of more beautiful residential edifices that pay homage to the International Style (if not exact in their replication or attention to detail). Yes, purists do get their knickers in a knot that these buildings are not to the exacting level of detail (and therefore expense), but in my opinion they're far superior to the ubiquitous towers wrapped in polyurethane panels with glass inserts (many which are leaking and cracking towards obsolescence less than 10 years after construction). It started with the streamlined 'Sp!re' on the corner of Church and Adelaide Streets developed by Context (2007), followed by Cresford Development's very elegant 'Casa Condominio' located at 33 Charles Street East and the 'X''s, the sophisticated pair of towers located at Charles East and Jarvis developed by Great Gulf Homes, first finished in 2010.
If you've ever been curious to see what living in this aesthetic might be, allow me to showcase it in this Stunning Penthouse I've listed - offered for sale for $2,388,800 - located at 33 Charles Street East Suite 4601.
Located in Toronto's epicentre at Yonge and Bloor - which is just steps to Yorkville, Bloor Street's 'Mink Mile' and, given the two subway lines intersect here all connection points north, south, east and west - this luxe penthouse encompasses nearly 3,300 square feet of sublime indoor/outdoor space - including an expansive sun-soaked terrace with built-in barbecue and fridge. This is elevated urban living at it's best!
Casa Condominio Residenza was designed by architectsAlliance Ltd. and developed by reputable Cresford Developments. Completed in 2010, this opulent residence claims modern Italian architecture and design as a primary influence, and is highly sought-after by those who desire living spaces characterized by thoughtful elegance. The popularity of this building spurred two more iterations, Casa II and Casa II, but 33 Charles Street East is the enigmatic original. Rising to 46 storeys, this glass-and-steel symphony of modern architecture is a striking fixture on the Toronto landscape. The main entrance opens into an impressive atrium, where the chic decor is underplayed and tasteful, accenting a volumous space soaring five storeys high. chic décor. The building contains 420 well-appointed suites that range in size from 365 square feet to just under 2300 square feet, and most feature floor-to-ceiling windows (perfect for drinking in the “Bright Lights Big City” vistas) and 9.5" ceilings. Other welcome features include wide, open concept living, truly intelligent space plans, premium fixtures & fittings, and incredible entertainment spaces. All of these dreamy desirables combine to create a quintessential downtown domicile that you can't help but fall in love with. That said, there are only four penthouses, and only two with the coveted panoramic CN Tower and Lake Ontario views like this one, that offer a truly unique 'best of everything' style of living.
Here's some pics:
So who's the buyer for this? The Buyer for this residence is unlikely to locate north of Bloor because living in the heartbeat of the city is important to them. If they were to locate north of Bloor, they'd either choose a place in Yorkville or perhaps Yonge & Eglinton providing it was sky-high polished glam. This is a sophisticated affluent niche market with a high standard and exacting attention to detail. Think high-earning savvy fashion-forward 30 to 40-something swingles (possibly with a Trust Fund) or couples in the occupations of health care, technology, corporate finance/law/venture capital, media and/or entertainment (pretty much any of the movers and shakers on Dragon's Den); OR a cool creative professional divorced Dad with (almost) adult kids; OR a genuine rising star in his or her career-path with some high-style swag relocating from another city; OR an international buyer with deep pockets whose children need accommodation while attending U of T.
Are you looking to purchase a penthouse? Well-positioned amongst coveted amenities, in a setting of uncompromising elegance, this perfect penthouse at 33 Charles Street East is special. If you're cosmopolitan, a non-conformist, and on trend (if not trend-setting!) this rare offering - well suited to the urbanite with cultivated tastes and a mise en scene lifestyle - is certainly worthy of consideration!
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~ Posted by Steven Fudge, the purveyor of houseporn.ca and proprietor of Urbaneer.com, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.