If the term isn’t familiar, a master-planned community is a large-scale neighbourhood with a number of amenities, both commercial and recreational, available to residents either exclusively or as part of the surrounding area. These communities are carefully planned to include such amenities as recreational facilities, stores, restaurants and service businesses, as well as nearby parks, schools, healthcare services and access to major roadways and public transportation. Typically, it’s all part of the developer’s master plan to create a self-contained environment in which residents can potentially live, work, shop and play.
Many master-planned communities are suburban, but these days, developers are also looking to the downtown core, explains Samson Fung, vice president of marketing for Tridel, residential condominium developer at The Well, a new master-planned community currently being developed in the downtown west neighbourhood of Toronto. “We’re looking at the creation of a neighbourhood where residents can enjoy the convenience of having their needs met without stepping out of the community, right in the heart of the city.”
The Well will encompass three million sq-ft. from Draper to Spadina and from Front to Wellington. “It’s a community that will be particularly inviting because residents will enjoy a unique lifestyle experience that will differ from other downtown neighbourhoods and other master-planned communities,” says Fung.
The plan includes seven towers; one office tower at the north-west corner of Front and Spadina, three condominium buildings and three rental buildings. The buildings will sit on top of a three- to five-storey podium; the majority of the space within the podium will be retail with some commercial. “We predict many people may choose both to live and work here,” adds Fung.
The residential offerings will include something for everyone, from higher-end, spacious and luxurious units on Wellington, called The Well Signature Series, to smaller units that would suit singles and young couples on the Front Street side. “We have rentals and condos to suit anyone who wants to enjoy all the benefits of a contemporary urban lifestyle,” says Fung.
Retailers will include a number of high-end and boutique shops. “You won’t see the big-box stores here. The retail experience will be more organic and unique to this location,” explains Fung. “It will centre around Wellington Market, a market similar to St. Lawrence Market, with individual food vendors. And along the Wellington promenade, there will be a number of excellent restaurants.”
Like most master-planned communities, amenities include fitness facilities and parks. But the downtown location of The Well is the biggest draw. “You’re walking distance or a short commute to the financial district, shopping on Queen Street West, University of Toronto, Billy Bishop Airport, the theatre district on King Street West, the hospitals of the University Health Network, TIFF Lightbox and Scotiabank Theatre, Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena,” says Fung.
“The real bonus of this master-planned community is the convenience of downtown amenities combined with great food and shopping, all in a community where you can live and work, And because it’s in the heart of the city, there’s no need to fight traffic, or even own a car if you don’t want to.”
Written by The Star