11 Wellesley Condos
11 Wellesley Condos
There’s been a lot of controversy around the plot of land at 11 Wellesley, just West of Yonge Street. This is a coveted gem for condo developers, but many Torontonian’s worry that there aren’t enough parks in the area.
The controversy peaked about a month ago, ending with an intense bidding war. It was finally decided that the land will be used for a major condo development. The property was bought by Lanterra Developments, one of Toronto’s biggest developers.
Parks and smart investment
I’ve been following the controversy around 11 Wellesley for a while now. The park prospect seemed like a great option. Green spaces add so much to downtown neighbourhoods.
I think of the nearby green space at College Park and what it’s done for the area. People need parks to get outside, experience nature, walk their dogs. They need parks to connect with their community.
Park-adjacent property is also worth more to investors. Established parkland is usually safe from being crowded by big developments. Buyers know a park view won’t be blocked by a massive wall of windows anytime soon.
11 Wellesley Reaching a compromise
So when the park plan didn’t come through for 11 Wellesley, I was a pretty disappointed.
Then I saw Lanterra’s project plan. It isn’t just another mass of steel and concrete. They’ve actually decided to incorporate a 1.5 acre community park. This green space is added at the foot of the 50 storey building, and will be open to the public.
Lanterra could have paid cash to bypass city requirements for a green space – meaning more profit for them when the condos started selling. Instead they decided to work with the city toward an on-site compromise.
Keeping our city green
We often think of condos as part of the environment problem. If you take a closer look, they could actually be part of the green solution.
With the right developer, high rise condos combat problems like urban sprawl, which is a big problem for our city. They make good use of downtown space, attracting more people to live in the core. As newer buildings, they also have a chance to incorporate the latest green technology.
When you think about Toronto’s traffic and smog problem, making the downtown core more compact is a viable solution. For the most part, downtown high-rise buildings use less space and consume less energy. The people who live in them are also more likely to walk, bike, or take transit instead of driving.
Again, a lot of this depends on the developer.
If 11 Wellesley’s fate was to host a condo building, Lanterra was one of the better developers for making it green. They have a solid reputation for building with the environment in mind. Their Maple Leaf Square residences just got awarded a Silver Certification by LEED. Their upcoming Ice Condominiums project at York Centre features an extensive green roof. It’s likely that 11 Wellesley will unfold in a similarly green direction.