Are We Ready for 2015 Games?
The last condo in the Canary District--a master-planned community that'll initially serve as the Athletes' Village for the 2015 Pan Am Games--has topped off. We dropped by for a tour (and plan on hiding in one of the rooms 'til we're put on the Canadian badminton team).
"I have been working with concrete my whole life," Kilmer Group vice chairman Ken Tanenbaum (right, with Dundee Kilmer Developments president Jason Lester) told us as we snapped this pic. "I know I shouldn't be doing this but I am going to do it anyway." After it's done with the games, the community will transform into a live-work-play area for the rest of us folks who don't look good in gym shorts. On the tour, we saw the 82k SF YMCA in the distance, and beyond that the 500-bed residence for George Brown College (below). There will also be two affordable rental buildings and the condo districts.
The site blends old and new buildings. Tapping into the area's history (next to the Distillery District), there are three heritage buildings that will be part of the community, a mix of different designs that Jason refers to as "cohesive diversity." A century-old Foundry Building (below), owned by the provincial government, is a unique structure with magnificent natural light and lots of open space, to be used as a staging area during the Games. It's use after the Games? "You let your imagination run wild," Ken tells us. It would be ideal for a gallery or a market, he adds. (We may need to discuss his definition of "wild.") All buildings have been designed to achieve LEED Gold and have green roofs.
Don't expect a lot of your standard retail fare here, Jason tells us. Dundee was involved in the redevelopment of the Distillery District, and anyone who has been there knows the goal of "unique" retail Jason is looking for. With the Games legacy, Jason says to expect a lot of health and wellness—yoga studios, health food stores, cafes, and restaurants. Arts and culture is also a big focus.