This Ain't Your Granny’s Old Folks Home
High Street Developments has launched Yee Hong Garden Terrace Richmond Hill, a luxury condo for active Chinese seniors created in tandem with Canada’s largest nonprofit geriatric care centre. Builder Alan Hirschfield tells us more.
Here’s Alan with Dr. Joseph Wong, an Order of Canada recipient and the founder of Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, which serves 15,000 seniors nationwide. They must have a winning formula: “I believe the average age in their buildings is around 97,” says Alan. “That’s unheard of.” Located at 9750 Yonge St, Yee Hong Garden Terrace Richmond Hill will include two residential towers tied together by a podium that houses seniors-targeted retail at ground level, and medical offices above. Suites will average around 820 SF, or “bigger than normal."
With 310 suites, the community’s scale is small compared to competing senior-focused housing projects, which can sometimes have triple that unit count. “We don’t think that concentration is right," says Alan. "In urban settings, you want to integrate different uses in a finer grain.” High Street is partnering with Highstar Building on the $140M development. Alan, a Richmond Hill resident, says his team had been searching for a site there for a year. Yee Hong, with four long-term care centres operating in Scarborough, had also been seeking a Richmond Hill location. “Their target demographic had started moving there," Alan says.
Garden Terrace Richmond Hill will offer an assortment of amenities and on-site medical and monitoring services to enable residents to live independently and age in place. “When people move out of their house, they only want to move once,” Alan says. And with design by Turner Fleischer Architects and interiors by Johnson Chou Inc—major players in TO's high-end condo world—this luxe project will be accessible for seniors yet boast features (on-demand heating/cooling) and suite finishes (granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, porcelain tile flooring) that make it a far cry from old folks homes of yore.
Garden Terrace will be operated on a nonprofit basis by Yee Hong, which will co-own suites. There’ll be 37 on-site staff. “Almost like on a cruise ship,” says Alan, noting today’s seniors “don’t want to be put aside, they want to be right in the middle of the action.” Close to Hillcrest Mall, T&T Supermarket, transit and other local amenities, the condo complex will have a restaurant, library, common kitchen, fitness room, table tennis, indoor badminton courts, mah-jong room and rooftop terrace with greenhouse.