On the map: Hotel living minus the condo fees

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The James, a new rental condo by Toronto-based developers Tricon in Summerhill/ Rosedale is geared to long-term renters – and in particular, “move-downers.”

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That’s how Andrew Joyner, managing director at Tricon Residential, describes what he predicts will be the project’s typical tenant. “These are people who raised their families here and wish to stay in the Rosedale area.”

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It’s for this reason 80 percent of the units in The James, spread over 21 floors, are two- and three-bedrooms, with an average suite size of 1,600 square feet. The largest of them sits at 4,000 square feet. “We anticipate that people coming from large homes will need additional space,” Joyner says.

Rental prices are yet to be determined but are expected to be higher than market value, given the location and high-end services on offer in the building, at 5 Scrivener Square, just east of Yonge near Marlborough.

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Suites have a touch of Danish minimalism: 9-foot flat ceilings, no bulkheads and wide-plank flooring.
Suites have a touch of Danish minimalism: 9-foot flat ceilings, no bulkheads and wide-plank flooring. Photo by Photo courtesy of Tricon

Joyner states the development – composed of 120 purpose-built rental units owned and operated by Tricon – “will rival the most high-end condos in the city” – a “lock and leave” hotel-inspired living facility minus the condo fees. “We really differentiate ourselves with a triple A location and our amenities,” he says. These include an outdoor infinity pool on the sixth floor, a 40-foot saltwater lap pool, a boutique fitness studio, massage and spa studio, and valet parking. It will also have special access to Toronto Life services and recommendations, meaning the concierges will be knowledgeable about locales covered by the publication.

An international architecture competition kicked off by Tricon netted the Danish architectural firm Cobe; it won the development deal with its plan for intimate street-level integration. The James is the first residential building in North American that has been designed by the acclaimed Danish firm.

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“It really has been an honour to work with Tricon,” says Dan Stubbergaard, founder and owner of Cobe, speaking of the “delicate, local context” of the area. “Situated between two of Toronto’s heritage pieces – the North Toronto (train) Station (now an LCBO) and the red brick buildings dubbed the Five Thieves – we really tried to combine the two distinct styles of their design.”

Kitchens come with customized Scavolini cabinetry and Gaggenau integrated appliances.
Kitchens come with customized Scavolini cabinetry and Gaggenau integrated appliances. Photo by Photo courtesy of Tricon

Cobe designed a hand-layed brick podium with different patterns of articulation. “Hand-layed brick really provides a beauty that you can’t replicate,” says Joyner. “It reveals a kind of craftsmanship that’s rare to find.” From the podium upwards, the building moves through different modular structures with four different heights at the top.

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There’s also a tower portion that is meant to reference the old North Toronto train station clock tower. “We wanted to express this relation between old and new structures through a concrete, vertical lamella structure that wraps around the tower and has the same material expression as the train station,” says Stubbergaard. “These are the small details that really enhance (the façade’s) vertical dimension.”

At ground level, the podium will showcase 11 retail locations and a strong pedestrian integration with a small piazza and fountain designed by Montreal-based landscape architect Claude Cormier. “We really wanted to enhance Yonge Street’s public realms by creating a distinct public space – but one with a high architectural finish,” says Stubbergaard. Rather than ‘scale-up,’ Cobe aimed to bring the aesthetic back to street level. “For us, The James was about scaling down to meet that granular scale of Yonge Street but to also mark this junction in the city as the landmark site that it is.”

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“We really didn’t want a traditional condo podium but rather something porous – sort of like what we call a Mayfair-style retail – an active place where the public and residents can weave in and out,” says Joyner. With more than 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, including upscale food stops, flower shops and cafés, Joyner says the idea was to invoke a European-style pedestrian level.

Amenities include a 40-foot saltwater lap pool, an outdoor infinity pool, a massage studio and valet parking.
Amenities include a 40-foot saltwater lap pool, an outdoor infinity pool, a massage studio and valet parking. Photo by Photo courtesy of Tricon

The suites themselves are equally luxurious with a Danish touch of minimalism. They will have 9-foot flat ceilings and no bulkheads, wide-plank flooring and bedrooms with an ensuite bathroom. Kitchens have customized Scavolini cabinetry and Gaggenau integrated appliances and a wine fridge. In the bathrooms, there will be porcelain slab flooring, double vanities and deep soaker tubs.

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The crane arrived on site in mid-November. Move-in for renters in set for 2025.

For more information, visit https://triconresidential.com/apartment/the-james/.

Three things

Harvest Wagon, part of Rosedale’s historic Five Thieves district, offers gourmet products and grab-and-go dishes – from grilled shrimp and braised ribs to cold-pressed juices. 1103 Yonge St.

Mineral features inspired Filipino-inflected dishes: jumbo crab leg with mango and chili, beef short rib in a passionfruit-saffron broth, an ube leche flan. 1027 Yonge St.

No living space is complete without a flower arrangement. Passion Flowers is just a few steps from The James. 410 Summerhill Ave.

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