On the map: New Long Branch project combines condo convenience with townhome roominess

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 South Etobicoke’s Long Branch neighbourhood has long been a place where things meet: the land and the lake, diverse cultures, railway lines and transit routes — and now, with the launch of Minto Communities’ Westshore project, condo and townhome design.

Developed by Minto in partnership with Toronto-based architecture firm BDP Quadrangle, the first phase of the 509-unit community, The Heights, combines attributes of condo living, such as underground parking, elevator access, rooftop terraces and shared internal corridors, with the multi-storey layouts and street access of stacked split-level townhomes. The second phase will focus on stacked towns, and the third on conventional ones.

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“What we’re calling ‘hybrid towns’ are really resonating,” says Matt Brown, Minto’s director of product development. “We know people still like ground-oriented homes, and that living in a condo tower isn’t for everyone. I live in a condo myself, and when my partner and I were both working in our unit it was a challenge. A two-storey suite helps with that because there is physical separation, and you can repurpose one of the secondary bedrooms as an office.”

Ranging from 472 to 1,282 square feet and from one to three bedrooms, suites in The Heights span three categories: Sky Towns, with two-storey upper units and rooftop terraces, one-storey Flats with balconies, and two-storey Garden Towns with street-level patios. The Sky Towns are particularly unconventional in that their bedrooms are located below their main entrances, with rooftop terraces directly above an open-concept living, dining and kitchen floor. Not only does this provide enough interior space for two-storey windows in some units, it also helps with mealtime logistics. “If you’ve ever had a rooftop terrace and have gone to make hamburgers but have forgotten the ketchup, it’s typically two floors down,” Brown notes. “But with our Sky Towns, the kitchen is just one floor down.”

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Minto Communities
Elevators in all seven of The Heights’ five-storey blocks means more barrier-free suites are on offer, useful to multi-generational groups or residents with disabilities. Photo by Minto Communities photograph

The presence of elevators in all seven of The Heights’ five-storey brick- and stone-clad blocks “allows us to offer more barrier-free suites,” Brown adds. “This means families wanting to have their older loved ones close by can combine a Sky Town with a single-storey Flats unit, and have both separately accessible by elevator. Or we have three-bedroom suites in which the main living level has a bedroom and a barrier-free bathroom.”

With elevators serving alternating floors and corridors occupying just two of each block’s five storeys, Westshore’s hybrid towns “give us more space to dedicate towards units,” says BDP principal Richard Witt.

The space includes eight- or nine-foot ceilings, designer cabinetry, stone countertops, stainless-steel appliances, walk-in and linen closets, and glass shower and patio doors. Other features, such as in-suite metering, LED lighting, lighting motion sensors and water-efficient plumbing fixtures and toilets, target Energy Star certification by exceeding the Ontario Building Code energy-efficiency standard by a minimum of 15 percent. “With the cost of a mortgage these days, energy efficiency is more important than ever,” Brown adds.

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The Heights’ communal amenities are all contained in Block 5. They include an open-concept multi-purpose room equipped with a coffee bar, television, fireplace and outdoor terrace, a dog run and a dedicated property management office. Cars and bicycles, meanwhile, can be parked in the community’s underground garage, which will also offer locker storage facilities and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

“If you’ve been living in a one-bedroom condo somewhere like Liberty Village or downtown Toronto, and your life circumstances have changed — maybe you have a partner now, or are expecting a child, or are supporting your parents more — these units give you more space with many of the same nearby urban amenities that suit your lifestyle,” Brown says. “And if you want or need to get downtown, Westshore is a 10-minute walk from the Long Branch GO station, which is two stops away from Union Station.”

Starting in the $500,000s. For more information, visit minto.com or the Westshore Sales Centre at 3605 Lake Shore Blvd. W. in Etobicoke.

Minto Communities
The Sky Towns are two-storey upper units with rooftop ter-races. Photo by Minto Communities photograph

Three things

As part of the Lakeshore West Line GO Expansion, ongoing renovations to Long Branch station include new entrance buildings, new tunnels with elevators and stairs to the platforms, new pedestrian walkways, bike lanes and bike shelters, and a new secure bike storage room. 20 Brow Dr.

Colonel Samuel Smith Park offers picturesque views of Lake Ontario year-round, bountiful bird-watching in spring and fall, and a figure-eight ice-skating trail through landscaped parkland when temperatures dip. 3145 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

With a lively outdoor patio and special events ranging from live music to a Christmas Market, the Long Branch Social House is aptly named. Its menu includes sharable items, such as a flatbread topped with caramelized onion, duck confit, feta, arugula, and drop peppers. 3595 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

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