On the map: Pickleball with a view of the lake

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With Toronto already home to more than 3,000 registered condo corporations, and with research firm Urbanation reporting that a record number of new units — nearly 32,000 — will be completed across the GTA in 2023, it would be fair to assume that the city has seen everything in terms of condo amenities.

Then along comes 8 Temple. Like many other condo buildings, the 16-storey project in pre-construction on its namesake street along the western outskirts of Liberty Village is home to a communal gym. But unlike any condo building in the GTA, according to developer Curated Properties, 8 Temple’s rooftop is outfitted with a glass-walled pickleball court, barrel saunas, and a fitness facility that spills out from indoors onto a turf-covered outdoor strength and conditioning area with a weight sled, kettlebells and pull-up bars.

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“Every condo has a gym, but it’s rare to see an active sport like pickleball as part of the amenity program,” says Jesse Speigel, Curated’s senior vice-president of development. “So we thought putting a court on the roof would be an interesting and fun way to differentiate ourselves. I have yet to play pickleball myself, but the prospect of playing 15 storeys up with a view of the lake and the skyline might just convince me to switch over from tennis.”

Speigel wouldn’t be alone in picking up a paddle for the first time. According to Pickleball Canada, more than one million Canadians played the sport in 2022, up from 350,000 in 2021.

As with Curated’s 22-storey AKRA condo project just north of Yonge and Eglinton, the interiors and amenities of 8 Temple are by Chapi Chapo Design, a Toronto-based firm known for its work with luxury hotel and resort brands including Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons.

“We’ve received really good feedback from our AKRA purchasers that wellness is top of mind for people living in condos,” Speigel says. “There are numerous documented health benefits to sauna routines, so combining that with fantastic views of the lake just makes sense.”

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Suite options include kitchen islands and pantries, linen closets and other custom storage areas. Photo by Curated Properties photograph

The amenity program at 8 Temple is designed to make residents of the building’s 269 units “feel like they’re on vacation in the city,” Speigel continues, with a plush lobby lounge, children’s play space, co-working space, underground bike parking, and more up on the rooftop: an outdoor theatre, a commercial grade indoor-outdoor kitchen, and private dining and lounge areas.

While not as head-turning as rooftop pickleball, another unusual feature is much more practical. Offered as optional add-ons to a limited number of suites, “concierge closets” allow bulky items such as strollers, suitcases and sports equipment to pass through separate doorways opening onto the building’s shared corridors, while also facilitating secure package drop-off by the concierge. “It’s a relatively simple yet extremely effective way to declutter and simplify your life,” Speigel adds.

Inside the one-, two- and three-bedrooms suites, where ceiling heights range from nine to 11 feet, other optional features include kitchen islands and pantries, linen closets and other custom storage areas. All units offer smart home technology powered by Bell and SmartONE, quartz countertops, undermount stainless-steel sinks with black designer faucets, ceramic tile backsplashes, custom cabinetry, soaker tubs, glass-enclosed showers and LED task lighting.

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Led by long-time Curated collaborator RAW, 8 Temple’s exterior architecture sees the stately podium and balcony-ringed tower descend to a dramatic arched opening clad in elongated masonry and decorated with a series of hand-laid coursing patterns. “We see 8 Temple as a nod to the architectural heritage of both West Liberty and the Parkdale neighborhood,” Speigel says. “If you purchase a unit in a building that’s right on King Street, or one that’s right in the heart of Liberty Village, you’re in the centre of the action. But sometimes, it’s nice to be ever-so-slightly removed, and to be able to duck in and out in a more leisurely fashion.”

Starting from $699,900. For more information, visit 8Temple.ca.

Three things

Integrated into the existing GO Train station, the Ontario Line’s Exhibition stop will also connect to the Exhibition Loop streetcar routes, and to the 29 Dufferin bus route, as the westernmost of the new light-rail transit line’s 15 stops. 100 Manitoba Dr.

Offered by the Liberty Village BIA, a free “Walk Liberty” tour guides smartphone users around the area while offering interactive content on its history, architecture and ongoing transformation.

Trillium Park provides early evidence of the revitalization of Ontario Place with a 1.3-km multipurpose trail, a covered pavilion, a lakeside fire pit, and waterfront and hillside sitting areas. 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

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