On the map: Riv condos, starting in the $500s, aim for affordability

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Compared to the relentless action of the late 2010s, downtown Toronto condo launches were few and far between during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that they’re picking up steam again, a new high-rise project at River Street and Labbatt Avenue is laying claim to the title of “downtown’s most affordable condo launch.”

That’s how Phil Brennan, vice-president of residential development for Broccolini, describes The Riv, a 34-storey tower in pre-construction next door to the bustling construction site of River & Fifth, the Montreal-based developer’s first solo project in the GTA. “Affordability is a huge issue in Toronto, so we’re trying to bridge the divide between a typical condo and a place where families can find affordable places to live.”

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With real-estate consulting firm Urbanation reporting that the average price for new condos in the GTA hit $1,411 per square foot in the second quarter of 2023, Brennan credits the pandemic-induced condo slowdown for giving Broccolini “the chance to do some value-engineering on the building and look for ways to keep construction costs down and pass that on to purchasers.”

The Riv’s mid-$500,000s starting price, and $1,275-per-square-foot pricing for some three-bedroom suites, “have really been resonating with a wide range of buyers and investors” since public sales of its 388 units kicked off on Sept. 20, Brennan says. “I think this represents great value in a neighbourhood that’s at a crossroads between established areas like Riverside and Corktown, and future communities like the Port Lands and East Harbour, where new green spaces and transit options are already underway.”

Amenities
Amenities include a co-working studio, speakeasy bar and private dining space. Photo by Photo courtesy of Broccolini

This relative affordability was not achieved by cutting corners on architecture or amenities, Brennan adds. Designed by Toronto’s IBI Group, The Riv’s black-and-white façade, with an angular podium and a pixelated gradient pattern on its exterior, resembles a ship’s mast. “The building is very much in conversation with its location, both natural and urban,” says Mansoor Kazerouni, IBI Group’s global director of buildings. “For example, the mast-like beacon is a symbol of the resilience of the east-end neighbourhood.”

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Patton Design Studio is helming the interior design work, which includes more than 18,400 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities. Atop the six-storey podium, an outdoor terrace and lounge provides views of Toronto’s eastern waterfront and is home to a dog run, community garden and indoor-outdoor children’s playroom. Moving indoors, there’s a co-working studio, speakeasy bar, private dining space with catering kitchen, and a co-working lounge on the sixth floor, a fitness centre, yoga studio, listening studio and guest suite on the third, and an art studio, a party and gaming lounge, a bike storage and repair room, a “tool annex” for do-it-yourselfers, and areas for washing dogs, bikes and strollers one floor above grade.

Another outdoor amenity, a new pedestrian walkway to Bayview Avenue, will ease access to the Lower Don River multi-use trail, which in turn connects to Riverdale Park and Evergreen Brick Works to the north, and Corktown Common to the south. The project will also contribute widened tree-lined streets to the neighbourhood, as well as boutique retail spaces designed for cafés, shops and other small businesses.

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“The sales process for River & Fifth provided a lot of meaningful feedback for The Riv,” Brennan says. “Combined with the shifts we saw over the pandemic, we focused on including amenities that accommodate residents’ flexible schedules in terms of work, leisure time and family life.”

Interior
The interior design work is being helmed by Patton Design Studio. Photo by Photo courtesy of Broccolini

As with all of its neighbour’s 580 units, The Riv’s studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den, two-bedroom and three-bedroom suites will be equipped with Home by Broccolini, a smart-home system that allows residents to lock doors, access amenity spaces and admit visitors entry using a smartphone app or in-suite wall pad.

Units starting in the mid-$500,000s. For more information, visit therivcondos.com.

Three things

Spanning 7.3 hectares of its namesake neighbourhood, Corktown Common has expansive lawns, a splash pad, a playground and communal amenities including a fireplace, barbecues, picnic tables and restroom facilities. 155 Bayview Ave.

 Since replacing one of Toronto’s most notorious strip clubs, The Broadview Hotel has drawn diners to its Rooftop restaurant, which pairs locally sourced fare with panoramic views of the downtown skyline. 106 Broadview Ave.

 The City of Toronto recently received a $25-million donation from the Pierre Lassonde Family Foundation to fund the creation of a new public art trail along the mouth of the Don River in Toronto’s Port Lands. It will include two permanent pieces –— one by a leading Canadian artist, and another by an international artist — as well as a rotation series of contemporary installations.

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