The “kitchen-li­brary,”


Tech­nol­ogy is con­stantly push­ing the bound­aries of what’s pos­si­ble and con­sumers ex­pect the best. In re­sponse, de­vel­op­ers are pulling out all the stops to win prospec­tive home­buy­ers. Houses and con­dos are more in­no­va­tive than ever, in­cor­po­rat­ing new tech­nolo­gies, ameni­ties and up­grades for eas­ier, “greener” and more con­nected life­styles.

Go­ing green

Imag­ine a home that cre­ates more energy than it uses — and saves you hun­dreds of dol­lars on your util­ity bill. Minto Group Inc. (minto.com) has built that green dream, called a “net zero energy ready” home, in its Arcadia devel­op­ment in Kanata, Ont. Billed as one of the coun­try’s most energy-ef­fi­cient homes, the “Kil­lar­ney” is a 2,406-square-foot, three-bed­room house that blends tech­nol­ogy with in­no­va­tive de­sign and ma­te­ri­als to re­duce home energy con­sump­tion by a whop­ping 65 per cent.

Its heat­ing sys­tem is twice as ef­fi­cient as a nat­u­ral gas fur­nace and ad­vanced in­su­la­tion and triple pane win­dows help the house re­tain warmth. Its energy-mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem helps the home­owner track their energy use.

The most im­pres­sive part of the home is its roof, which can ac­com­mo­date so­lar pan­els to pro­duce as much energy as the home is ex­pected to con­sume in a 12-month pe­riod.

The home is open for pub­lic view­ing while Minto con­structs four town­homes with sim­i­lar energy tar­gets in the Arcadia com­mu­nity, to be sold upon com­ple­tion. Arcadia is be­ing used as a test site for fu­ture net zero energy de­vel­op­ments in other com­mu­ni­ties. The Kil­lar­ney model starts at $452,900.

Fancy ameni­ties

De­vel­op­ers of new con­do­mini­ums are get­ting cre­ative when it comes to ameni­ties. A new 38-storey res­i­den­tial build­ing by Cap­i­tal De­vel­op­ments and Freed De­vel­op­ments (red­path­con­dos.com) at 150 Red­path Ave. will boast a 24-hour in­house diner to serve both res­i­dents and passersby. Res­i­dents can or­der room ser­vice, as well as have food brought up to one of the build­ing’s other at­trac­tive fea­tures — a rooftop pool and deck.

With 25,000 square feet of in­door and out­door ameni­ties, Light­house Tower by Daniels Cor­po­ra­tion (daniel­swa­ter­front­con­dos.ca) — a 45-storey condo to be built at Queens Quay E. and Lower Jarvis St., over­look­ing Toronto’s wa­ter­front — will have the typ­i­cal fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties and party spa­ces, but also prom­ises some fairly unique bonuses.

So­phis­ti­cated home cooks and kitchen be­gin­ners alike can take ad­van­tage of the “kitchen li­brary,” a space stocked with shared ap­pli­ances for use, as well as cook­ing sem­i­nars and train­ing. The jam stu­dio will have gear and space for mu­si­cians of all lev­els to prac­tise and play, while the arts and crafts stu­dio will pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties for artists to cre­ate, learn and en­joy ex­hibits, pro­grammed by Artscape.

Big sound

Fu­tureDreamH­ome, an an­nual fea­ture at the Na­tional Home Show, showcases the best of de­sign, ar­chi­tec­ture and in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies in a model home to in­spire at­ten­dees. This year’s in­stal­la­tion — de­signed and con­structed by Michael Up­shall of Probuilt De­sign and Build com­pany (probuilt.ca) and Dar­ren Sanger-Smith of res­i­den­tial de­sign firm Struc­tured Cre­ations — fea­tured North Amer­ica’s first ever in­stal­la­tion of a com­pletely in­vis­i­ble, state-of-the-art sur­round sound sys­tem.

In the home’s recre­ational room, au­dio de­signer Keith Van­derkley used a se­ries of speak­ers from Dolby, Amina Tech­nolo­gies and Triad Speak­ers to cre­ate rich sound that seems to em­anate from all an­gles. The speak­ers are en­tirely in­vis­i­ble, hid­den from sight be­hind the screen and in the ceil­ings. Lis­ten­ers feel as though they are in the cen­tre of the sound; back­ground con­ver­sa­tions in a movie scene sound as though they’re hap­pen­ing be­hind you and a rain shower sounds as though it’s com­ing from above.

Triple-built homes

To en­sure its new res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties are con­structed with vir­tu­ally no er­rors or is­sues, Great Gulf Homes (great­gulf.com) builds them three times us­ing its H+ME Tech­nol­ogy. First, the home is built in vir­tual 3D and a team of ar­chi­tects, en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers care­fully ex­am­ine ev­ery el­e­ment.

Once all com­po­nents are tested and the 3D ren­der­ing is ap­proved, instructio­ns for con­struc­tion are de­liv­ered to a 200,000-square-foot man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity. There, each panel and wall is pre­ci­sion-en­gi­neered — in­clud­ing the roof. Be­cause each piece is built and stored inside, noth­ing is de­graded by the out­door el­e­ments. The home is then as­sem­bled on-site, of­ten in as lit­tle as two days. The homes are more struc­turally sound and are con­structed with al­most no er­rors or de­lays.

There are cur­rently H+ME Tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ments across Ontario in Oakville, Brad­ford, Bramp­ton and East Gwillimbur­y, with fu­ture projects planned for Whitby, Mil­ton and Guelph.


Daniels Cor­po­ra­tion’s Light­house Tower condo devel­op­ment in­cludes lux­ury ameni­ties, such as a jam stu­dio where mu­si­cians can play and re­hearse.


Minto’s new energy-ef­fi­cient homes in­clude a mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem that helps home­own­ers keep track of their energy use.

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