Rodeo Drive Condo – Oasis in heart of city
From its upper levels, residents of Rodeo Drive will overlook a lush, verdant, al-most Arcadian landscape arguably unlike any other neighbourhood in Toronto. Don Mills/The Bridle Path is, quite simply, awash in a sea of green because of the numerous parks in the area and the immense size of many of the neighbourhood’s residential “estates.” But it is the parks that are public space, open to one and all, and each is special in its own way.-The largest of the green spaces within easy reach of Rodeo Drive is a series of inter-con-nected parks—Sunnybrook, Serena Gundy and Wilket Creek—that form one vast green-sward bordering the ravine bed of the creek. Sunnybrook is the largest of them and was at one time the 147-acre farm of the socially prominent Kilgour family who donated it in the late 1940s to the city as a public park. The estate’s stables still exist and are avidly used by equestrians, young and old, and it’s a de-light even for non-riders to observe the horses at rest inside their paddocks. The park’s vast and immaculately maintained cricket pitches host national and international competitions, and seeing cricketers at bat in summer whites is something out of a picture post card. Serena Gundy is at the south end of Sunny-brook Park, and its one-time 20-hectares on the West Don River Valley, north of Eglinton, was the one-time estate of investment banker James H. Gundy. It was donated to the city on the proviso that a plaque honouring the bequest be added to the stone gates at the Broadway Avenue entrance. ‘Twas done. An-other green space on the northern boundaries of the neighbourhood is Windfields, gifted to the city by Don Mills founder E.P. Taylor. This nature park contains two hundred year old trees, a pond, a marsh, cross-country trails and wild life and wild flowers galore. Some argue Bond Park is Don Mills’ favour-ite outdoor space and its 6.8-hectares fea-tures five baseball diamonds and a clubhouse. Other smaller parks in the ‘hood include the 1.2-hectare Mike Bela Park, at Lawrence East and Banbury Road, and Talwood Park, on the east side of Leslie north of Lawrence. And fi-nally there’s the 15-hectare Moccasin Trail Park, on Lawrence East at the Don Valley Parkway, featuring walking trails through a naturalized rain forest. With all its abundant greenery, Don Mills could easily masquerade as “the country” despite its location at the centre of vast metropolis. Yes, it is the Rodeo Drive Condominium.
(Rodeo Drive condo)
(Rodeo Drive Condo)
Rodeo Drive Condo – Land-scape design
When he began initially thinking about ways to approach the “green” spaces at Rodeo Drive, Robert Ng’s mind instinctively wandered to the great resort communities in Bali, Indonesia, South China and, of course, sout-hern California. And one image persisted: A magical cliffside space overlooking the ocean. It turned out to be a vision perfectly in sync with the outdoor landscaping oppor-tunities available at Rodeo Drive. “Because the building is in close proximity to the street, there isn’t a lot of landscaping op-portunity at grade,” notes Ng, a principal at NAK Design Solutions, a firm that has been a force in Canadian public and private land-scape design for over thirty years. “An excit-ing landscape opportunity is the terrace on the 8th floor amenity level. It’s enormous and really does mimic a cliff overlooking an ocean, but in this instance it’s a ‘green ocean’ in the guise of the vast parklands that surround the project. It really is quite breathtaking and re-markably similar to the oceanic vistas you get in those beach communities south of LA.” The indoor amenity activities overlook the terrace, so Ng was keen it lead it to a focal point, and that “Wow Factor” is created by an elevated negative-edge pool that from a dis-tance gives the illusion of water merging with the sky. The terrace design’s water feature re-flects and mirrors the changing elements of the sky. Next to the pool are an alley of cabanas for relaxation and the lush planting which mimic the “look” of southern spas, whether in Bali or Beverly Hills. “Evergreen boxwoods in a lin-ear fashion define the space,” notes Ng, “and colour will be provided by flowering annuals like red and white impatiens. Pampas grasses in planters along the space’s perimeter move beautifully in the wind creating a ‘living’ land-scape.” “Our ambition for the 8th floor terrace is a space that is pure, minimal, linear and quite simply an inspiring place to spend time.” Presently Rodeo Drive provides limited land-scaping opportunity at grade, but when the project is fully built-out, a plaza will connect the buildings giving T.O.’s Rodeo Drive some-thing akin to an LA landscaping vibe. “The signature element in the Southern Cali-fornia landscape are the palm trees because of their magnificent verticality,” says Ng. Along with street furniture, he envisions giv-ing the Rodeo Drive site a similar verticality, but instead of palms he sees columnar trees. “They really do brilliantly mimic that icon-ic central element of LA’s Rodeo Drive, but that’s down the road.”
(Rodeo Drive Condo)