Etobicoke development breaks new ground

Project will be Toronto’s first high-rise condo to use a geothermal cogeneration system
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
By Michelle Ervin

A new Etobicoke development has broken ground — in more ways than one.

On the GO Mimico, now under construction, will be Toronto’s first high-rise condominium to use an integrated geothermal cogeneration system. It will also be the city’s first residential condominium directly connected to the GO Transit system, just steps outside the condominium’s lobby, and the first Mike Holmes-approved condominium in Canada.

Louie Santaguida, president of Stanton Renaissance and developer of On the GO Mimico, approaches building green as the status quo. Stanton Renaissance has been building green for decades now, Santaguida says, and continues to push the boundaries — in the case of this project, with its geothermal cogeneration system.

“A typical developer would not rush down this platform,” he says. “It’s about how you achieve payback or not, and whether the marketplace will pay for it or not.”

Santaguida sensed that the market was ready to accept an integrated geothermal cogeneration system, thanks to knowledge around hybrid vehicles, as well as concerns about rising energy prices.

Compared to a standard condominium building, On the GO Mimico is expected to save unit owners up to 30 per cent in energy costs and maintenance fees over a five to seven-year period, the developer says.

The building’s location next to GO Transit’s Mimico station was another key factor in fulfilling Stanton Renaissance’s mandate of building green.

“Our mandate has been to look at sustainability, taking vehicles off the grid, so our focal point has been looking at emerging communities that have the ability to access transit points,” Santaguida says.

The building’s residents will be a three-minute ride from Liberty Village and a 10-minute ride from Union Station.

“There’s an existing community there that can bring the lifestyle of people that want to live downtown and be downtown or work downtown, without having to stay there 24/7,” he says.

Other sustainable features of the development include an eco-car wash — which filters oil, grime and salt from water before it enters the drainage system — and a rainwater collection system that will hydrate vegetation before entering the domestic hot water supply.

The development will rise 27 storeys, including a three-storey podium featuring a gourmet grocer and café. Unobstructed views will start at the sixth storey.

The design of the building was a collaboration between Santaguida and Drew Hauser, principal, McCallum Sather Architects. The final rendition, its fifth, brought together elements highlighting the building’s proximity to the GO station and sustainable features.

“The inspiration was around having the ability to look like a downtown building without having to be downtown,” Santaguida says.

Starting in the mid $200,000s, the building’s 242 suites range in size from 534 to 2,700 square feet.

Italian kitchens are a highlight among the finishes. And a pet grooming facility, party room and state-of-the-art exercise facilities are only some of the building’s amenities.

Based on sales to date, Santaguida says buyers have been mainly end users (people who intend to live in the units they have purchased) aged 25 to 45, both individuals and families.

Occupancies are scheduled for summer to fall of 2016.

Michelle Ervin is the editor of CondoBusiness.