Tag Archives: minto communities

Meet Roya – Minto’s Sustainable Design Professional

With Earth Week upon us, it’s inspiring to hear about the people that are making a difference in moving towards sustainable living. Minto has an entire Sustainability Team dedicated to incorporating ‘Green Living’ strategies into all of the work we do. We sat down with a lovely member of the Sustainability Team, Roya Khaleeli, to find out more about her work as a Sustainable Design Professional.Roya Minto Sustainability

Roya has been at Minto for just over three years now. She didn’t always work in sustainability though – she started out as a mechanical engineer, working in the automotive industry. But reading the book “Natural Capitalism” (by Paul Hawken) motivated Roya to change her career path. “I was inspired by the idea that there could be a different way of doing business which enables doing good by doing well,” she tells us. After getting her Masters in Sweden in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, Roya worked as a Sustainability Consultant in London, UK, for over four years. When she came back to Toronto, Roya started her role with Minto’s Sustainability Team. It was a 10 year journey, but she says she’s lucky in terms of timing because there are many more jobs in sustainability now than there was when she started looking into it in 2002.

Roya’s role is focused primarily in the GTA where she works on embedding sustainable design practices into Minto’s communities.  She collaborates with the design teams early on in each project to develop the strategy, which considers the particular market, the local green requirements, relevant third party building standards and opportunities for innovation. “It is critical that we approach our work in a way that is congruent with profitable business,” she says. Having involvement early on in the development process ensures that the green strategies are delivered while still remaining competitive in the marketplace.

Minto Sustainability

Once the strategy is approved, part of her work is to train site staff to ensure the value is communicated to home buyers. “While some features deliver utility cost savings, others provide greater comfort, improved health or community connections,” she explains. “We also believe there are some features that can only be included through the quality of the construction process. Having a well-made air tight envelope is almost impossible to add after the home has been built as compared to granite countertops which can be added at any point.”

So far, Roya’s favorite project has been Minto Southshore. “It was a complex product to build and we set progressive targets for air tightness and we learned a lot in the process.” The team faced the challenge head on and Minto Southshore is what Roya describes as, “a beautiful space that allows home owners to live with a lesser impact on the environment, without even being aware of it. This is one of the main reasons I get so excited about my job.” Minto Southshore built upon the learning gained from Minto Caledonia Towns on the Park project, and Minto Longbranch will now be following in the footsteps of Minto Southshore.

Minto Southshore

As sustainable living is becoming more important in land development, we asked Roya what Green Living trends she sees will become prevalent in home building in the future.  With the growing popularity of electric vehicles, she sees having electric vehicle charging stations on site as becoming more common. Minto already provides the basic infrastructure to support the future installation of electric vehicle charging stations at 775 King, and within the other five high rise projects that have launched since. Beyond improving energy performance, the target of Net Zero Energy buildings and greater water efficiency, another issue she sees becoming significant is a focus on design for better communities. With the introduction of standards such as LEED for Neighbourhood Development and BREEAM Communities (in the UK) she sees attention being directed towards designing communities to be more walkable, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and with greater access to services. On a more personal note, Roya would like to see “more community garden and food growing spaces included within projects; however, this requires demand from the market” which she hopes to see in the near future.

MInto 775 King Exterior Bike Parking

In her spare time, Roya has a number of hobbies that keep her busy. She is an avid tennis player, and just began taking tango lessons. Family is important to her, and she likes nothing better than enjoying really good food with great company. She also supports Habitat for Humanity where she volunteers once a month to build homes in the Toronto area, continuing her commitment to sustainable living.

Interested in learning more about Minto’s commitment to Green? Check out our Sustainability page, or learn more about each project’s Green Features on our Green Living pages on each project’s website.

Décor DIY: Freshen Up for Spring

It’s time to get rid of those winter chills! Start this spring off right with some easy DIY décor tricks that will make your condo vibrant, spacious and cheerful. Make your condo the source of entertainment by turning your patio into a whole new outdoor space, or switch up a few things around the house for a major refresh! Here are a few quick and easy DIY spring décor tips to bring out that inner interior designer.

 

Make your own mini art gallery 

Minto Decor DIY

Buy different sized picture frames that have precut mats inside them. Print out your favourite and most unique artistic photos. Make sure your frames don’t clash with your wall colour. If your wall and furniture are simple and white, buy thin black frames with white paper mats or silver frames with linen or grey mats. This way your gallery will look professional, sleek and elegant. You can make this gallery work anywhere in your home: in the foyer, in the living room, or in your den.

 

Add a mirror next to your dining table 

Minto Decor DIY

In feng shui, dining rooms are the perfect place to add a mirror. Dining represents a family’s wealth and by adding a mirror in the dining room will magnify this energy. You can choose a big and bold mirror to hang in a small dining room. Make sure the mirror is big enough to complement the room, but not too big and overpowering. You can also choose to lean your mirror against a wall. This way the whole dining room is reflected, making it seem larger.

 

Make your balcony cozy 

Minto Decor DIY

With the summer months just around the corner, transform your balcony into your dream outdoor space.  Add your own style by adding a small outdoor dining set, vibrant mat, your favourite plants and outdoor string lighting.  You can even throw a blanket over the chairs for those cool summer nights.

 

Change up your bedding 

Switch-Out-Bedding

The vibe of an entire room can change instantly with a new set of bedding. Add a pop of pastel to your room by choosing spring colours, think baby pinks, blues, lavender. Find pillows with textures and patterns that will match your bedding and give your room a hint of colour. Keep the bedding simple and natural so you can reuse it whenever you like. You can find bedding sets, such as “bed in a bag” for $100 at stores like Bed Bath and Beyond.

 

Use open storage in your kitchen

MInto Decor DIY

If your condo is lacking storage in your kitchen, use open storage. Choose an industrial metal shelving unit for extra kitchen space. The metal touches will compliment stainless steel appliances that many modern condo kitchens have. Add baskets to store snacks and incorporate a few decorative touches to make it look fun!

Starting to spring clean and spruce up your space? Share you spring decor ideas with us!

 

© Kenya Bruce


Meet Matt Brown: Minto’s Product Design Manager

Have you ever wondered why our homes are designed the way they are? Who makes the decisions about why the kitchen is where it is, where the laundry room goes where it goes, and why the exteriors are a certain colour? We sat down with the person who’s behind all these important decisions, Minto’s Product Design Manager, Matt Brown, to find out more about what he does at Minto.

Matt 4

As a Product Design Manager, Matt oversees the design of all new homes Minto builds in the GTA. He works directly with architectural consultants to make the decisions on how the homes should be designed so that they are visually appealing and efficiently laid out, providing home owners with the best living space at the best cost. His favourite part is getting to be involved in the design and vision of the community, from start to finish, and creating the homes where people will live their lives. As he describes it, “it’s a privilege to get to be part of the decision making that will shape the world in which we live”.

Matt’s favourite high rise building is 88 because of the architectural design of the building that uses the window wall cladding in an interesting way. The colours interweaving the glass casing of the building are small details that are very striking for such a relatively simple design. “The composition is more than the sum of its parts” he explains.

Minto 88 in Toronto

His favourite low rise development is Orchard Park because it showcased innovative designs for Minto and for the market as a whole. The modern brick used in a contemporary colour scheme, the rooftop terraces in a suburban setting, and the ability to interchange the rooftop terrace with your purchase were all new ideas in the market that made Orchard Park stand out.

Minto Orchard Park in Stouffville

As our expert in architecture and home building, we asked Matt what the biggest trend he sees right now in the home building market. His answer: Small. “Because of the cost of housing these days, smaller living spaces are becoming common, across the board for condos, townhomes, and single family homes,” he explains. “But when we go small we have to do a better job of using the space, and this is what Minto does very well, making efficient use of space to give home owners the most bang for their buck.”

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Matt has worked at Minto for over 6 years now. In his spare time he’s also a yoga instructor, teaching classes at Yoga Space in Toronto. He lives in the city in a 610 square foot unit, so he knows all about how to live efficiently in a small space. No wonder we do small spaces so well!

Interested in learning more about our new projects at Minto? Minto Yorkville Park, WestsideQueen’s Landing and Oakvillage are all launching with exciting new designs! Check out our website for more information.

Welcome home Kingmeadow residents!

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There’s no place like home! Earlier this month our first Kingmeadow residents moved into their new homes.Yolanda and Jose Torres were the first people to receive their keys.Our sales team, construction team, MasterCare, Amanda Wilson Watkins (VP of Sales and Marketing) and Vince Santino (VP of Development) were all on hand to toast and welcome the couple to their new home.

Last weekend we also celebrated our first closings at Kingmeadow and we invited our first residents over to the sales centre for a welcoming breakfast hosted by Pelican Catering.The mayor of Oshawa John Henry made a special guest appearance and we serenaded our guests with music by Grenville Pinto the violinist.

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We’d like to congratulate our first residents and welcome them to the neighbourhood!

Kingmeadow is located in North Oshawa, close to the 401 and soon-to-be 407. Kingmeadow features a variety of towns, 36’s, 43’s, Ravine and Park side homes.

To learn more, visit the Kingmeadow sales centre at 2361 Simcoe Street North or call 289.634.1005.