Tag Archives: minto westside

 Scale Models 101 with Myles Burke 

Have you ever wondered about the scale models you see in our sales centres? How they are made to be so detailed and accurate? The intricate design of these models that makes them look true-to-life is amazing. We wanted to learn more about how these models are developed and the team behind them, so we sat down with Mike Burke, co-founder of Myles Burke Architectural Models, to learn more about his career as a scale model builder and the process of building scale models.  

Minto Westside Scale Model

How did you get into building scale models?

Mike Burke:  I went to school for architecture at Ryerson University. We would routinely build models for our presentations, usually out of card, paper etc. I’d stay up all night working on my renderings and drawings, and then at about 7am, I’d start building the model for a 10am class. I have to admit, most of the time they left a little something to be desired.

I remember one day I was walking through the architecture building and sitting on display by the library was a professionally built model of a condominium building (probably donated to the school or something). I was beyond impressed at the detail and craftsmanship, and I couldn’t figure out exactly how one would go about building such a thing.

A couple years later, through a friend of a friend, somehow I got a job at a professional model shop. (Coincidentally, the shop was located on the same block that will become Minto Westside). I had no idea what I was doing at first, but I was absolutely in love with it and devoted all of my energy to learning the craft. After 5 years, I had gained enough knowledge and confidence to go off and start Myles Burke Architectural Models Inc with partner David Myles. (That was in 2006).

What is the process for taking a concept for a building and creating the scale model? 

MB: At the beginning of a project, we’ll get together with the architect and the client to exchange information, and hash out the vision for the scale model. Sometimes the model is to be a literal translation of the architectural drawings; sometimes it’s more interpretative, more of a concept.

Next we build a mock up. This is where we take invisible ideas, descriptions and expectations and give them form. This is a very important step as there are as many opinions as there are stake holders. Everyone needs to agree on exactly what we are going to build. Unlike a rendering for example, once we build something, we can’t change it… you can’t unglue something, and you can’t change the colour of the precast.

After the mock up is approved, we begin production. We will draw each model component, each floor, each window mullion, each balcony slab, etc., in a CAD program. Most of these are then cut out of a plastic or wood by a laser. There are hundreds and even thousands of parts to any given model.


All of these parts are then fit, adjusted and assembled by our team of builders. This part of the process is the most tedious and time consuming taking up about 75% of the budgeted time. Each piece is painted individually, and then stuck on the model permanently.

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Last but not least is the landscaping. From the paving patterns to the colours of the flowers, we try to be as accurate as possible. Furniture also adds quite of bit life to the model.

How long does it take to build a model?

MB: An average model will take somewhere around 450 hours, but there are some that have taken more than 2000. Our staff totals 15, and in some cases, all of us will work on one project. Usually though, we’ll have 5 – 10 different projects running at the same time and we’ll have 1 – 3 people on each particular job.

What types of materials do you use?

MB: We typically use plastic to build our models. Plastic is (relatively) inexpensive, widely available and it’s easily cut, sanded, glued and painted. We also use quite a bit of wood, both for structural elements and finish elements. Of course we use a bunch of different types of solvents and adhesives, probably every type you can think of and then even more that you can’t.


What’s a typical size of a model?

MB: It’s not uncommon for us to build models over 8′ tall. The tallest model that we’ve built was about 13′ high. Also, we’re working on a project now that will have a base 12′ x 15′, it takes up quite a bit of floor space!


Do you have a favourite scale model?

MB: It’s tough for me to pick a single model that I like best, but one that comes to mind is  the 1:160 model of the Rogers Centre for Our Home and Miniature Land (miniatureland.ca). It was quite a challenge to figure out how to build the operable roof, and to see it in action is pretty exciting. It was probably a once in a career type project.


Interested in viewing our scale models? Visit our Sales Centres or the Minto Condo Store to see them for yourself!

The Minto Westside Exclusive Preview Event

Want to live in the heart of the city, within steps right to the waterfront and surrounded by amazing shopping and dining? You can if you’re at Minto Westside! This Saturday, April 11th, 2015, Minto Westside will be having a huge preview event where you will be among the first to gain access to suites before our Grand Opening. RSVP here now to ensure you are on the list!

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The preview event will be action-packed! Enjoy fare from Gourmet Gringos and Smokes Poutinerie Food Trucks, and cold pressed juice from Green House Juice Co.and frozen treats from Coco & Cowe. The music from DJ Olen Only will keep the party going all day long. And inside our model suites you can test your gaming skills at our Nintendo64 gaming stations.

There will also be incredible suites incentives this weekend only, so don’t miss out! Minto Westside will be offering up to $7500 in design upgrades, as well as a Neighourbood Prize Pack valued at $1000 that includes: a $500 Porter Airlines voucher,a $100 Hammam Spa voucher,  a $100 Colette Grande Café voucher, a $100 Marben Restaurant voucher, and a $200 Riant Boutique or GotStyle voucher.

Located at Front & Bathurst, Minto Westside is visually striking, stylish and a stunning new landmark in the city. Plus you’re close to it all. With the TTC at your doorstep, access to the Gardiner Expressway, and just a five-minute walk to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, getting around is quick and easy.


But with the fabulous amenities at Minto Westside there is really no need to leave home! The Plunge Social on the 9th floor is the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon by the poolside. Enjoy the indoor Skyline Lounge and Poolside Lounge for a celebration with friends and family, perfect for hosting a dinner party with views of the city.




Everything you need to live, work and play, Minto Westside puts you right in the middle of it all. Be sure to visit us this Saturday at Minto Westside’s biggest preview event! RSVP today!


Minto Westside is Nominated for the BILD People’s Choice Award!


We are excited to announce that Minto Westside has been nominated for the BILD People’s Choice Award! Click here to cast your vote today!

Vote Westside

For four years now the BILD People’s Choice Award has been letting the public choose their favourite home development project in the GTA. With numerous entrants from across the GTA, Minto Westside is honoured to have been chosen as a finalist for this celebrated award.

Visually striking and elegantly urbane, Minto Westside will be a stunning new landmark for the city at Front and Bathurst, featuring two towers, an inner courtyard, and a rooftop pool and bar. Check out our website to find out more about what Minto Westside has to offer.

The poll closes April 2nd, so be sure to vote for Minto Westside today!

Vote button Minto WestsideVote Minto Westside

Meet the Neighbours: 416 Snack Bar

When was the last time you drove by Bathurst and Queen? If it was within the past 2 years, we can guarantee that there was a line at the inconspicuous restaurant at the corner (even as late as2AM). Just up the street from Minto Westside is 416 Snack Bar – a snack bar like no other. If you love Italian food, Thai food, Japanese food … really ANY food, then 416 Snack Bar is calling your name. Their eclectic dishes like the vegan canneloni, the Korean fried chicken, and their empanadas are a tasty experience you will savor. Snacks and drinks from all around the world are served at this Bathurst and Queen watering hole.

Continue reading Meet the Neighbours: 416 Snack Bar

Meet the Neighbours: Minto Westside

A few months ago we announced that we’re coming to the Front and Bathurst neighbourhood with our project, Minto Westside! We’ve shared some information about the project before but we figured it was due time to share our love of the neighbourhood with you. Here are some of our favourite things to do near Front and Bathurst.

Continue reading Meet the Neighbours: Minto Westside

Minto at NXNE

graffiti alley

NXNE has become one of Toronto’s headline summer events with concerts, lectures, and events taking place all over the city. The past few years, NXNE has risen in popularity because of their music and interactive portions and for the first time this year, the 9-day event added an art portion to the roster. It was a huge hit, as we’re sure you guessed!

We were so proud to be involved in NXNE Art this year! En Masse helped us decorate the new Minto WestSide site by painting a huge mural of their signature graffiti art on the building that’s standing at Bathurst and Front now. It will be a great backdrop for the Farm City farmer’s market that starts on the grounds next Monday! Come check it out from 4pm-8pm every Monday until October.

en masse

There were other great art installations that took place in Toronto over the past 2 weeks. Check out some of our other favourites.

Urban Takeovers at Graffiti Alley

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Beau Stanton is an artist and muralist who has stamped his work in cities all over the world. For NXNE, Beau took over the facade of 563 Queen St. W. which will be a lasting mark of NXNE’s first year exhibiting visual art.

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Jessica Janda is a Detroit-based artist who was invited to participate in NXNE this year. Her work includes corporate signage, editorial, and creative for city initiatives in Detroit like Restaurant Week and Bike City.

rcade is a Toronto-based artist who has worked on many projects around the city. You might even recognize some of them, like the restaurant signage at many Toronto hot spots!


Life Cycles by Hermann & Audrey


Hermann & Audrey is the creative house that curated NXNE Art this year. Because NXNE coincided with Bike Month in Toronto, Hermann & Audrey thought they could take advantage of the great timing and focus an art installation around cycling in the city. They created a map to lead cyclists to some amazing outdoor exhibits around the city, so the cyclists weren’t just chasing art, they were making it too.

Didn’t get a chance to check out En Masse painting at our site? No problem! You can always come to Bathurst and Front to check out the amazing mural.