Tag Archives: WaterGarden

What a stunning view! Introducing our Minto WaterGarden Courtyard


We’re so excited that our courtyard at Minto WaterGarden is complete! It’s a beautiful and tranquil natural environment, and our Thornhill condo residents have been enjoying this stunning feature of their new home.

At Minto, we pride ourselves on designing and building fabulous courtyard amenity areas. Our courtyards can be seen in many of our developments across the GTA, such as Minto Spring, Minto Midtown, minto775 and soon, 88 at Yonge & Sheppard.  We understand the importance of creating an outdoor living environment that acts as an extension of our resident’s suites and provides them with a retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban living. Our courtyards are truly unique and we are so excited   They include plush landscaping, large water features, granite boulders and Ipe wood decks, and incorporate BBQ patios, terraces, pergolas and large open spaces with ample seating.

Our water garden courtyard at Minto WaterGarden is a beautiful space that brings waterside living to new heights. It’s a fantastic spot to relax in the warm sun, read a book while sipping your morning coffee, or entertain guests with an open air meal under the garden trellises, surrounded by an oasis of water and greenery.

Don’t miss out because you can now own a 2-storey water-side suite at Minto WaterGarden for $80,000 off! Each unit gives you a spectacular view of the beautifully calming water feature.

Check out our new photos to see the splendour of the water garden for yourself:

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Interested in living water-side in this tranquil oasis? Contact us today and come tour our model suites!

Meet Tiago and Pedro, Minto’s Managers of Land Development

Meet Tiago and Pedro, two of our fearless leaders behind our Land Development team. They are responsible for everything from advising on land acquisitions at the very beginning of a project to putting in roads, sidewalks, and parks at the completion of a project. Everything that goes along with building a community is looked after by these guys!

Minto Communities Team

Tiago is the Land Development Manager for Low Rise Construction, and Pedro is the Manager for High Rise Construction. For both Low Rise and High Rise, the Land Development team helps the Acquisitions team to advise them on sites in terms of zoning by-laws, planning, and legislation around a certain site. Once the land is acquired, the Land Development team works getting approvals in place from the municipalities, servicing, landscaping, and designing the community. They consider the growth in population, activity and demand on the community infrastructure that the new development brings and works with the municipalities to agree on the necessary requirements to build or revise.

In Low Rise projects, all utility design and approval is coordinated by the Land Development team. They coordinate the trades for servicing the development which then allows the construction team to come in and start building the project.

In High-Rise projects, hydro, gas lines, and sewers are the responsibility of the construction team, and the Land Development team is responsible for coordinating the consultant’s team, obtaining Official Plan and Zoning changes and coordinate the beginnings of construction with approvals and permits.

In Mid-Rise projects like Minto Longbranch and Minto Southshore, Tiago and Pedro work together finding the middle ground in developing a site that had elements of High and Low rise.

Mid-rise development Minto Southshore

After all of the home building is complete, the Land Development team is back in the community for another 2-3 years finishing the community with roads, asphalt, sidewalks, parks, and anything else needed to complete the neighbourhood. “It’s a long process that has us in a project right at the very beginning and right at the very end” says Tiago.

Another big part of Tiago and Pedro’s job is coordinating with local elected officials and creating a relationship with the community. They present our building plans to the community to ensure everyone is on-board and happy with the plan, listening to the neighbourhood’s concerns and taking them into consideration when developing the project. “It’s important to us to reach out to the community to initiate a good relationship right from the start of a project so that a good tone is set moving forward” explains Pedro.

The Land Development team is also responsible for protecting any heritage homes on a site that a city requires be protected in order to build. They coordinated the careful and meticulous move of the Cox House at Minto WaterGarden to another location on the site to make room for the condo building, and now the Cox House being refurbished for future use.

Cox House
The Cox House at Minto WaterGarden

Pedro and Tiago say that the biggest challenge of their job is maintaining the vision throughout the whole planning process. “You need to understand the end goal of a project and what it can be in the future, and then help it come to fruition” explains Pedro.

While there is a lot of planning and coordinating to do before the project gets off the ground, Tiago and Pedro both agree that the best part of the job is once the project gets to construction. “That’s when all the fun happens” says Tiago. “You finally get to see all the process and planning you’ve been working on come to life.” We’re glad we have two fantastic Land Development Managers making all of Minto’s projects come to life so well!

Finishing school – an insight into choosing your condo finishes

Choosing finishes for a new build condo is one of the added advantages of  buying pre-construction. It’s an exciting a time where you can personalize and customize your new home. The floorplan that you decided on begins to take shape and become reality. Yvonne Noble, Minto’s own design guru, is sure to get you as excited about finishes as she is every day.

Yvonne started with our interior design team with some design rock star credentials and a ton of passion and energy. She attended the International Academy of Design and ran her own design company for seven years. Eventually she went on to work as a set designer and producer on several design and lifestyle TV shows with CBC and HGTV. Yvonne has worked on  Design for Living, Steven and Chris, 3 takes, The Mom Show and Kitchen Equipped before coming to Minto.

Right now she’s working with WaterGarden purchasers on their finish selections. We caught up with Yvonne to find out how she makes sure you’ll end up with a home you love.

Which decision tends to be the most difficult for purchasers to make?

I would have to say the flooring. Once the flooring is selected, the rest of the decisions seems to fall into place. First we want to find out if the person is an end user or if they plan on renting their unit out. We offer engineered hardwood – a beautiful premium product – but nobody is going to take care of it the way you would. If you’re going to rent out your unit, we recommend something more durable like laminate.

By the way, when we say laminate we’re not talking about paper thin “fake wood”. Laminate flooring has come a long way and a person is often hard pressed to see the difference between laminate and hardwood.

What is the best way for purchasers to prepare before they meet with you?

Go though magazines and design blogs and see what looks you like for kitchens and bathrooms. Most of your decisions will be made in those two areas. Bringing in pictures of the look you would like to achieve will let us guide you to the finishes that will help you get that look. A purchaser might not know that she’s looking for a Cesaestone counter top, but from seeing the styles she gravitates towards, it might be clear to us that Cesaestone is the way to go.

Yvonne loves:
habituallychic – The blog of New York designer Heather Clawson.
Houzz – Tons of interior design ideas from a bunch of different designers. It’s like a never ending design magazine.

How do you determine which upgrades are worth the extra money?

Anything that you can’t or won’t do later. Electrical is a big decision in condominiums, because it has to be done before the concrete pour and can’t be added in later. I spend a lot of time with people on their electrical. Depending on the layout and how they plan to use certain spaces I often encourage them to layer lighting. In a kitchen that would mean having under-cabinet lighting or a light over an island so that you can turn them all on for better task lighting or turn only one on if you want ambient lighting.

Putting more into the kitchen is always a smart way to spend your money, especially in an open concept space. Having a bit of a unique backsplash will really elevate a kitchen. Also, even a modest upgrade to your appliances can go a long way in making your home look more luxurious.

The kitchen & dining area at the Minto WaterGarden model suite.

What are the most popular finishes right now? Are there any products that have come on the market just recently that you think have real staying power?

The trends are definitely pointing towards natural earthy materials in greys and neutral tones. We have a selection of some wonderful greys and grey-browns that definitely hit the mark in terms of adding a fresh modern look without being too trendy. I’m excited about the palate because it gives purchasers a nice base to decorate with contrasting light or dark woods.

I mentioned laminates flooring earlier. Quality laminates are really holding their own and have been well received as the best choice for many of our purchasers. Laminate is an affordable, durable finish that I think we’ll see in more and more homes in the future.

What finishes immediately signal to you that a space is dated?

Any finish that’s too trendy will eventually date. A big one for me is tiles with any kind of decorative motif. We’ve all seen the backsplashes covered in fruit and tea cups.

So what is the right way to upgrade your kitchen backsplash?

A ceramic tile backsplash is standard at Minto WaterGarden, and it looks great. But if you wanted to you could upgrade to a glass backsplash. The glass tiles come in neutral colours that really accentuate the counter top and blend nicely with cabinetry. Another great option is using the same material as the counter top as a backsplash. It’s a high end look that you wouldn’t see in a basic builder’s kitchen.

What kind of market research does the team do to determine what finishes will be in demand?

We attend annual trade seminars that forecast design trends for the following two to three years. Inevitably we start seeing those trends from the most high end brands almost immediately, then they slowly trickle down. We also go to trade shows like IIDEX and the Interior Design Show where we can see what products are out there from our vendors, as well as discover new vendors. Our suppliers also keep us on top of new products and trends. Some of our vendors even want our feedback on proposed new finishes because we have direct contact with customers so we know what people want.

The bathroom at the Minto WaterGarden model suite. Note the feature wall in the shower.

How do you determine what will be standard and what will be an upgrade?

We start with the persona and purchaser demographic and the budget that has been established for the project. We put together an idea of the types of material we think will appeal to our buyers. Before we start selling, we have finalized the standard finishes and have agreed upon the price and supply needs with our vendors. We look for finishes that are current, durable and environmentally friendly. Making sure we’re meeting requirements for LEED certification is always a consideration. Focus groups are important too. We even do them internally with our own staff. All of us are potential purchasers as well. Most importantly we use feedback from past projects.

We work hard at developing a standard palate that will suit a variety of design styles so that a purchaser doesn’t feel they have to upgrade to achieve a modern look. At Minto WaterGarden our standard counter tops are all stone selection and we use a 12 x 24 porcelain tile for bathroom floors and walls as standard in a typical suite. We suggest exotic stone or hardwood upgrades for customers who have the budget and want to add something more unique and luxurious to their suites.

Our purchasers have often told us that our selection of finishes surpassed their expectations. All of our customers deserve a great experience and to be inspired regardless of the value of their suite. Our goal is to develop a relationship with our customers and help make their condo purchase feel more personal with finish selections that reflect them and how they plan to use their home. Providing this level of personal attention means I know customers will leave satisfied with the process and end up loving their new home.

WaterGarden: removing the ramp & working up to the ground floor

When we posted our last update from Minto WaterGarden in Thornhill, the cranes had just gone up. Now we’re rapidly progressing towards ground level.

The P2 perimeter walls of the parking garage are almost complete (more on that later) and the formwork trade has begun decking the P1 slab and building column forms to the ground floor. With the columns & perimeter walls complete, our site services trade is busy installing the perimeter and under-slab drainage system which collects water & channels it to the building sump system. Once it’s installed we are able to pour the slab-on-grade, which is the bottom level of the parking garage.

Slab-on-grade & P1 decking in progress

The mechanical & electrical trades are also on site to sleeve for their pipes and lay conduit before the concrete is cast.

A close up of the P1 deck at the north end of the site

This week, we began removing the ramp located at the north end of the site, which has allowed concrete and steel trucks to drive right into site. We’ll begin using the area behind the temporary hoarding on Yonge Street to stage the trucks for deliveries using one or both of the cranes. Removing the ramp means the parking garage is completely open to allow the waterproofers and formworkers to complete the small area of the P2 perimeter that remains behind the ramp.  Next, site services will complete their connections and we can pour the last piece of slab-on-grade and close in that area with P1 decking and columns.

Removing the ramp

The parking garage is taking shape at the P1 level and it won’t be long before we reach the ground floor.