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Unobstructed views on display at Exhibit

Ryan Starr – Yourhome.ca

Architect Rosario Varacalli didn’t need to look very far for inspiration when he was designing Exhibit Residences, a 32-storey condo soon to be built directly across from the Royal Ontario Museum.

Daniel Libeskind’s Crystal, the striking 2007 addition to the ROM, was an obvious muse.

Varacalli, director of design and construction for Exhibit builder Bazis International, felt that the north side of Bloor St. should not merely serve as a “background of architecture” for Libeskind’s iconic work. (The Exhibit site is currently home to a McDonald’s and several other businesses).

Instead, Varacalli wanted his tower to have what he describes as an “understated dialogue” with the ROM adjunct.

Accordingly, the Exhibit highrise will comprise four stacked cubes that are offset from one another and jut out in different directions — Crystal-like — making the building seem slightly off-kilter as it climbs into the sky.

The four cubes are covered in frittered glass, which Varacalli says will give the tower an “ethereal sort of quality.”

Exhibit will include 200 residences, ranging from 650 square feet to over 2,000 square feet. Prices start at around $500,000 and go to over $2 million for the penthouses (which are located in a penthouse cube that takes up the building’s top nine floors).

The development team includes Bazis International, Metropia Urban Landscapes and Plazacorp, the same group behind Emerald Park condos at Yonge St. and Sheppard Ave.

Exhibit’s grand opening is planned for the end of the month and construction is slated to begin in fall 2012.

The project is being aimed at a broad portion of the market, as befits a condo located in the heart of the city.

“It’s an urbane site,” Varacalli says. “So you’ll have singles, couples, the elderly — everybody. It’s for people who enjoy the city.”

Exhibit’s interiors and common spaces are designed by Toronto’s Burdifilek, better know for their retail designs, including Holt Renfrew and the Stratus Vineyard in Niagara.

Diego Burdi, one of the firm’s principals, wanted the suites to have a contemporary and simple feel, with a neutral design palette. “The spaces are what I would call modern-classic,” he says. “They’ll stand the test of time.”

The units have hardwood flooring that Burdi says was developed exclusively for the project.

His firm also custom-designed the kitchen cabinetry (which will have hidden hardware, making the cabinets look built-in). Bathrooms will have custom vanities, as well.

Most Exhibit suites will have either a balcony or terrace, both in some cases.

The units are oriented north or south and the vistas are guaranteed. Indeed, with the ROM, Queen’s Park and the University of Toronto to the south, and residential neighbourhoods to the north, Exhibit inhabitants will enjoy unobstructed views for “forever and a day,” Varacalli says.

Exhibit’s name is a nod to the various cultural hotspots located just outside its doors: the ROM, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Gardiner Museum of ceramic arts and Philosopher’s Walk, which connects through to the University of Toronto.

The condo is also steps from Yorkville and a stone’s throw from Canada’s most expensive stretch of retail, Bloor St. W. (aka the Mink Mile), and its who’s who of high-end designer shops, including Prada, Chanel, Tiffany’s and Gucci.

Exhibit will have retail located in the tower’s first two levels, and the first glass cube will cantilever out over Bloor, providing protection from nasty weather.

The TTC subway line runs under the site, so an eight-level above-ground parking garage — the building’s fifth cube — will be built above ground and behind the tower. Residents on Exhibit’s first eight floors will have the convenience of living on the same level as their cars.

The top floor of the parking garage will house the building’s amenity space, an “outdoor oasis” that will include a terrace with sculpture garden and reflecting pool. There’ll be a bar and lounge, party room and private dining areas.

One floor above, overlooking this oasis, will be a fitness centre that includes a yoga studio and fireside lounge.

“It’s a hidden jewel that you’d only know about if you were invited into the space,” Burdi says of the garage-top garden terrace. “For anybody living in the building, it’s like having your own private park.”

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Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.

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