In an episode of
, Steve Martin quipped that “Toronto is just like New York, but without all the stuff.” But that was a long time ago.
Noah Geist conceived of midtown Toronto’s new Rhodes Residences shortly after returning from a 2012 property-hunting trip to Manhattan. “I was looking at a bunch of these smaller boutique-style buildings, and the spaces were just unbelievable,” the Blackdoor Development principal recalls. “Some had only four units in the building, and direct elevator access to each suite. The thing that stood out wasn’t just the quality of finishings and the use of materials, but the originality and creativity with respect to layouts. With the caliber and price of Toronto real-estate starting to punch at a much higher weight, we saw an opportunity.”
Inspired, Geist, along with fellow principal Paul de Haas and the Blackdoor team, got down to work on the Rhodes, an eight-storey, 25-suite project now in pre-construction near the southwest corner of Bathurst and Eglinton. Sandwiched between Forest Hill and Cedarvale, the Rhodes is catering, as Geist describes it, to “a well-established community of homeowners who want to stay in the area but don’t need five bedrooms anymore.” What they do want “is the same sense of scale.”
Averaging 1,700 square feet and starting at $1.4 million, the Rhodes’ 25 suites feature nine-foot ceilings on the second and third floors, 10-foot ceilings on the fourth through eighth floors, and floor-to-ceiling windows and eight-foot doors throughout. Finishes are similarly generous, with custom-designed millwork, wide-plank engineered hardwood flooring, seven-inch baseboards and quartz countertops.
Working with interior designer Ali Budd, Blackdoor is aiming for “a special harmony between modern convenience and Old World elegance, which really speaks to the New York aesthetic,” Geist says, adding that the lobby’s 23-foot ceilings will put a few Manhattan manses to shame. The Rhodes’ neo-classical styling will carry through to its arched front door and Bathurst Street façade, where arched windows and balconies will give way to spacious terraces from the fourth floor up.
While the Rhodes, in name and aesthetic, evokes classical antiquity, suite features and building amenities will be forward-looking. A rainwater control and harvesting system will cut water consumption while irrigating its gardens and green roofs.
Kitchens will include Gaggenau appliances with stainless-steel gas cooktops and panel-ready fridges, while a four-pipe HVAC system will deliver heating and cooling with filtered air drawn from the outdoors.
To simulate the privacy of detached-home living, RAW Design Architects will incorporate noise-cancelling dropped ceilings and window glazing, along with four layers of drywall between each unit. “Our residents are looking for a quieter building with fewer people going in and out,” Geist says.
The two fob-controlled elevators will provide direct access to 18 of the 25 suites through separate locked vestibule entrances. Fobs are also required for all building entrances and amenities, including an indoor pet spa, fitness centre, boardroom, rooftop lounge and barbecue area. There will be underground parking for 40 vehicles, eight of which are for electric vehicles and five for visitors, though the new Forest Hill station on the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line, on track to open in 2022, will be steps away.
Blackdoor, which has partnered with Kevin Crigger Real Estate Team for by-appointment sales meetings, has seen “a lot of people come in four, five or six times,” Geist says. “It’s a very meticulous process for them, and we want to make sure they get exactly what they want.” As in New York, it’s a strata of buyer accustomed to the top of the heap.
Units starting at $1.4 million. For more information, visit therhodesresidences.com.
Spanning the leafy ravine-side neighbourhoods of Rosedale, Moore Park, Forest Hill, Chaplin Estates and Fairbank, the nine-kilometre Beltline cycling and walking rail trail is five blocks north of the Rhodes.
Four blocks west on Eglinton, Petroff Gallery is a hub for handmade artworks and represents more than 200 Canadian artists and makers.
1016 Eglinton Ave. W.
Scheduled to open at the intersection of Bathurst and Eglinton in 2022, the Forest Hill LRT station will connect the Rhodes to the new Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line.