Beyond the Beaches
The Birch Cliff neighbourhood, by the Scarborough Bluffs, is close to the lake and not too far from the city
If you want a Beaches home, without the accompanying price-tag you might just have to cast your eyes a bit further east. The Birch Cliff neighbourhood, a pocket on top of the western part of the Scarborough Bluffs, is one such area. And Bryan Nykoliation, the president of Core Development Group, is so excited about it his company bought three pieces of land there.
“We’ve seen a lot of development pushing east from the Beaches,” he says, adding that parts of Scarborough near Kingston Road have been gentrifying during the past five years. Birchcliff Urban Towns is the first of the three projects in the area that Core Development plans to launch this year.
“This site is probably 200 metres from the cliffs of Lake Ontario, so there are tremendous views,” says Nykoliation, who lived in the nearby Beaches for 12 years. “It’s such a desirable and defined neighbourhood with wonderful shops, restaurants and natural amenities — with a location that feels like you’re completely removed from the city, yet proximity-wise, the downtown is so close and accessible,” he says, noting the expansion of the area means more people will be able to enjoy that lifestyle.
With average MLS house prices of about $1.1 million, many people can’t afford the Beaches proper. Further east, Birch Cliff and neighbouring Cliffside are slightly more affordable with average prices of $940,000. “We’re putting in a beautiful, well-priced product that people who want to live in the area can afford,” Nykoliation says.
The one-, two- and three-bedroom town homes range in price from the mid-$500,000s to $1 million-plus. The urban towns are a cross between traditional town homes and condos. They’re stacked and back-to-back, meaning the four-storey buildings have one town home on top of another and one behind. However, they all have doors accessible from the sidewalk and green space.
There are four types of towns being offered. The Boulevard, Courtyard and Birchcliff collections come with garden patios, or rooftop terraces. And the Garden collection comes with backyards, or rooftop terraces. The homes are being built around a landscaped courtyard garden and all come with underground parking, bike and locker storage.
Urban town homes, such as these, have been becoming more popular during the past few years. They offer an alternative to single-family dwellings and condos. However, there aren’t many in this part of Scarborough, which has had an influx of condo development. “We chose to develop stacked homes because that’s a better fit for the area,” Nykoliation says, noting that the Birchcliff Avenue and Kingston Road site is in a residential enclave with homes valued around $2 million.
In fact, Core plans to launch Clonmore Urban Towns, with 118 units, and The Manderley, a mid-rise, mixed-use condo in the area later this year. Birchcliff will be the work of a highly talented, Toronto-based team, Nykoliation says.
Featuring architecture by RAW Design, the Birchcliff homes are between 737 and 1,677 square feet. And they’re being built by Mazenga Building Group in an environmentally friendly manner, Nykoliation says, noting there will be geothermal heating and cooling systems.
The interiors are being done by the award-winning U31 and will be contemporary and clean with warm and cool colour schemes. Think soft beiges and taupes, or soft greys paired with cremes. Interiors will feature nine-foot-high ceilings, natural oak staircases and porcelain tile flooring. The open-concept kitchens will come with islands and quartz countertops. The bathrooms will also feature quartz countertops and soaker bathtubs. Landscaping for the town homes is being done by thinc design.
Core worked with Mazenga on a boutique town house project at 538 Eglinton Ave. in the Mount Pleasant East neighbourhood a couple of years ago. And they’ve worked with RAW and U31 before on other projects.
Nykoliation is excited about the Birchcliff town homes being a part of “an idyllic east-end neighbourhood” in an up-and-coming area. He expects the homes to attract young couples, young families and downsizers.
The homes are slated for occupancy in January 2021. The sales office for Birchcliff Urban Towns is at 1492 Kingston Road and open Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 647.943.0177 or visit coredevelopment.ca/birchcliff for information.