Canada's Condominium Magazine
News that Honest Ed’s has been sold was not unexpected, but it’s still kind of a shock, the way the death of a beloved, ailing old relative, who lived far longer than anyone thought she would, is still a shock when it finally comes. That the buyer is the same group that built the luxury condo/hotel Shangri-La on University Avenue is not much of a surprise—it had to be some outfit like that—though there’s a nice irony in it. From cheap home furnishings and free Christmas turkeys to luxury condominiums. For the millions of Torontonians, from every imaginable ethnic and socio-economic background, who happily shopped there over the decades, seeing the gaudy old carnival of a joint replaced by luxury condominiums will be tough to swallow. As one of the corny old slogans painted on a wall in the store says, “There’s no place . . . like this place . . . anyplace!”
The future occupiers of the site, they who will live in whatever luxury condos are built there, in what is, after all, a very desirable location on Bloor Street, will have to find somewhere else to shop for discounts. And it will never be as much fun as Honest Ed’s was.
In 1948 when Honest Ed’s opened, there were, of course, no luxury condos in Toronto—the lifestyle had not yet been invented in these parts. Torontonians would have to wait another twenty years for that. Today, with a population approximately five times what it was in the Toronto of 1948, the number of luxury condos to choose from is staggering.
Condominiums and luxury lifestyle have redefined the city
But what does luxury mean today? Some define a luxury home according to its size and the number of rooms: large, spacious rooms equals luxury. But that hardly seems enough.
Surely you have to include the building’s design, its location, the way the suites are finished, and the extras, in the way of amenities, that the building offers its residents.
Few condo buildings in Toronto today can compare, for location, to Tridel’s Blythwood at Huntington. Situated in Lawrence Park just off Bayview, overlooking Sherwood Park Ravine a few blocks south of the Rosedale Golf Club, the Tridel Concert Properties community of Blythwood stands in one of the city’s loveliest neighbourhoods.
But location is tied to convenience, another hallmark of the luxury lifestyle, and Blythwood at Huntington could hardly be more conveniently located. Downtown is minutes away via Bayview Avenue, as is the 401 to the north. It’s as easy to get to the heart of the financial district as to the airport. Eglinton Avenue is a short walk south, and Yonge Street can be reached easily on foot, or by transit. Mount Pleasant is also just a short walk away. The transit option will become even more convenient when the new Eglinton crosstown line goes through.
Exclusivity must also be considered a component of luxury, and Blythwood at Huntington offers it in its relatively limited number of architecturally sophisticated suites. The nine-storey building has 119 classically styled suites, including Penthouse and Garden Suites, that range from 1,200 to just under 3.000 square feet. Features and finishes are of the highest quality. Cornice mouldings and nine-foot ceilings are standard on floors 2–7 (ten-foot on eighth floor and in PH), as are engineered hardwood flooring, Irpinia kitchens, granite countertops, stainless steel ENERGY STAR appliances, porcelain tiles and plush broadloom. Master ensuites feature custom designed vanities with double sinks, walk-in showers, and deep soaker tubs.
Of course in today’s condo culture a building is also defined by its amenities, and Blythwood at Huntington is second to none on that score. The formal lobby gives the building a sense of grandeur, while the party room, outdoor terrace, and private dining room provide wonderful spaces for entertaining. It goes without saying that a Tridel building will have the finest in fitness facilities, including swimming pool and steam room. And there are guest suites for overnight guests.
There you have it, the definition of luxury condo living: generously-sized, stylishly- designed suites, finished to perfection, complemented by a host of high-quality amenities, in a highly desirable and convenient location.
Hard hat tours of the model suite shown (2X-T) can be booked online.