How Green It Is

Toronto Council has voted in favour of proceeding with the planning stages of the rail-deck park to be built across the rail corridor from Bathurst to Blue Jays Way.  The long-standing debate on this ambitious project has been passionate on both sides, but in a recent council meeting the vote landed a 36-4 result in favour of the plan.  With an estimated price tag of $1.665 billion dollars, the intentions are to enhance Toronto’s reputation as a world-class city by offering a city centre green space that can be enjoyed by residents and tourists alike.   For more on this endeavor read HERE

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It’s time to get walking


Walk 21 (short for Walking in the 21st Century) hosted an international conference in Calgary last week on the unhealthiness of people and the planet, and what needs to be done to fight this epidemic.  It comes down to redesigning cities to be more people friendly and less automotive dependent.  Andre Picard writes a thought provoking article for the Globe and Mail which promotes the move towards cohesive work and residential communities.   It starts with city planners and developers making  commitments to mixed use developments that bring people together and lessen the present day drudgery of commuting between work environment and home.  Spending more time in the community and less time in a vehicle getting to and from, is a step in the right direction.  Click HERE for the story.

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The Argument for Congestion Charges in Urban Cores

Brandon Donnelly shared a video on his blog recently regarding Stockholm’s congestion charge to drivers in an effort to ease the traffic burden in its downtown core.  Toronto attempted and ultimately scrapped a program similar to this, perhaps without giving it the test of time.  Popularity for Stockholm’s program has increased dramatically and is breathing new life and funds into the city and its coffers stimulating not just the flow of traffic but the funds to improve existing infrastructure as well.  Read Brandon’s article with the video HERE.

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World Building of the Year

A building designed by the Chinese University of Hong Kong using “rammed earth” construction has been named by The World Architecture Festival as “World Building of the Year”.  Designed to withstand earthquakes, this building medium could help towns and villages worldwide mitigate the ravages of future earthquakes.  Click here for the whole story.

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The Vycle

Designer Elena Larriba and Engineer, Jon Garcia have come up with a design that deserves all the accolades it is receiving.  The Vycle, one of the newest designs to come out of the  Royal College of Art could very well be the ride of the future.  Combining the need to attain vertical spaces with the desire to move efficiently and in a healthy manner, the Vycle offers a viable alternative to walking stairs or riding elevators by biking up or down a vertical channel.  Currently with a patent pending, this creative design will surely pique the interest of developers in the not too distant future.    For more on the Vycle, click here

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Out of the ground!

Construction on The Beech House has  reached another milestone.  We are out of the ground and at the first floor level!  We are now looking forward to reaching the second floor within 8 weeks.   We know everyone is excited to pick their finishes and it won’t be long before we will be scheduling everyone to do just that.  We have put in place, a design firm who will be contacting each buyer individually and assisting in this process.

We are all very excited at the construction progress and will keep posting milestone events on our blog.  Sign up below so you don’t miss any.

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The Distillery District’s Big Event

If you haven’t ventured down to take in the city’s amazing Christmas market in past years, put it on your list of “nice” things to do this year.  The Distillery District is worth a visit at any time of year but during this magical season  it comes alive with all the glittering lights, delectable smells and joyful activities that represent all things Christmas.  Of the top 10 Holiday Markets in the world, Toronto ranks fifth, and well worth the accolades.  Yes, the crowds are large but so is the sense of camaraderie and holiday spirit.  Great food, drink, shopping and activities for kids of all ages, it is all part of the fun.  The market runs from November 16th – December 23rd.  For more details, read HERE

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Grove Inc.’s design engineers can help homeowners create their renovation dreams through 3D imaging.  Using the  most basic of floor plans or just simple measurements, we can produce three dimensional renderings that help you understand, down to the finest detail, what your finished space will look like.  Our team of Professional Engineers and Architectural Technologists can also help with obtaining permits for your upcoming renovation.  For more information, call and speak with one of our design engineers, or email us at

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Frank Gehry on affordable design

At the ULI fall conference, world renowned, (and Canadian born) architect, Frank Gehry spoke to his audience about the role architects play today and the fundamental importance of working with developers to achieve great design at affordable prices.  Gehry gave sound advice on how the team aspect of developer and architect is imperative and that new technology should be utilized and continually improved to reduce waste and cost overruns.  At 88 years old, Gehry continues to design innovative, and edgy buildings proving his theories time and again while cementing his status as one of the world’s greatest living architects.  Read the full story on Gehry’s talk HERE

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A win for Airbnb in Toronto

Airbnb or Fairbnb?  Critics are crying foul with the recent news that Airbnb has joined forces with a Toronto condo building making it the first to allow airbnb rentals throughout the entire building.  Buildings that were designed to be condos do not have the same zoning by-laws,  design requirements, or tax burdens as hotels and many feel that this new partnership will lead to a further decline in affordable rental units available to city residents.  Whichever side you are on, the reality is that airbnb is not going anywhere.  People like it, just as they like UBER, because they work.  Now  it is time to iron out the kinks in the infrastructure to make it an entity everyone can live with.   Read more on this landmark move HERE


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Cooling Things Down in L.A.

With the cooler temperatures upon us, some of us may fondly be recalling the days of summer when the words “It’s so hot, you could fry an egg on the pavement,” was not much of an exaggeration.   In more southern climes, the heat is a year round concern.   Generated  through the sun, the heat is intensified through asphalt on the the city streets which holds it in and raises air temperature even higher.  But the folks of Los Angeles are finding creative ways to combat this problem and one way is by painting their streets white.  A trial run is underway and the results are promising albeit a little on the pricey side.  Once  the collateral benefits are factored in however, it looks like L.A. just might be onto a viable solution to a hot topic of concern.  Click here for the full story.

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Opposites attract, and win awards too

The Canadian Architecture firm, rzlbd, has taken home the very prestigious International American Architecture Prize for their “opposite” house built in the Scarborough Cliffcrest neighbourhood in Toronto.  Read more on this award winnng structure HERE.

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T.O. 2022

An article by Jack Landau for envisions what the Toronto skyline will look like in 2022 should all planned and under construction developments in the downtown core be approved and proceed to completion.  Read the full story HERE 

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A Picture is worth a thousand words

What happens when you give 100 homeless persons 100 cameras and ask them to take pictures of the city as they see it?  You get 90 cameras back, and 2400 images of the city from a completely new perspective, and a project named “My Toronto” evolves. Of the 2400 images, 40 were chosen and from there, 13 finalists will emerge the winners and their photography will be featured in an upcoming calendar.  The images are currently on display at Artscape Youngplace running through to the 22nd.  For more information on the My Toronto Challenge and the people involved in this amazing project, click here

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Sustainable and Strong

This amazing structure in Thailand is made entirely of sustainable bamboo and boasts a neutral carbon footprint.  This is truly an ancient building technology made all the more relevant by today’s urgent need for environmentally sound construction.  Read the article and see more pictures on this beautiful work of art by clicking HERE

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No walk on the beach.

As the world struggles with the ever increasing reality of diminishing natural resources, water, oil, natural gas, phosphorous,  to name a few,  yet another world resource is being threatened by over consumption.  Sand.  An article in brings attention to the fact that  increased demand for sand in the glass-making and concrete industries has risen dramatically over the years resulting in rapid depletion of the world’s supply. Environmentalists and scientists are warning us that we are losing vast quantities of this irreplaceable, precious resource and more must be done to protect it.  Read HERE for the whole story.

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Stunning views and architecture

We love the clean and curvy lines of this chic home in Oakland, California.  The architecture is second only to the amazing landscape and views that surround it. Enjoy the view by clicking HERE

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Habitat 2.0

Expo 67 in Montreal meant a lot of things to a lot of people, but no one more so than the world renowned architect, Moshe Safdie.  His innocent vision of a utopian community housed in a futuristic mash up of concrete cubes, was not only imagined, but executed into what became then, and still is today, Habitat 67.   Architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG, has been one of Safdie’s greatest admirers and is currently proposing a  development in Toronto, which has been strongly influenced by the eclectic architecture of Habitat, so much so that it has been dubbed Habitat 2.0.

For those of us who appreciated the strange beauty and for those of us who never quite got the why’s or the wherefore’s of Habitat ’67, this article by Karrie Jacobs for helps shed a bit of light into the amazing journey Mr. Safdie took to bring this unprecedented project to fruition.  Read the whole story HERE

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Restoration of Massey Hall

Over its 123 year History, Massey Hall has become one of the most iconic venues the city has to showcase local and international talent.  As the building’s popularity stayed on course, the structure itself has not aged gracefully over the years.   Until recently, restoration processes have not always fared favourably to this grand dame of architecture, prompting the Province of Ontario to infuse an additional $4 million to bring back the aging structure to its formidably elegant self once again.  We look forward to seeing the end result of this vast undertaking in the years to come.  Read more at by clicking HERE

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