The vibrant and family-centric Glen Park neighbourhood in Toronto has a lot going for it — schools, synagogues, restaurants, shopping, transit. But Mark Mandelbaum, chairman of Lanterra Developments and a neighbourhood resident, noted one thing it didn’t have: a hotel.
As a father with five adult children living within a 10-minute walk of his home, Mandelbaum recognized there were others like him in the area with kids, parents or relatives visiting from out-of-town who wanted to stay close to their families. It was the inspiration for a new project integrating the luxury 23-suite Glenhill Hotel with the Glenhill Condominiums, a nine-storey building with 127 residences to rise at the corner of Bathurst St. and Glencairn Ave. in the neighbourhood that has a large Jewish population.
“I studied the market and there’s The Pillar Hotel in London, a converted monastery that’s a Jewish hotel with 37 rooms,” says Mandelbaum. “It’s very popular. In this area, whether you are Jewish or not, if you have family in the area, you don’t want to go downtown to a hotel.”
Mandelbam felt it was important the rooms be spacious enough to accommodate children travelling with parents (thus hotel suites are 500 to 1,000 square feet) and have amenities where guests can host dinner parties and other celebrations. The Glenhill Hotel will include a banquet facility, lounge, bar, and private event space. Guests will have shared access to the condominium’s ninth floor lounge, outdoor pool, as well as rooftop fitness centre and terrace with barbecues and a communal gazebo. Hotel guests and condominium residents will enter through separate lobbies, each will have a luxury lounge, a 24-hour concierge with porter service and a parcel delivery room.
The mixed-use Glenhill development will be a key component in Bathurst St.’s revitalization and help to animate that block. At street level, the building will add new retail and commercial space and on its west side, will include a 260-foot linear park from Glencairn Ave. to Hillmount. It will be close to planned new city amenities such as the proposed pedestrian bridge over Allen Rd. to connect the York and Kay Gardner Beltline Trails. The subway is a five-minute walk from The Glenhill, there are bike lanes along Bathurst St., and Hwy. 401 and Pearson airport are a short drive away.
“A block like this comes up once in a lifetime and has exactly the right dimensions. The stars were aligned,” says Mandelbaum.
“These are unique buildings. In a sense they are like little jewels and set very specific demographic targets,” says Mandelbaum, whose firm has built many larger-scale downtown developments. “Glenhill is unique in a number of respects and it’s personal for me. It’s the epicentre of the Bathurst community, in the heart of a vibrant, affluent community. It’s not an investor building but more for end users. Its units are much larger than typical units as people want to stay in the community and downsize from large houses. All of the institutional things and shopping are there. It’s not just a Jewish building. It will attract many different ethnic backgrounds.” The residential condo units will be 1,000 to over 5,000 square feet in size, priced from $1.1 million to just under $7 million.
Studio Munge will do the interior design for the project and its founder and design director, Alessandro Munge, has travelled with Mandelbaum on research trips around the world for multiple projects they’ve worked on together. “Thinking about Glenhill as a hotel and residential development, we were inspired by the collection of adventures, rather than a single destination because this property isn’t thematic; it represents a life journey. It is about the curation of memories and beautiful objects collected around the world.”
Munge says his inspiration for Glenhill Condominiums and Hotel was heritage reimagined, giving the building a sense of sophistication rooted in tradition, yet with a contemporary twist.
He says while the residences and hotel will be separate, there will be an amenity where families can gather under one roof. “Supporting that connection between individuals and generations is a great honour and incredibly rewarding.” The lobbies of condo and hotel will have stately columns clad with natural stone, lavish leather-panelled walls and custom-cut marble floors with metal inlays. The reception desk will sit in front of custom-designed screens and the lounges will feature a collection of high-end designer furniture and contemporary artwork. The hotel will be supported by hospitality consultant Tony Cohen of Global Edge Investments, one of the original owners of Toronto’s Thompson Hotel and Le Germain Hotel, and food service will be five-star level.
Condo residents will enjoy exclusive amenities such as a lower-level pool with hot tub, wet and dry saunas and massage room. Suites will have ceilings up to 10 feet, finishes that can be customized such as laminate or engineered wood floors, soaker tub and glass shower. A presentation centre at 2989 Bathurst St., a few blocks from where the Glenhill will sit, showcases what buyers can expect in terms of architecture, design and features.