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New downtown condo ALiAS takes rock ’n’ roll glam to new heights

Apr 13, 2022

Originally Published By: Toronto Star By Tracy Hanes

Josh Zagdanski, right, v-p of highrise for builder Madison Group and architect Stephen Teeple with a scale model of ALiAS.

Cue a David Bowie playlist, blow your hair to voluminous height and raid your closet for a sequined shirt or flowing scarf. That’s the rock ’n’ roll-glam vibe of ALiAS Condos, a new condo by Madison Group at Church and Richmond Sts.

The 45-storey condo’s downtown location is where “dark grittiness meets sophistication, where Chanel meets Chrome Hearts,” says Josh Zagdanski, vice president of highrise at Madison Group.

He says the team embraced the rock ’n’ roll theme and ALiAS’s name was chosen as “it’s a place where you can live your best, most interesting and clever life, and your sense of self can be amplified.”

“The demographic is people who appreciate amazing architecture and design, and a great location,” says Zagdanski. “This is truly a Toronto project, truly made for this location. It’s at the nexus of the Financial District, the St. Lawrence Market, an evolving tech hub and post-secondary institutions.

“We’ve provided suites from studios to family suites for anyone attracted to an urban lifestyle.”

The condo will include a children's area designed as a fantasy rock 'n' roll playhouse with plans for a projector and crafts rooms.

The location has a Walk Score of 98 and Transit Score of 100. It’s minutes from downtown amenities including St. Michael’s Hospital, George Brown College and Ryerson University, City Hall, the King St. streetcar and subway station, and the Eaton Centre, as well as shops, businesses and restaurants.

Despite the prime location, the site was difficult. It was comprised of two adjacent parking lots — one facing south and one facing north — with McVeigh’s Irish Pub in a heritage building set in between on the corner. The “weird-shaped site” and city rules made it complex and challenging to design a building, says Stephen Teeple, of Teeple ArchitectsTurner Fleischer Architects was also involved in the project.

“We shaped the building like a jigsaw puzzle, with subtle curves and ended up with a beautiful undulating form,” Teeple said of the design that will wrap around the Irish pub.

As his team explored the east edge of downtown, Teeple said they noticed how the morning and evening light reflected against other buildings. “We wanted to use the sculptural form to play into the light, and the black frames with gold surrounds will reflect that light. We are trying to bring some elegance to the Toronto skyline and are super proud of that.”

Architect Stephen Teeple, left, discusses the condo's scale model with Madison Group v-p Josh Zagdanski.

ALiAS’s black brick podium will sit beneath a tower of aluminum windows with powder-coated dark frames interspersed with textured, geometric patterns of gold-coloured window surrounds, topped by a gold “crown.”

The building crown and scattered gold window details are meant to emulate the waterfall fireworks Teeple remembers seeing years ago at the international fireworks competition held years ago at Toronto’s waterfront.

ALiAS’s base of charcoal and reflective black bricks with chrome entrance is designed to resonate with the existing buildings in the surrounding neighbourhood — one of the city’s oldest — in a “super hardcore cool” esthetic that filters through to the interior design by Studio Munge. Suites will include kitchens with black finishes, metal accents, Miele appliances and dark backsplashes. Residents will enter the building through a dramatic and contemporary double-height lobby, with textured concrete walls and marble floors,and a Baccarat for Chrome Hearts chandelier above the concierge desk.

The outdoor lounge area will featuree the edgy, "hardcore cool" esthetic designed by Munge Studios.

Zagdanski says the 18,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenity spaces were determined by the tastes of urbanite buyers. ALiAS will include a state-of-the-art fitness facility with private workout pods and dedicated Peloton area; a co-working space with coffee bar where people can privately work or host Zoom meetings, as well as interact with others; a pet zone with a stylized gold hydrant and AstroTurf where dog owners can socialize; and children’s indoor and outdoor areas that resemble a fantasy rock ’n’ roll playhouse with projector and crafts rooms. Plans for the party room include a pizza oven.

A dedicated elevator will take bike owners to the second-floor storage area that can accommodate 526 bikes. There is also a bike wash and repair zone on the ground floor, next to the elevator.

ALiAS will also bring 7,000 sq. ft. of retail space to street level and plans include areas for outdoor patios. As well, Madison Group will develop a public park on the site that will include art displays.

Inside and out, Zagdanski expects ALiAS to be a trend-setting building. “It’s a really special opportunity in this location — and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do something special.”

"We are trying to bring some elegance to the Toronto skyline and are super proud of that," says architect Stephen Teeple about the exterior, interspersed gold window surrounds and gold "crown" top.

ALiAS Condos

Location: Richmond and Church Sts.

Developer: Madison Group. Architects: Teeple Architects and Turner Fleischer Archtects. Interior designer: Studio Munge

Description: 45-storey mixed-use development with 546 condo suites, street-level retail space and a new public park

Suites: 360 to 1,400 sq. ft., priced from the mid $600,000s. Finishes include nine-foot ceilings, laminate or vinyl plank flooring, custom kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, quartz countertops and backsplashes, Miele appliances, keyless door entry

Building amenities: Indoor and outdoor co-working spaces with coffee bar and private meeting rooms; fitness centre with private workout pods and Peloton room; indoor/outdoor childrens’ play areas; indoor-outdoor pet zone; outdoor lounge areas with grill stations, private dining areas; guest suites; 24/7 concierge service with automated parcel storage