From visitors and locals gathering along historic Main Street to the thousands of new Canadians living in its subdivisions, Unionville suits its moniker. Indeed, the former village was named after an instance of coming together: the 1840 Act of Union, which did away with Upper and Lower Canada and ultimately led to Confederation 27 years later.
Now, another example of Unionville unity is taking shape steps east of the Markham suburb’s namesake GO Train station. As well as adding three condo towers and extensive green space to the north side of Enterprise Boulevard, Phase 1 of Metropia’s master-planned Union City community will include Union House, which the developer’s founder and CEO, Howard Sokolowski, describes as “an extended living room” spanning more than 5,000 square feet. As a free-standing clubhouse-style space for residents of Union City’s perfunctorily named Tower 1, Tower 2 and Tower 3, the single-storey structure will have lounge seating, co-working spaces, a self-serve coffee bar and pool tables.
Given Union City’s planned size and scale — as many as 11 condo and office buildings are ultimately slated to occupy the 12-acre site — the Metropia team “was very focused on creating opportunities for residents across buildings to socialize and connect,” Sokolowski explains. “Markham is such a diverse city, and we wanted to celebrate that with amenities that can be enjoyed across different cultures, ages and life stages, and throughout every season.”
The IBI Group-designed Tower 1, for its part, includes a six-storey podium that will have amenities such as a fitness centre, a swimming pool with an outdoor sun deck and terrace, a kids room, a party room, a virtual experiences room, a gaming room and a quiet lounge. The podium’s top floor, meanwhile, includes more than 50,000 square feet of al fresco terrace space that includes a meadow, a children’s garden, tabletop fire pits, a games court with basketball nets, an outdoor gym and a dog area.
As with Union House, all three of Phase 1’s towers will share a 35,000-square-foot pedestrian-centric plaza landscaped by Quinn Design Associates and surrounded by 1.1 acres of green space. A pedestrian bridge to the Unionville GO station is also being proposed.
Construction of Tower 1 is expected to start in June of 2024, with occupancy slated for 2027.
With the building’s 440 units expected to sell out quickly, and with York University’s neighbouring Markham Campus on track to open in early 2024, public sales for Tower 2 have been moved up to May. The response to Tower 1 has been positive, according to Sokolowski: “Many people are buying units as versatile investments they can sell for a profit, rent out or use for their own purposes.”
Ranging from one to three bedrooms, all Tower 1 suites feature balconies or terraces, nine-foot ceilings, undermount stainless steel kitchen sinks with black-matte faucets, and bathroom mirrors with integrated lighting. Depending on their configurations, units also offer soaker bathtubs or frameless glass-enclosed showers.
“Many developers are reluctant to offer three-bedroom units because they are very expensive to build, yet close to 20 percent of (Tower 1’s) units are three-bedrooms,” Sokolowski says. “This means couples can start off in a one-bedroom, start a family, and then move into a two- or three-bedroom unit. We are finding that a lot of local people want to stay in Markham, and this allows them to do that.”
Units starting in the low $400,000s. For more information, visit unioncity.ca.
York University’s Markham Campus will accommodate 4,200 students across 10 floors of learning spaces clustered around a multi-storey atrium. 1 University Blvd.
Helmed by executive chef and owner John-Vincent Troiano and Chef So Sakata, Markham’s Japanese-inflected Frilu is among 13 starred restaurants in the inaugural Michelin Guide Toronto. 7713 Yonge St.
Completed in May 2022, new pedestrian tunnels, elevators and other features are enhancing the quality of service at the Unionville GO Train station. A new westbound platform, meanwhile, is designed to improve service volume. 155 YMCA Blvd.