RioCan Living expands scope, develops Verge Condos in Toronto


RioCan Living will launch sales of Verge Condos, its first condominium project without a development partner, in Toronto in August.

RioCan acquired the site at the southwest corner of The Queensway and Islington Avenue in Etobicoke in 2010 to add to its retail portfolio, as it included a 100,000-square-foot Cineplex movie theatre, three restaurants and a bank branch. The Cineplex land was acquired by a former partner, so RioCan was left with a 25,000-square-foot plot to intensify.

“It also came with the benefit of the leases for the three restaurants and the bank having very limited lease term left,” RioCan senior vice-president of asset management John Ballantyne told RENX. “One of the toughest parts of converting retail properties into residential through intensifying them is freeing up the leases. This one had it already built in.”

The mixed-use project will include 545 units in 17- and 11-storey buildings, a podium with 30,000 square feet of retail space, a public park and a new service road on the south side of the property.

Unnamed institutional investment partners RioCan has done business with in the past have an 80 per cent financial stake in Verge. RioCan has retained a 20 per cent ownership interest along with project oversight as general partner and sole development manager.

The location offers accessibility to the Toronto Transit Commission’s Bloor subway line and Mimico GO Transit station as well as the Gardiner Expressway, Queen Elizabeth Way and Highway 427.

It’s about equidistant to downtown Toronto and downtown Mississauga, has retail close by and is a relatively short drive to Toronto Pearson Airport and Humber College.