As a resident of vibrant Little Italy, I'm super familiar with the condominium complexes in my swell neighbourhood. It's partly because there are only a handful, many of which I was engaged in as a member of the original development team - including The Button Factory, The Movie House and The Banquet Hall.
One of the mid-rise buildings located in the heart of the 'hood I rather like is called 'The Europa'. Located on the south-west corner of College and Palmerston, where Structube has one of its retail locations, it dates back to 2007 when it was developed by Graywood Developments and Beaverhall Homes. Being an 8-storey mid-rise with just over 100 units, I quite like its elegant canopied entry on Palmerston Avenue with its graceful double glass doors leading into its hotel-like lobby with concierge. As far as condos go, this building has just enough presence to be noticed while being appropriately unassuming to blend into the neighbourhood. I like how its scale and proportion fits into the neighbourhood, making it belong to the community without too much fanfare.
Situated just west of Bathurst Street, The Europa is a short stroll to either the Bathurst or University subway stations, though you'd probably just hop on the 24 hour streetcar or bus to get there lickety-split. It's also steps to all your daily amenities, including the bank, dry cleaner, pharmacy, organic grocer, and of course the local Starbucks. And let's not forget the dynamic colourful Kensignton Market located a few blocks east of this building, which is the go-to place for all things hip, cool and tasty. In this area most of the housing stock retains its working and merchant class flavour, though one can see by the recent conversion of the church across the street into multi-million dollar residences that the distinctly romantic European character of the area is definitely going upscale. This follows the trajectory of any hot neighbourhood which has been gentrifying for over twenty years. Even with these changes, the lack of condominiums in the area still make it a rare opportunity to find something 'special' in this neighbourhood village.
Whenever I visit Europa I feel welcome. A friendly concierge is on duty eight hours per day, while a closed circuit television camera links the lobby to your television set 24-hours a day. A proximity card access system controls access to all building doors and residents' parking levels. Beside the lobby is the Club Europa exercise room, equipped with a treadmill, lifecycle, free weights and a rowing machine. A wall-mounted television allows you to work out to the beat of your favourite tunes or watch an inspiring movie during your workout. There's also an event and party room, where you can play billiards or relax on comfortable couches in front of the big screen TV. A serving bar and catering kitchen service the lounge area where you can formally entertain guests or enjoy the Stanley Cup final with your best buddies. French doors lead you onto the private outdoor patio terrace, where you'll appreciate the interlocking stone of European cobblestones and the beautiful landscaping marked with privacy planters.
This suite is perched on the south-west corner of the building's fifth floor, so it has a sun-drenched vista overlooking the treetops and gardens of Little Italy. Currently configured as an over-sized one bedroom with two baths totaling 885 square feet, a partition wall could be installed to create a second bedroom (see floor plan). I might consider doing this, though I'd install a pair of glass pocket doors to ensure it served multiple functions without ruining what is truly a visually arresting space. After all, when did you last see an 11 x 47 foot long entertainment space wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows like this?
This property includes one car parking and a separately deeded locker. The common fees of $598 per month plus hydro make sense for a mid-rise with a concierge. It's currently tenanted at $2000 per month until the end of June, so vacant possession is available.
Have you met College Street's Little Italy yet? If you don't know this area very well, here's our Neighbourhood Page on Little Italy including our flavour video, the city census data on the area, plus several past blogs on area amenities! And consider checking out our other Neighbourhood Pages!
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