Intensification in unlikely placesUsually when we think of intensification we think of condo towers going up on former parking lots in the downtown core or derelict plazas being redeveloped into mixed-use residential-commercial buildings in uptown neighbourhoods. But, according to a Toronto Star article, there is one intensification project in Oakville that seems pretty unique to me.
The Edgemere Estate is a 15-year-old, 32,000 square foot mansion on 5.7 hectares on the lake in Oakville. It has 17 bathrooms, a 20-seat theatre, a spa, a baseball diamond and 300 metres of shoreline. Once the residence of the head of Mattamy Homes, the mansion is slated to be demolished to make way for 30 luxury condominium units on the site. They will be between 2700 and 5500 square feet, While this development probably isn't going to make a dent in the suburbia that Oakville has become, this is an example of the kinds of little developments things that cities can welcome to increase the overall density of the area. When density increases the tax base goes up and the financial burden placed on each resident for infrastructure maintenance goes down as more people share sewers and roads (which might not even need to be upgraded if the development is small). It makes transit more cost effective as it puts more potential riders in the catchment area, and it can lead to stronger communities as the residents are less isolated from their neighbours.
Intensification doesn't have to mean 60-storey towers. It can be stacked townhouses, or in this case, mini-mansions where one large estate once was. Either way, it's a step in the right direction towards a more sustainable urban future.
Labels: urban design