Reina Condos’ all-women development team reveals design plans
Rising 9 storeys on the Queensway, Reina, the mid-rise boutique condominium led by an exclusively female team, is ready to take her throne in the heart of Etobicoke.
The condo is a passion project from Taya Cook, Director of Development, Urban Capital and Sherry Larjani, Managing Partner at Spotlight Developments who joined forces to conceptualize a condo designed and developed by women, but for everyone.
Together, Cook and Larjani assembled a team of women from a range of industries including but not limited to construction management, architecture, engineering (including structural, mechanical and electrical), legals, marketing and sales.
Every aspect of Reina has been run by a woman in a leadership role with the goal of drawing awareness to the significant gender imbalance that exists in real estate development and providing role models to encourage more women to enter these fields.
Once assembled, the team embarked on an extensive, year-long consultation process, garnering feedback from an array of users, including multigenerational families, parents with young or adolescent children, and singles. The resulting design is a contemporary midrise with atypically large, flexible floor plans and a forward-thinking amenity program geared towards fostering community and familiarity between residents.
“It’s so gratifying to be sharing our design plans for Reina after the immense amount of thought and consideration we put into this milestone project,” says Taya Cook, Director of Development at Urban Capital. “Our all-star team heard the community’s feedback loud and clear. We set out to understand what people need from their homes, and we’re really proud of the solutions we were able to develop to create inclusive spaces for a range of diverse groups.”
“We all know that there are certain pain points when it comes to living in condos,” says Sherry Larjani, Managing Partner at Spotlight Development. “Reina is our chance to respond to these challenges innovatively while celebrating female achievement and building more professional opportunities for women. Future residents can look forward to better storage solutions, more thoughtful amenities, and the chance to build a more connected community.”
With architecture and interiors by Quadrangle, Reina articulates a softer, lighter presence on the Queensway. A white brick exterior façade features a “quilted” effect, with soft curves and rounded corners, offering generous setbacks on the east and west. A series of picketed balconies wrap around Reina, with south facing views overlooking the oasis-like exterior courtyard.
Inside the building, Reina’s light-filled lobby is outfitted in wood finishes and neutral palettes with pops of jewel tones. The double-height windows on the north and south sides create porosity, with inviting glimpses of the courtyard’s impressive landscape beyond. The focus on inclusivity and community is woven throughout the development, punctuated by ground floor, live-work suites designed for multigenerational living. These suites feature two entrances, a full-sized kitchen, and a smaller kitchenette making them the ideal space for families with adolescent children or aging parents.
Reina’s community-focused point of view was honed throughout the consultation process and informed the project’s robust amenity program. By viewing amenities through a holistic, community-focused lens the team strived to elevate Reina’s amenities above standard offerings. Starting with the amenity space itself which has been designed to be 25 per cent larger than what the City requires, every demographic has been considered in its activation.
Not only are the gym and yoga studio equipped with weights and resistance training to offer workouts for a range of abilities, they’re also strategically located by the kids’ playroom and have windows for parents who need to keep an eye on children while working on their fitness goals.
A hobby room is designed as a “messy” room where residents are invited to unleash their inner artist and get lost in creating, while a snack shack, born from a consultation session with the Girl Guides serves as a one-stop spot for staple items like healthy snacks, juice, and everyday essentials like toilet paper.
The sound(less) room can be used for music lessons, to meditate, or to host a karaoke party. Additional amenities include a library, a parcel room, a games room, and a community room for all hosting needs. To ensure a genuine sense of community is achieved, a Property Manager will be tasked with animating and programming amenities with activities suitable for all ages.
Sized at 6,500 sq ft, the south facing exterior courtyard extends Reina’s emphasis on community, with a series of barbecues, dining “harvest tables,” shared outdoor workstations and a childrens’ play area. A new linear walkway by PMA Landscape Architects connects Penhurst and Wesley Streets behind the building to serve the wider community.
As more families raise children in condos, Reina’s design set out to exceed standards from the City of Toronto’s “Growing up Urban” Design Guidelines by incorporating three-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans at a larger size than required. Recognizing the consensus of storage shortages in condo living, almost all floors of Reina have stroller parking available, and suites are arranged to maximize existing storage opportunities or support add-ons.
“Reina is modern and at the same time soft and welcoming,” says Heather Rolleston, Principal, Quadrangle. “In our design it was important to make the building engaging on all four sides and to integrate seamlessly into the neighbourhood. Reina is a game changer for Etobicoke and a symbol of the transformation potential in the community.”