Greater Toronto Area pre-construction sales experienced one of the hottest years ever in 2021 -- according to data released by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and Altus Group, a total of 32,919 units traded hands last year -- just 127 transactions shy of the all-time record set in 2017.

Leading that surge in demand was Menkes Developments Ltd. -- the developer behind some of the GTA's most iconic residential and commercial buildings -- who has been recognized by Altus as the number-one builder in Canada in terms of pre-construction high rise sales. The developer sold 1,736 units in 2021, and currently has a total of 5,000 units under construction, with another 15,000 in development.

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In addition to being named the top builder, Menkes also snagged the highest honours for the second phase of its Festival Condos project in Vaughan, created in partnership with QuadReal and designed by IBI Group; it's the second consecutive win for the development, with Phase 1 receiving the same accolade last year.

Festival 1 971x1024Menkes Developments Ltd.

"We are thrilled to see Festival's incredible success continue this past year," said Jared Menkes, Executive Vice President, High Rise, at Menkes. "Clearly buyers recognize that this is the most exciting mixed-use development in the GTA, with the exceptional quality and forward-thinking design that can only be delivered by an experienced builder like Menkes."

Located at Highways 7 and 400, this conveniently-situated mixed development is considered a cornerstone of the surrounding masterplanned downtown district of South Vaughn Metropolitan Centre (VMC). Made up of four towers varying between 40 to 59 storeys, including what's to be the VMC's tallest at 190.5 metres, the residential units are anchored by 85,000 square feet of retail space, pedestrian mews, and public square. Phase two launched last spring with 1,145 units, all of which sold within three months. Shovels went into the ground in October, with units anticipated to be available for occupancy by the fall of 2024.

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The development's success is aligned with further research findings from Altus, which found 52% of all GTA unit sales last year occurred outside City of Toronto limits. Festival is especially well-situated, just six minutes from York University, and a 40-minute commute to Toronto's Union Station.

"We see the growth of high rise development in the suburbs as a trend that will continue in the future, driven by affordability, desire for green space and population demographics," Altus states. "The 905 suburbs have matured and households from these communities, whether they are first-time buyers or empty nesters, don't want to move far away from their current home base for condominium living."

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