As a city at the leading edge of culture and innovation – as well as the continent itself – Vancouver is accustomed to bold thinking and beautiful design.
Vancouver’s recent architectural history features a number of impressive mixed-use projects, such as the Oakridge Development, which seamlessly combines residential and commercial spaces. Another standout is the River District, a master-planned community that redefines waterfront living.
Vancouver residents know class when we see it, and viewed from afar, The One, a sleek tower rising on the Toronto skyline, has earned the admiration of many. This monument to innovation also seems to have earned its name. After all, there’s never been anything quite like it, anywhere in the country.
Yet even as The One stands alone in its stature and ambition, the champagne-tinted skyscraper dovetails perfectly with its bustling retail neighborhood and the can-do spirit of the city.
Everyone who knows Toronto knows that the corner of Yonge and Bloor has long been prime Toronto real estate. Its appeal was amplified by the fact that it was also, in real estate development terms, forbidden fruit. The property was owned by a single family that had never been convinced to sell.
Because the location is so special, Sam Mizrahi knew that the building itself needed to be extraordinary. Job one was to find an architectural firm up to the task, and Mizrahi checked that box with the world-class architects of London’s Foster + Partners.
Next Mizrahi and the team at Mizrahi Developments needed a plan for burrowing deep enough to connect residents with downtown’s existing subway lines. Finally, there was a need for a groundbreaking design that would not require pillars or columns, creating an expansive interior that would be particularly attractive to retail tenants. The solution to this turned out to be the building’s gilded exoskeleton that surrounds the towering structure with strength and stability.
There was one more design element that needed attention, a vital detail that few would ever see. That was the creation of a financial structure to support the construction phase. Until The One, no one had ever built such an expensive tower in Canada, and no one could be sure if local banks would be up to the task. These financial arrangements were a priority and an essential foundation for The One.
Even before The One, Sam Mizrahi’s real estate development company, Mizrahi Developments, was well-known for its high-end residential and commercial properties across Toronto. Sam himself is a familiar face and an important voice whenever the future of the city is being debated.
“I’ve always been the type to look towards the future and try to spot opportunities in industries or sectors that weren’t being developed or served well,” he says. “For me, it was about finding a need in a specific area that no one else was fulfilling. I’ve always been interested in finding niche markets and doing something unique that nobody else is doing. That’s the approach we take with everything we do. I’m always looking for ways to do things differently and to create something special.”
When completed later this year, The One will be the tallest residential structure in Canada. The building’s facade is curved to mimic the nearby Rosedale Valley, and its interior elements are meant to offer an exceptional level of luxury for condominium dwellers, retail tenants, and hotel guests who will experience The One from within.
The One features 416 luxury condominiums, a boutique hotel, and several high-end retail stores. Residents of The One will have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center, a rooftop infinity pool, and private cinema. The building also has several energy-efficient features, including a rainwater harvesting system, a green roof, and electric car charging stations. .
“Art is what we’re creating here,” says Mizrahi. “We’re putting all our heart, soul, sweat, and tears into building something truly unique – a one-of-a-kind building. We’re paying attention to all of the little details that take the building beyond a pedestrian experience. There’s only one Yonge and Bloor, and only one Bloor Street where you can build something this architecturally stunning. I mean, if someone asked me where we’d do another project like this, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. The project is just that special.”