Most master-planned communities take into account things like location to central services and inclusion of a gym, but North Oak at Oakvillage, a multiphase condominium development in Oakville, Canada, builds housing units while incorporating sustainable building practices, too. 

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Oakvillage is a pedestrian-first community with a focus on connecting to the nearby natural elements of the area. A scenic, 1.5 kilometer multipurpose trail is woven throughout the community. Moreover, onsite trails lead to 300 kilometers of additional trails as well as pristine forests and meadows surrounding Oakvillage. Residents can hit the Sixteen Mile Creek, Bronte Creek Natural Park and Lions Valley Park. In the future, the complex will connect to a planned restaurant and retail complex via a pedestrian-only trail. The master plan presented four phases of construction. With the first three phrases well received and sold out, Minto Communities, the building company behind the project, has launched North Oak Phase 4. 

Related: A sustainable campus is built from 22 recycled shipping containers

rendering of tall gray building

The project is exploring ways to build human and environmental health considerations into a multi-unit complex. This initial tower will debut the developer’s first multi-residential geoexchange energy system. Geoexchange is an energy-efficient way of tapping into Earth’s naturally stable underground temperatures. While it’s not new technology, in Canada and other areas, it has mostly been used for single-family residences. With a geoexchange system, there’s no need for extreme variations in order to heat or cool the air because it’s already temperature-controlled year-round. These systems have been shown to reduce carbon emissions as much as 70%, a particularly big environmental win for a multi-family space.

rendering of person on yoga mat in front of glass wall overlooking indoor garden

“We’re thrilled to launch North Oak’s second tower, 4B, after the tremendous success of our launch of tower 4A earlier this year. North Oak is our first project to offer community energy through a geoexchange system and the response from purchasers so far has been positive,” said Roya Khaleeli, Director of Sustainability and Innovation for Minto Communities GTA. “Not only will residents benefit from this leading-edge technology, we know they’ll also benefit greatly from the wellness-inspired approach that’s seen through every touch point — from the walking paths and pedestrian prioritization to the beautiful gardens with native plantings and the bright interiors with natural materials and biophilic design incorporated throughout.”

indoor garden across from reception desk

With the recent pandemic fresh in the minds of developers, they created a concept they call the “Neighbourhood Nest,” which is a centralized space with eye-catching architecture that will connect North Oak to the future tower next door. This area is designed for social gatherings and also serves as an emergency response center with back-up power, a communications system and refrigeration.

rendering of person running on treadmill next to glass walls overlooking gardens

Large glass walls provide natural light and further encourage the connection between inside and outside. At the lobby entrance, an expansive planter filled with native species greets residents. Just outside the building, green spaces and a pond are nestled into the landscape. Suites at North Oak are offered in one-bedroom, loft, two-bedroom and two-bedroom plus den options, with suites starting in the mid-$400s.

+ Minto Communities GTA

Images via Minto Communities GTA