Who doesn’t want to be first? First to discover a hot new band or new brunch spot? Well, here’s the dish on the next first. Scoop Condominiums at 1771 St. Clair Ave West. According to SMV Architects Lead Architect and Partner Dan Cowling, this 72-unit residential project with trendy ground floor retail space is all about that whole “up and coming” neighbourhood vibe.

“The Scoop development is based on the principles of urban regeneration, livability and sustainable design.” says Cowling. His mandate from day one was to create a structure that complements the neighbourhood instead of overpowering it. Make no mistake, Scoop is here to make an entrance, but like any good neighbour it tries to impress, not impose. “The front has strong horizontal form that defines both parts of the building, residential and retail. It consists of rectangles and squares in a sophisticated pattern. It’s more artful than a grid. It sets a tone.” says Cowling. “To the south, the building integrates itself into a more residential feel as it scales down from six to three stories. I really wanted to respect the family residences that exist there.”

Torontonians love mid-size buildings. Downtown it’s easy to get lost in a big complex where one building doesn’t distinguish itself from the next. In contrast, Scoop is about forging a personality of its own. A complement both to your style and to the neighbourhood. That’s why the architectural sensibilities had to make a statement, while flattering an already vibrant and developing community.

“This development isn’t hanging on to the coattails of another neighbourhood.”

It’s the first for this area.” declares Cowling. “Scoop is a community-oriented building designed for living. Scoop is intimate. Boutique style. But it’s no shrinking violet. 8’6” to 10’ ceilings. Expansive windows. Individual heating and cooling. Everyone has a balcony or a terrace.” However, Cowling knows that personality is best expressed outside your four walls. “There’s a unique community-focused common area with a library room that opens to a backyard. We have a fitness center, a workroom that opens up to do potting and planting. Even a community garden.” And for those who want to pamper themselves and their pooches, Scoop has also considered the whims of its four-legged residents. “We’ve even gone so far as to include a dog-washing station.”