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Condo swimming spots: A secret oasis in the West Don Lands

The competition among condo towers for coolest rooftop pool has never been hotter. Meet the contenders

By Josh Sherman| Photography by Giordano Ciampini
Condo swimming spots: A secret oasis in the West Don Lands

Tim Gordanier didn’t want to live in one of those Toronto condo buildings where neighbours are complete strangers. Two years after buying a pre-construction unit at River City 2, the second phase of a multi-stage Urban Capital development in Corktown, he ran for (and won) the newly formed condo board’s presidency and began organizing social events. The open-air pool wedged between River City 1 and 2 (the two buildings share the same amenity space) played a big part in his plans.

He started throwing annual pool-opening and pool-closing parties at the beginning and end of the swimming season, with food and live music. Now, the mostly young-professional residents have taken up the torch. Every weekend between May and September is a party in its own right.

“Saturday, Sunday, even long-weekend Friday—this turns into Club Med. It’s crazy. Everybody wants to party,” Gordanier says. Elevator rides have gotten a lot less awkward since everyone started swimming and sunbathing together.

The third-floor terrace, where the pool area, a green roof and some communal barbecues are all located, is a ready-made party venue, with 11,242 square feet of gathering space and a capacity of 144. Alcohol is allowed everywhere except for in the water.

The pool has proven so popular that the board had to implement a wristband policy on weekends to make sure residents aren’t breaking the two-guests-per-suite rule, and that the pool deck’s capacity of 41 isn’t exceeded. “We found some people would bring in 10 friends,” Gordanier says. Security checks in every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

At 614 square feet, the pool may seem small relative to the terrace, but its modest size means a lifeguard isn’t required. The pool deck is made of Brazilian ipe wood:

Condo swimming spots: A secret oasis in the West Don Lands

 

There’s a stone path on the green roof that connects River City 1 with the pool deck:

Condo swimming spots: A secret oasis in the West Don Lands

 

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There are 23 sun chairs for residents and guests to lounge on:

Condo swimming spots: A secret oasis in the West Don Lands

 

Birch trees create some shade in the seating area:

Condo swimming spots: A secret oasis in the West Don Lands

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