CANADA LANDS - CREATING UNIQUE COMMUNITIES
As with its award-winning community of Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack, Canada Lands has carefully considered the setting for River’s Edge, using it as the primary inspiration for creating an intimate riverfront community. The Canada Lands team started the concept of a walkable neighbourhood, where everyone has a natural connection to the water through a central ‘green street’ that takes you from the residential area directly to the Rotary Trail on the Vedder.
Since 1995, CLC has been purchasing and redeveloping surplus Federal lands for the benefit of all Canadians. Their extensive portfolio includes Downsview Park in Toronto, the Old Port of Montréal, the award-winning Garrison Crossing in Chilliwack as well as Garrison Green and Garrison Woods in Calgary.
As with Garrison Crossing, we looked to create a unique, sustainable community that complemented the site’s natural assets. At River’s Edge we’ve oriented everything to emphasize its connection to the river. The pathways, home siting and architecture are all designed to create a sense of natural flow and harmony.
RIVER’S EDGE – INTIMATE AND WELCOMING
River’s Edge was designed to make you feel connected and comfortable. To achieve this, the building and landscape architects worked with the natural attributes of the land to create an effortlessly interconnected neighborhood that flows naturally toward the river. Smaller walking streets, lower impact houses with smaller setbacks and inviting front porches to encourage more social interaction are all part of the plan to create a community where you feel at home.
Since 1980, this highly respected firm has created the largest, most diverse portfolio of projects south of the Fraser River. Mark Ankenman has been personally involved with Garrison Crossing from its inception and is overseeing the vision for River’s Edge with the same intensity and passion for excellence.
The idea was to design an amazing community, where site planning, landscaping and architecture all harmonize and reflect with the riverscape. Also, we wanted to bring back some legacy aspects, like back lanes, treed, walkable boulevards, individuality in homes, with everything built to the highest possible standards. No compromises.
ARCHITECTURAL INSPIRATION - COASTAL COTTAGE, NATURAL ACCENTS
Every effort has been made to match home designs and builders with specific sites, creating a harmonious neighbourhood that maximizes sightlines to the river while still providing overall visual appeal. While the homes share architectural Coastal Cottage design guidelines, there is enough choice of styles and accents to ensure every home looks unique. These homes will look individual; no two will be the same, yet they’ll still relate to each other to create a unified look and feel.
From the infancy of designing the Master Plan, we had the aesthetic for the homes in mind. We wanted to evoke the riverfront quality. That’s why you’ll see a lot of nautical colours and detailing like porthole windows, cedar shakes and river rocks. Each home is unique.
PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT, ENHANCING THE LANDSCAPE
The goal in developing the site was to keep it walkable and as natural as possible. Roads are narrow and sightlines to the river are maximized. Situated on 43 acres with over 1,300 feet of waterfront along the Vedder River, River’s Edge also boasts a woodland park with nearly four acres of mature trees. Careful landscaping brings the ever changing riverscape esthetic into the community, while the central ‘green street’ provides easy access to the river for everyone.
With over 35 years of consulting experience, P+A has been closely involved with Garrison Crossing for more than 10 years, receiving many awards from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the Canadian Home Builders Association and the internationally recognition from the Waterfront Centre in Washington, DC.
The lesson we learned at Garrison Crossing was to let the land speak to us. At River’s Edge we wanted to capture the feeling of the adjacent river and bring it into the site. So we’ve used lots of indigenous plants, river rock and other natural materials. We’ve also been mindful of the site’s military history facility by incorporating different industrial materials in interesting ways.