On the map: Townhomes on the Rouge River

Last May in Toronto, when the contemporary townhomes of The Hill on Bayview went up for sale, interest was piqued.

“We were flooded with people,” says Frank Mazzotta, president of Armour Heights Developments, the firm behind the bucolic project in Richmond Hill, at Bayview and Elgin Mills.

Nestled in nature, The Hill on Bayview sidles up to the Oak Ridges Moraine’s rolling hills, forest, wetlands and ponds. Peek through a window at the presentation centre on 930 Elgin Mills Rd. — the site of the 200 future townhomes set out in 10 blocks — and you might spy a wild turkey strutting by, or deer, groundhogs, hawks and blue herons.

“There is a pond on the south side of our property, as well as the beautiful Rouge River running through it,” says Mazzotta.

The pond portion of the community covers just over two acres and backs onto the forest conservation area ratified by Armour Heights and the City of Richmond Hill.

“Twenty-four of the homes back onto the pond and forest but [all of the homeowners] will see the forest from their rooftop terraces — the mature trees are so tall,” he says.

“A walking trail [and] landscaping are part of our masterplan,” says Mazzotta of the area that was once a farm, and the largest quadrant available in Richmond Hill, when he snapped it up in 2004, carving out 10 acres for the venture.

Construction is underway. The final phase includes two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus den four-storey townhomes with 400-square-foot rooftop terraces, priced from $1.165 million for up to 1,346 square feet with parking, a locker and a move-in date of 2024.

Nature aside, this is hardly the sticks. It’s four minutes to Highway 404 or the Langstaff Go Station at 10 Maple Rd. and the 407. It’s five minutes to Richmond Hill’s quaint downtown with its restaurants and coffee shops.

“This will be a remarkable community,” says Mazzotta, pointing out the townhomes’ construction. “Developers usually build out of wood, whereas we’re building structures out of steel and concrete.”

“Building with concrete and steel identifies them as more of a commercial-grade structure, therefore reducing the insurance premiums, as these homes are classified as non-combustible,” says Mazzotta. “Although, the cost of the buildings will be increased by $15 to $20 per square, there will be benefits and savings on insurance premiums in the long run.”

Concrete floors are also less noisy, he adds, “and with regular wood construction, you’re going to get shrinkage and cracking.”

On the security side, there will be panic buttons in the garage and 24-hour

Emergency backup generators for the outdoor common areas including the street lighting is another point of difference.

Townhome interiors, meanwhile, are by U31. They’re also behind the snazzy presentation gallery, with its pale, reeded wood-panelled walls and warm copper accents.

“The style direction is transitional flair meets urban sophistication with warm neutral palettes inspired by the natural setting,” says Neil Jonsohn, principal creative at U31, noting the natural woods and soft, textured tile finishes.

“Kitchens are simple yet sophisticated in serene neutral tones,” says Jonsohn. “They come complete with Miele panelled refrigerators and integrated appliances — this is the best of contemporary living.”

There are also generous islands for prep work and entertaining.

The kitchens have “complementary two-tone millwork complete with sleek quartz countertops,” says Jonsohn. “Details such as the slim, finger-pull hardware and hidden undercabinet hood fan further enhance the seamless contemporary look of the kitchens, while double sinks [are useful].”

Luxury wood-laminate flooring is standard, or purchasers can upgrade to engineered hardwood.

“The bathrooms have natural limestone-like porcelain tile on the floor and wet walls,” says Jonsohn.

Mazzotta expects young families will be drawn to the project.

“Just north of us across from the main street, we’ve got a large park. You can walk to the schools,” he says. “The whole community has roads and infrastructure.”

And, they’ll have plenty of neighbours.

“Mattamy is there, Sequoia [Grove Homes], Greenpark. A lot of the big builders,” says Mazzotta.

If you can’t get in on The Hill on Bayview, there’s always next year. “Armour Heights will unveil a master-planned community 20 years in the making, right on Yonge Street slightly north of Elgin Mills,” says Mazzotta, who’s hush on the name for now.

The final phase of The Hill on Bayview includes two-bedroom and two-bedroom-plus-den four-storey townhomes with 400-square-foot rooftop terraces, priced from $1.165 million up to 1,346 square feet with parking and a locker. For more information, visit thehillonbayview.com.

 Three things

 It’s a five-minute walk to the Richmond Hill Green Sports Centre and Park on 102 acres; there’s even a waterfall – plus baseball diamonds, soccer fields and skating rinks. 1300 Elgin Mills Rd. E.

Project: Fish’s stellar oshi sushi includes salmon with shaved serrano pepper and a layered seafood chirashi tart; or try tuna tacos, seafood yaki udon noodles or a sesame bomb specialty roll with shrimp. 9580 Yonge St., Unit 101

Visit quaint Mill Pond Gallery, formed by the Richmond Hill Group of Artists, to tour original artwork or take a class, from portraiture to oil/acrylic painting. There’s ones for children and teens, too. 314 Mill St.

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