The Handshake that Changed the Landscape of Toronto – Lanterra Developments
Occupying one of the dominant roles in the condominium development industry, Lanterra Developments has redesigned the Toronto skyline.
Interview By Sarah Kanbar
During the recent and unprecedented condominium boom in the Greater Toronto Area, one constant has remained: purchasers are looking for three main attributes — location, luxury and lifestyle.
And perhaps no development company has been delivering on all three more than Lanterra Developments, a business that began with a simple handshake 20 years ago. Lanterra recently launched its latest signature project in a string of residential successes with the exclusive 50 Scollard in Yorkville, a landmark building of 41 stories containing 64 spacious and elegant residences.
As founders Mark Mandelbaum and Barry Fenton recall, their partnership was in the cards from their first meeting back in 1998. They met to discuss land at Bloor Street West and Bedford Road, which eventually became their first joint project, the acclaimed One Bedford residences.
“The very first time Barry and I met in person, we became partners,” says Mandelbaum of that initial encounter, which clearly checked all the boxes. “Before he left the office, we did a financial deal on the Bloor and Bedford property and shook hands — true story.”
“In our 20 years together, we’ve had only one squabble,” says Fenton. “And that was about food. We’re actually great partners because we’re so different in the way we conduct business, but the one thing that binds us is this thread called integrity.”
The sense of humour is contagious with these two, whose chemistry is immediately evident. While they are businessmen who founded one of the most successful and forward-thinking condo developers in the city, they do not take life so seriously. Both enjoy the ride, the day-to-day challenge, the strong friendship at their core, and both share a passion for collecting art. While Mandelbaum focuses on architectural design and marketing, and Fenton on land acquisition and construction, there is a sympatico between these two that, in many ways, has formed the foundation of their success.
Armed with their considerable intelligence, that initial signed contract and a firm handshake which bespoke their honest characters, Mandelbaum and Fenton set out to change the landscape of condominium development in Toronto and, in the process, the city’s skyline. Lanterra is at the forefront of the evolution of condominium living in Toronto.
Their innate real estate acumen and foresight have led to the building of Maple Leaf Square, the first high-density project south of the Gardiner Expressway. This has spurred the growth of what is now the burgeoning South Core Neighbourhood and the nearby ICE Condominiums, identical towers, each more than 200 metres high, which dominate the southern city skyline along with many more iconic towers including WaterParkCity, Burano, the Britt and more.
The 50 Scollard development continues Lanterra’s tradition of building outstanding urban communities in landmark locations, complete with classical architecture, stylish livable spaces, quality design and craftmanship, inspired amenities and innovative technology. With architecture by Foster + Partners, and stunning interiors by Studio Munge, 50 Scollard will be a transformational condominium residence in the heart of Yorkville, perhaps Canada’s most sought-after and exclusive address of elegance.
It’s another reflection of the heart of Lanterra Developments’ business philosophy and the character of its founders. Whether you’re purchasing a condominium or forming a business partnership, there’s nothing stronger or more revealing than the power of an honest handshake.