The neighbourhood of Hyde Park on the northwest end of London, Ontario has experienced a staggering amount of growth in the past several years. One of the key reasons for this are the houses designed and built by Ironstone Building Company, one of the newest and most successful new home builders on the development circuit in the London region. Cali at Hyde Park Meadows II is a neighbourhood that exemplifies their successes in the industry. Located just off of Fanshawe Park Road, Cali combines ultra modern living designs, the freedom to choose between the city and the country, and the convenience of living in an up-and-coming neighbourhood.
Ironstone Building Company
Ironstone, managed by David Stimac and Allan Drewlo, contains years of experience in building new houses and has developed a set of principles that outline their philosophy on building homes. This philosophy involves building high quality new homes with trades skills and building materials that significantly outpace their competitors. Their standard construction features include nine-inch poured concrete walls, treated with damp-proof spray and sealed with plastic membrane. Spruce wood is used in both the floor joists and exterior wall studs, and the under floors are sturdy plywood that has been glued, screwed, and nailed. On top of that, the flooring in the kitchen, foyer, laundry, and bathroom areas is top-grade ceramic tile and the flooring throughout the rest of the main floor of the house is hardwood in a variety of types. The second floor of the house features gorgeous carpeting with a thick 3/8” underpad, keeping the upper floors warm and quiet all year round.
Cali (at Hyde Park Meadows II)
Cali is a new housing development being built around Tribalwood Street, tucked away just behind Fanshawe Park Road West on the edge of the neighbourhood of Hyde Park. The focus for Cali is on a combination of modern comfort and ultra-modern design. They’re a collection of stylish, architecturally interesting mid-sized homes that are perfect for anyone who wants their home to be a reflection of their cosmopolitan sensibilities, inside and out.
The Carmel is the smallest of the three houses on offer at Cali, but you’d never know it from the efficient way it’s designed. It’s a two bedroom, two bath affair, comprised of 1530 square feet. The front porch has room enough for a couple of chairs, or a little bistro table if your tastes run in that direction. Inside the front entrance is a small foyer, with the main floor bathroom to the left when you walk in. The foyer opens into the open-concept dining room, kitchen, and living room. The kitchen is set apart by the wraparound counter, which gives enough space to put together even the most complicated meals. The master bedroom is entered from the living room, and features both a large walk-in closet and an ensuite bathroom with sink, toilet, and tub-shower.
The upper level has room for a small seating area off of the stairs, in an area that functions as a balcony that looks out over the living room. The rest of the floor is the second bedroom, with closet; another bathroom also opens out on to the upper floor seating level. This configuration makes the Carmel the perfect house for a variety of living situations. Are you a couple with an older child? Parents don’t need to have their living space cluttered up with their child’s belongings. Young professionals looking to room together rather than take on the added financial burden of sole home ownership? The Carmel can be practically divided into two pseudo-apartments with a shared kitchen and dining area. It’s a versatile, efficient build that maximizes the potential of the space it occupies.
The Berkeley is the mid-size offering for Ironstone’s builds at Cali, taking up 1618 square feet (with an additional 446 square feet of finished basement available if desired). Three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and up to two half bathrooms fit into this space, and the emphasis on making everything work comfortably means those rooms are not small by any stretch of the imagination.
The front porch opens onto the entryway, where the first half-bathroom gives comfort and relief as soon as you step into the house. The entryway also provides easy access to the single-car garage. A small stairwell brings you up into the bright, spacious open concept kitchen, living room, and dining area. The wide counterspace provides ample room for meal preparation and also for quick, casual meals when a full setup at the dining area would be impractical. On the other side of the dining area, sliding glass doors provide a great deal of natural light and easy access to the back yard.
The upper floor of the house provides the real genius of how much can fit into this space. The upper floor is a split-level, combining two tiers of living. The first level contains the spacious master bedroom, with full ensuite bathroom and a large walk-in closet.
The second level contains two bedrooms, roomy, well-lit, and with closet space. A full bathroom occupies this level as well, with separation between a ‘powder room’ with vanity and a small section with toilet and a bathtub-shower combination. This configuration is perfect for families with children, especially as they grow: putting them in the upper level of the split ensures they’ll have to work extra hard to sneak by you in the night.
The basement level adds even more living space, although the finish for the basement is optional. If the basement is finished, it adds a large open space that is perfect to make into a rec room, or to install a bar in, or to turn into the ultimate home theatre.
The Monterey is the largest house on offer at Cali; at 1654 square feet it features three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. The entryway is spacious and provides access to a half-bathroom, a front hall closet, and the single-car garage. It opens onto a large open-concept living space that combines a seating area, dining area, and kitchen. Unlike the other two Ironstone builds at Cali, the kitchen is not semi-closed here; the kitchen counters are not wraparound, instead an island sits in the midpoint between the three parts of the room. It’s a design that gives itself over to space and light, and makes the perfect place to have both family dinners and neighbourhood get-togethers.
The upper floor is perfectly laid out so as to fit two regular bedrooms, a full bath, and a separate living space with room enough for television, seating, and perhaps a productive work desk. Down the hall from this second living space is the master bedroom, which features a full ensuite bathroom and a large walk-in closet with room for storage. It’s an intricate design that manages to pack an impressive amount of elements into one space and yet not ever once feel crowded.
The basement comes unfinished naturally but like the others has an option to be finished; finishing the basement brings another 562 square feet of space, a third living area, another full bathroom, and the option of an installed fireplace.
Cali at Hyde Park Meadows II is a growing community near Hyde Park, an area that fifty years ago was a completely separate farm village but is now a bourgeoning residential and commercial neighbourhood of the City of London. Located near the intersection of Hyde Park Road and Fanshawe Park Road West, Cali’s position in Hyde Park offers the perfect blend between high-growth city living and the open fields and freedom of rural Ontario just a few blocks away.
There are three main London Transit Commission routes into and out of the Hyde Park neighbourhood. The #19 route offers access between the Hyde Park Power Centre (SmartCentres London Northwest) and Downtown London. The #31 connects the Hyde Park Power Centre and the campus of Western University, dropping riders off at Alumni Hall. The #39 connects the Hyde Park Power Centre to the shopping hub of northwest London, Masonville Mall. The Hyde Park Power Centre is only half a kilometre from the Cali development.
The main neighbourhood public elementary school is Emily Carr Public School, located near Cali on Hawthorne Road. For Catholic families, the Saint Marguerite D’Youville Catholic Elementary School is the nearest and therefore most likely Catholic elementary school. The neighbourhood tends to attend Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School for secular secondary education, and Catholic families will find Saint Andre Bessett Catholic Secondary School directly across Fanshawe Park Road West. Banting is well-regarded in the city for offering an excellent mix of academic theory and technical knowledge, with specialist course streams that offer focused studies in the industries of sports and business. Saint Andre Bessett offers a similar style of program – where the Ontario secondary school curriculum is completed while maintaining focus on the skills and knowledge necessary for a specified industry – but their program tracks are for Justice and Emergency Services and Leadership in Performing Arts.
A large number of Protestant-denomination churches surround the Cali neighbourhood. These include St. Ansgar Lutheran Church on Lawson Road; West Park Church on Gainsborough Road; Forest City Community Church (a specifically non-denominational church mean for people with very little or no church background) and Forest City North Church (also non-denominational), both located on Blue Heron Drive just off of Hyde Park Road; Trinity Presbyterian on Gainsborough Road; and Goodness and Mercy Baptist (just south of the two “Forest City” churches. For those of the Anglican or Catholic faith, St. Aidan’s Anglican and the Holy Family Parish are just a little further south along Hyde Park Road.
Members of the Muslim faith will find that their closest mosque is the North London Islamic Centre, located a little ways out into the country along Fanshawe Park Road West in the village of Lobo. Jehovah’s Witnesses will find a Kingdom Hall on the other side of Fanshawe Park Road West, closer to Wonderland Road. Jewish practitioners, meanwhile, will find a reform synagogue at Temple Israel of London along Windermere Road, near the Western University campus.
As befitting an up-and-coming neighbourhood like Hyde Park, there are a number of excellent options near Cali for those days where you just don’t feel like cooking. The SmartCentres just next door has most of the fast food options you’re looking for, but also Sushi Galore, which has an excellent lineup of buffet sushi and features the largest, coolest aquarium in a London restaurant you’re likely to find. On the corner of the SmartCentre is one of the best breakfast places in the city, The Singing Chef; the restaurant fills up quickly on the weekend so it’s best to get in early. On the north side of Fanshawe Park Road West are the bigger chain restaurants, including Boston Pizza and Kelsey’s. A little south on Hyde Park Road, near the intersection with North Routledge Park, is the city’s newest Mandarin, which is perennially the premier destination for birthday dinners in the area.
The area around Cali has a wide variety of recreational options to suit whatever your personal needs are. Nature lovers will find some use in the Walnut Woods Trail, perfect for whiling away a couple of hours with the family and/or the dog. A similar, rather longer, experience can be had just a short drive away in the Medway Valley Heritage Forest, which can be accessed on the east end of Gainsborough Road and also off of Fanshawe Park Road West, near the intersection with Wonderland Road. Sports fans will find a lot to do at Nor’west Optimist Park, and kids will find a lot of fun at both that park and at Jaycee Park. A number of fitness firms operate in the area as well, including gymnastics clubs, dance studios, yoga studios, and martial arts dojos.
Fulfilling your shopping needs while living at Cali is no problem at all. With the PowerCentre right next door, virtually anything you need is available; the anchors of the Centre are Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire, but there are a large number of smaller stores to offer pretty much everything. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, the commercial hub of Masonville Mall is just a few minutes drive to the east. If what you’re looking for is a little more niche, the area on the other side of Hyde Park Road runs the gamut from computers to bathroom fixtures to crafting supplies and more. Even better, the wonders of the country are just a few short moments away, giving you access to all of the good things that grow in Ontario.