For Toronto’s Sam Mizrahi, there is no greater joy than turning a vision into reality. Right now, this particular vision is in the form of a billion dollar super tower known as The One, which will be located on the corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets in the heart of downtown Toronto. Upon completion, The One will be the tallest residential tower in Canada, slated to be 308 meters tall and 85 stories high.
Dreaming big is nothing new to Sam Mizrahi. The President and founder of Mizrahi Developments, Mizrahi began his career in real estate over twenty years ago. His ambitions led him to study urban planning as he searched for lucrative but overlooked real estate investment opportunities in the Richmond Hill and Oak Ridges areas of Toronto. This combination of ambition and intuition led Mizrahi in a real estate career of increasing accomplishment, one that saw him and his team developing luxury, customized condominium projects at 133 Hazelton and 181 Davenport in Toronto and 1451 Wellington in Ottawa, among others.
We had a chance to speak with Sam Mizrahi and gain a more comprehensive look at the development of The One, as well as his larger career in real estate.
Q: What do you consider the perfect formula for a successful development project?
Sam Mizrahi: Location. It’s all about the surrounding community. Before we step into considering any new development, we do extensive research. Simply put, we like to understand the community that we will be building in first. We ask, “What was the community founded upon?” Our vision is to have our developments amplify the community as a whole, so that the architecture and presence of our developments adds value to the aesthetic and experience of the community.
Q: Excavation has begun on Toronto’s first supertall skyscraper – The One – which will become the tallest building in Canada when completed. Walk us through the vision you had for this momentous project.
Sam Mizrahi: Together with Foster and Partners, who are the architects behind the design of The One, our goal was to raise the benchmark on innovation and bring that to a new building in downtown Toronto. How could we create a living experience in the city that is completely new? How do we make residents fall in love with Toronto all over again, in a space that reflects their identity and passion for the perfect balance of traditional and contemporary design. I think Toronto is an international city that has great potential to be globally recognized for its architecture — that ambition has played its part in the vision for The One as well.
Q: Tell us more about the location of The One. Why did you choose Yonge and Bloor Streets in Toronto to develop a groundbreaking mixed-use tower?
Sam Mizrahi: Prime location. That’s exactly what makes this intersection so important – the retail business, shops, restaurants, activities and so forth. Yonge and Bloor is within walking distance of the University of Toronto’s downtown campus and, of course, it has access to mass transit. Over half a million riders travel through this intersection, making this location one of the most important in Canada.
Q: What advice do you give to other entrepreneurs, specifically those who are exploring the real estate business?
Sam Mizrahi: Don’t be satisfied until you’ve known you created something unique. Too often developers forget about the attention to detail. That equates to quality-control issues, cheaply built structures and a tarnishing of the communities they are in. My advice would be to have a tremendous amount of passion for your project and lead others to feel that excitement as well. All to say, create that WOW factor.
Q: What got you to the point you are today?
Sam Mizrahi: Hoping and dreaming. And a lot of hard work.