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New Condo Developments in Toronto

Updated on October 8, 2010

Toronto is experiencing a record-breaking surge in new condominiums. Right now there is a very large demand and developers like Peter Freed are at jumping at the opportunity to tap into the growing market. Projections estimate that 75,000 people per year for the next twenty years will move to the city core.

Freed has eight projects underway worth a total of half a billion dollars. It’s an impressive feat for an individual company (Freed Developments Ltd.), but a tiny fraction of the over 30,000 units that will be available in upcoming years. Toronto has more buildings in development than giants like Manhattan, Chicago and L.A.

Condo choices are diverse and perhaps overwhelming, especially to recent Toronto transplants. There are so many announcements of new buildings that it is next impossible to keep up. Unfortunately there isn’t any one site on the Web that lists all your options. You will need to gather information from many sources such as developer sites, real estate listings and word of mouth.

One Old Mill project at Bloor West.
One Old Mill project at Bloor West.

What to Look for in a Big City Condo

Before you start looking at specific buildings it’s important to know what separates a good condo from a bad one. There are numerous factors that most people overlook during hunting but are crucial for years to come. Don’t be swayed by your emotions. Sellers are excellent at spouting phrases such as “just imagine your leather couch and flat screen TV here” or “you’re party guests will be blown away by this view of the city”. These techniques are used to lower your defences. A stunning view from the 25th floor won’t be as sweet if the included appliances are lemons, for example.

Here are the top items to look for when shopping for a new condo in Toronto.

Milan project rendering.
Milan project rendering.

Location
Don’t be tempted to save money by going with a less desirable location. Unless you are leasing, moving into a condo is a commitment you want to be happy with for years to come. Being in the heart of the city will save you time in commute and give you quick access to all the best Toronto has to offer.

Access to TTC and public transportation
Getting around downtown Toronto during rush hour can be a nightmare. Automobile traffic is bypassed by taking the subway. For the most commute options, pick a location along the TTC line. Even if you don’t take public transportation, chances are many of your friends will. Make it easy for others to visit you.

Room for your Stuff
Chances are that you will need to carefully plan your setup to maximise space. Since square footage is at such a high premium you may have to ditch some furniture. Measure everything you plan to take up to Toronto. If possible, download a floor plan and place the furniture you measured to be sure you have enough space.

Amenities
Public facilities are a huge advantage to condo living. Stop by the pool, exercise room, party rooms etc. to ensure everything is to your liking and is well-maintained. If you have specific interests like yoga, golf or squash, look for buildings that cater to your current hobbies as well as a few that may interest you in the future.

Balcony and View
A great view provides the ‘wow factor’ many condo shoppers are looking for. Keep in mind that suites near the top of the building bring the advantage of the best views but also come with disadvantages. Heat rises so these condos can get excursively hot during summer months. Also despite the best ventilation efforts in public areas, top floors have dirtier air than lower floors.

Quality of appliances
Test all appliances to ensure everything is in working order. Check each burner on the stove as well as the oven. Open and close the fridge to ensure there is a good solid seal. Also, give it a good sniff as in many cases lingering smells cannot be removed from a good scrubbing. Be sure to spend some time with the dishwasher and wash and dryer as well.

Maintenance fees
Fees are usually calculated based on the square feet in your living space. Although the rates are fairly standard from one building to the next you need to put these fees into account when determining your budget.

Gramarcy Park near Wilson subway station.
Gramarcy Park near Wilson subway station.

List of Condo Developments in Toronto (Examples)

The following buildings are coming soon at the time of this writing. These are of course just a handful of examples as there are a massive volume of condo developments underway.

Grammercy Park
Modeled after the private oasis of the same name in New York, Grammercy Park provides an alternative to high rise condos. Unique is its attached private park, landscaped with shaded walkways, inviting shrubbery and flowers. It is a hop away from the Wilson subway station.

Milan
Located at Yonge and Davenport, Milan has all the Yorkville amenities nearby. The building is 37 storeys tall and features suites ranging from one bedroom to two-storey ground floor suites.

One Old Mill
Located in Old Mill, one of Toronto’s last true villages, One Old Mill aims to bring together old-world charm with modern conveniences. It is being developed by Tridel, the company that recently opened Ventus2 at Metrogate.

Tableau
Urban Capital, Malibu Investments, and Alit Developments are working together on a project located at the entertainment district of Toronto. The original warehouse building at 117 Peter St. is being preserved and built on top of giving Tableau a unique claim to fame.

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