Hume: Are Toronto condo towers slums in the making?

Discussion in 'Toronto Issues' started by Southcore, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Southcore

    Southcore Active Member

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    In short: why the fixation by NIMBY's regarding height, rather than the livability of the units themselves?

    The condos are getting smaller and smaller, and for all the comparisons of TO becoming more Manhattanized, one thing what we don't share in common is that our average condo is size is much smaller than theirs. Lately we are seeing more and more crappy, awkward floor plans, windowless bedrooms, master bedrooms less than 10 x 10.


    http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1148728--hume-are-toronto-condo-towers-slums-in-the-making
     
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  2. marsh

    marsh Active Member

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    I have been to many community meetings regarding proposed condo developments in my neighbourhood (downtown core) and consistently the concern has been expressed that the there is a need for a greater diversity of housing needs - larger condos to accomodate famiilie as well as the servcies such as safe parks etc that will attract families to the downtown core; in addition to the need for affordable housing

    I think its unfair to classify everyone in a community who expreses concern about proposed condo developments in their neighourhood as a NIMBY and that the they are fixated only on height.
     
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  3. Thanos

    Thanos Active Member

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    Oh really? So those 600 sq.ft. condos that cost closer to the 1million mark then the half a million mark are what exactly?
    Have you actually lived in a Manhattan or NYC apartment? Very little daylight goes into those apartments.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
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  4. CN Tower

    CN Tower Banned

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    There may be a NEED for larger condos to accommodate families but there isn't a DEMAND for larger condos to accommodate families at a reasonable profit for builders or else the industry would be building them.

    The reality is that there is always a need for affordable housing for families. This is a problem for the public sector, not the private sector. Perhaps if the city would offer lower development charges, property tax abatements or other incentives to encourage developers to consider this market they would shift their focus. Until then get used to micro suites rented to rich foreign students.
     
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  5. RC8

    RC8 Senior Member

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    He's right to raise the issue, but honestly the quality of life one can enjoy in a modern downtown condo is infinitely superior to anything we ever had in the 60s. Many of those buildings became 'slums' have done so mostly due to their rental nature rather than anything else.

    I'd be worried about MCC turning into a slum, as there aren't many amenities at all there attracting people to live there in the long term.

    Right now in Cityplace there's more than 40 2+ bedroom units for rent or for sale (most are 2 bedrooms or 2 bedrooms plus den). Once the school is built, it will be a perfectly nice place for small single kid families to live in.

    I can't see this area running into too much trouble, personally. The ownership structure means it'll never compete with rentals, and the location means that however cheap they become there will always be a relatively well-off sector of the population willing to live here and pay maintenance fees to keep amenities in good shape.
     
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  6. Just_Chris

    Just_Chris Active Member

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    I doubt that very much. I thought your source would be the article, but the article says nothing to that point. So what is your source?
     
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  7. scarberiankhatru

    scarberiankhatru Senior Member

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    Two-bedroom units are a start, but three-bedroom units are necessary for real demographic diversity in a condo neighbourhood. A third bedroom means opening it up as a real option for families with more than one kid, or families that have a grandparent/aunt/uncle/sibling/cousin/roommate living with them, or even wealthier families that just want more space.

    By sheer definition, most condo towers will not become slums because of owner-occupied dwellings - they can control who lives there (themselves) and they have an interest in maintaining the property. Slums don't have condo board management and reserve funds to deal with repairs and maintaining standards. It is possible, though, that some less expensive building's suites might be virtually entirely rented out by absentee owners and this could eventually lead to the 'rundown + refuge' environment that characterizes slums. But this has not happened with our 50-year old rental stock, even in crummy parts of the city. Maybe they're 'slums' compared to Yorkville.

    Until we start seeing large, poor families stuffed into these 500 sq.ft condos because there's nowhere else to go, the condos themselves literally falling apart, and a real cycle of poverty and squalor and misery and stigma starting to emerge, these cannot be slums.
     
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  8. adma

    adma Superstar

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    And I seem to recall reading about MCC running into that absentee-landlord/lax-tenancy problem...maybe that's the coalmine canary here. (Wouldn't be surprised if likewise for SCC)
     
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  9. Grimace

    Grimace Active Member

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    Somewhere on UT there was a posting with a reliable source saying that in 2010 or 2011 or thereabouts the average size of a condo unit built that year was smaller in Toronto than in New York City. I don't believe it was broken down into Manhattan. But this is not entirely surprising because Manhattan already has substantial stock of small studio apartments (400-500 square feet, or smaller) whereas Toronto has had few such apartments until recently. So it is more a case of Toronto catching up. Plus I would guess that NY's average square footage is bumped up by its more active luxury market.
     
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  10. Southcore

    Southcore Active Member

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    Andrew Lafleur:

    I believe ours is around 700 sq and shrinking as per Urbanation.

    To Grimace's point the luxury market in NY might be skewing the numbers. Regardless, the size of suites are getting smaller and smaller and this will become an issue in the future

    EDIT - just had a look at the pricelist for Casa II: they've got some two bedroom units at 625 sq ft, and the largest units they are showing so far is 763 sq ft (i suspect that's as high as they go, other than the super baller penthouse levels). They've already got over 60 people lined up there and the launch date isn't until another 10 days.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
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  11. Palma

    Palma Senior Member

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    This makes no sense. if condo is selling for 500 sq. ft and a couple woudl be willing ti buy 1 at 1500 sq.ft that would cost them 700,000. . If instead of 1 condo at 1500 sq ft there is 3 condos at 500 sqft the cost per sq.ft is the same 500 so builder makes the same. i have never understood this logic. And there are families buying homes at 1M and up and they are only 1500 sq ft if not less.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2012
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  12. kkgg7

    kkgg7 Banned

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  13. EMP1729

    EMP1729 Active Member

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    Have you ever been to MCC? There is a freakin' huge shopping centre, two GO stations, a bus terminal and a number of schools, college and parks in the area. If those aren't amenities, I don't know what are.
     
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  14. RC8

    RC8 Senior Member

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    Yes, I used to live in Mississauga.

    All those amenities you mention (bar the new college, maybe) are so pedestrian unfriendly that given the choice, most people I know would rather go all out and get a house or a townhouse and drive to them all than live walking distance of them.

    When I lived in 'Sauga and used the bus to get to Square One I was OK with it all 'cause I was used to the vibe. Nowadays I live in Cityplace (by all means a MCC equivalent downtown), and whenever I visit the pedestrian areas around Square One I get genuinely depressed.

    I don't see a draw for high density living unless it's coupled with a certain independence from private vehicles.
     
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  15. kkgg7

    kkgg7 Banned

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    high density is desirable only when all those people actually walk on the streets doing stuff, instead of always drive cars to go to some mall. A car dependent high density place is worse than low density suburbs, which is at least safer and quieter.
     
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