UrbanToronto News - the latest headlines
Photo of the Day: 88 North
ALSO


Building enclosed rooms on large balcony -- possible or not?

ponyboy

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2007
Messages
944
Reaction score
891
Location
bloor/bathurst
Hi Everyone,
This isn't my unit, but I've noticed that the corner podium units on this building -- Yards at Fork York, 20 Bruyeres Mews -- have very large outdoor spaces.

th11-20-bruyeres-mews-toronto-C3480150-1.jpg

photo: https://photos.zolo.ca/th11-20-bruyeres-mews-toronto-C3480150-1.jpg?2016-07-16+05:15:07.

Here is a corner unit that recently sold, with lots of photos.

https://mongohouse.com/newlistings/59e503505c72301f78c0a406

I"m wondering why the developer chose to have such a large outdoor space. Seems too big, and the interior of the unit feels too far from exterior light. In my opinion, they could have made a much nicer floorplan, and got a higher price, if they were to build the interior space out toward the exterior. My question -- would buildings ever let an owner build onto the balcony/terrace? I did a bit of basic modifications, and here is original and proposed (fantasy?) floorplan

original --

branded_imperial_20-bruyeres-mews-unit-609-toronto-on_1.png


possible?

sketch-1516507062969.png.jpg


Probably would never be allowed. Any thoughts?
 

Attachments

lenaitch

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
694
Reaction score
461
I'm certainly not an architect, builder or even a half-competent DIYer, but I doubt it would be allowed. I'm also not that familiar with what could and could not be allowed by a condo board. Regardless, I see a number of issues:
-assuming the the floor of the balcony is concrete, how would it be insulated and/or heated?
-the dwg seems to suggest some type of new thin walls or partitions. How would they be insulated?
-how would electricity be run to the new living spaces?
-the revised floor plan relocates virtually all plumbing. How would this be accomplished assuming concrete floors?
 

DSC

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
9,749
Reaction score
4,335
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
I suspect that, like most condo balconues, the balcony is NOT part of the Unit. It is "common elements, exclusive use".
Even if it was a part if the Unit the City might well refuse a permit.
 

TransitBart

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2016
Messages
2,016
Reaction score
1,323
Location
Leslieville
Some people have converted balconies into solariums to extend their living spaces with permission from the condo board.
I hate that. It makes buildings look boxy and they come to lack the clean design of the original. Big ‘yuck’ to this. Want more space? Move.
 

DSC

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
9,749
Reaction score
4,335
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
I hate that. It makes buildings look boxy and they come to lack the clean design of the original. Big ‘yuck’ to this. Want more space? Move.
It depends how it is done but in general I agree with you. Having only a few balconies enclosed looks VERY odd (esp. if they are not all done the same way) and having all enclosed can certainly change the look of a building.
 

lenaitch

Active Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
694
Reaction score
461
Many people think that so long as they get the approval of their Board then they are good to go. Nobody is exempt from construction codes and zoning bylaws. I read an article today that said that, under the Act, any Board-approved change to a common element must be registered against the title. Not only is this additional $$ and lawyers, but now that it is part of the unit's title, it ceases to be a common element and the owner is responsible for its maintenance. On external areas such as balconies and sunrooms, that could become very expensive.
 

DSC

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
9,749
Reaction score
4,335
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
Many people think that so long as they get the approval of their Board then they are good to go. Nobody is exempt from construction codes and zoning bylaws. I read an article today that said that, under the Act, any Board-approved change to a common element must be registered against the title. Not only is this additional $$ and lawyers, but now that it is part of the unit's title, it ceases to be a common element and the owner is responsible for its maintenance. On external areas such as balconies and sunrooms, that could become very expensive.
Yes, an owner would be required to sign an agreement under Section 98 of the Act. This would require the owner to take responsibility for maintenance/repair and these agreements are registered on title. All of the legal costs to negotiate, draw up and register this Agreement would have to be met by the owner.
 

tripwire

Active Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
399
Reaction score
280
I dunno, I really like systems like Lumon where the balcony can be both enclosed or open. It may look a bit odd, but with most condo buildings pretty bland design-wise anyways, I'll take the option for versatility if I given the chance.
 

tripwire

Active Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
399
Reaction score
280
When I was in Shanghai I was surprised to find almost every unit with enclosed balconies with large openable windows. Considering our climate, I think it really makes sense in Toronto. Costs aside, I'm really surprised it isn't more popular.
 

modernizt

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
1,474
Reaction score
994
From a building science perspective, in a climate of extremes like Toronto's, you want to keep a very clear separation between what is interior and what is exterior. Having a space that is semi-interior/semi-exterior can be really problematic from the perspective of moisture entering your building assemblies.
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
12,467
Reaction score
5,990
Location
Hipsterville
the problem is that as soon as the space becomes enclosed with openable windows it is considered GFA - while balconies do not count. Which means that it increases the "density" of the project from a planning perspective.
 

Roy G Biv

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
1,556
Reaction score
45
Your board will have to approve and there is minimal chance that is going to happen.
 

Top