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Family Sized Condos

prosperegal

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Interesting that you mention Eglinton by the way. I'd consider parts north of Eglinton very cosmo. Are you suggesting those who live near Lawrence disadvantaged? ;)
Now it is, but it wasn't until I was in Grade 3 or 4 (late 80s) that things began to change. Mel Lastman Square opened in what, 1988? The part of North York where I grew up was pure suburbia, and to a certain extent, still is. If you only want good schools, then it's great. If you want convienience (walking distance to stores, etc (and even then, it's mostly chains)), then it's harder.

My ideal location would be in near the Yonge/Eg area, since it not only has good schools, but is within walking distance to shops, restaurants, etc and only a short subway ride to museums, galleries and theatres (ok, the Distillery requires a streetcar and some walking as well, but at least one saves on the parking, right?). The Annex and the Danforth are also on the list (though Yonge and Eg seem to be closer to good schools).
 

Eug

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My guess is close to Yonge-Eg, nice 3-bedroom condos would probably be in the $500000-700000 range, with significant condo fees.

Houses are more expensive, but not hugely so. $600000+.
 

Johnzz

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I was recently had a fascinating chat with some young parents at a get together recently.
The subject of 'family sized' units in the city was a hot subject.
The veteran 'burb' couples actually agreed with the one 'city' couple that was there. They seemed almost in awe of that couple.
What exactly is a family unit or a family neighborhood?
Are the suburbs really family oriented or is it just a huge myth?
Think about it.
You are young and starting out in life. You have a child on the way, and hoping for another someday, so you want a house with 3 bedrooms (four would be better) and a family room. You want a backyard for the kids to play in. You want to be reasonably close to a school. You want a great nurturing and secure enviroment for your family. Yo want to live well.

After a few drives out to several 905 locations on Sunday afternoons, you take the plunge and buy what you can afford in Milton, Bowmanville, or some outlying new area that has a brand new subdivision. Its a scenario thats been repeated thousands of times.

Now reality sets in.

That first Monday morning is the first big hit of many to come. You get up early, wake the the little one from his sleep, get him dressed and fed, and prepared for the babysitter. You rush through your morning routines, deliver the little one to the sitter and head for the highway. Wow! Where did all these cars come from? Certainly different than Sunday afternoon. The next two hours is spent in the car. You wonder how the drive home will be. You wonder what winter will be like. You wonder what traffic will be like in a few more years as more of these subdivisions around you get completed. You wonder if you need to gas up again. You wonder what that unfamiliar sound coming from under the hood could be. You wonder if you will get to work on time. You wonder what time you will be able to pick up the baby. You have lots of time to think about these things.

Weekend finally arrives, and you find yourselves totally exhausted. How do people do this year after year, you wonder. Oh, well. Time to get the houshold chores done and finally prepare a decent sit down family dinner after that first hellishly long week. Monday morning is just around the corner..waiting for you.

I could go on about just how much time the kids actually spend playing in that backyard, or how much time you actually will spend with your children playing in that backyard. Ahh, but when you do spend some time with them it will be 'quality time', won't it. Just buy them a couple of expensive video games. They will smile when they play the latest game. It will make you feel better while you take a break.

In a nutshell the suburbs really do not offer anything for your family that you can't get in the city and more. Family life in the suburbs is largely a an illusion. It actually robs you of the most valuable thing you have. Time.

The city couple with their little girl have learned the secret. Daycare is just around the corner. The school is 3 blocks away. The parks and Toronto island on the weekend are fantastic. So are the galleries, the museum, and the myriad of cultural events and activities. The office is a fifteen minute walk away. They pick up something fresh to prepare for the evening meal most days. The one late model car they own has not been filled up with gas for over six weeks. They are very content living in their two bedroom unit and they have something they will never trade away. They have time.

Granny,

This was one of the best posts I've read in a long long time! :D

Our family have purchased a 3 bed condo at Yonge/College and look forward to moving into once built. We already have two young children with more on the way. Downtown living is by far the most rewarding environment to raise a family. A changed mind set is all that's required. Us generation X'ers have an easier time thinking outside the box. Hence, the emerging trend to live city centre.
 

simuls

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Interesting that you mention Eglinton by the way. I'd consider parts north of Eglinton very cosmo. Are you suggesting those who live near Lawrence disadvantaged? ;)
In a word, yes.

Not to be too blunt, but downtown Toronto (while a great city that I truly love) has a hard enough time being cosmopolitan, let alone Lawrence or Eglinton. Quite frankly, anything north of Bloor, west of dufferin or east of Church is not cosmopolitan. That's not to say that they don't have wonderful things and conveniences, but to be cosmopolitan isn't just having coffee shops, multicultural residents, restaurants, grocery stores, daycares, schools, etc. around.

It means to have musicians walking the streets, 20 different types of live music to hear on any given night within a 30 min WALK, spoken word, live THEATRE - not movies, experimental art galleries, ART, a multilingual populace - a cutting edge - where things are going on any night of the week. Nothing like that exists in any sort of density anywhere outside of the above boundaries.

Granny and Johnzz, great posts and the way I hope people start seeing things. I bought my 2b+den(could easily be a third) specifically because of my son...and trust me - condo fees are still waaaaaaaaaaaaaay cheaper in a well run building than the upkeep on a home.
 

Eug

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In a word, yes.

Not to be too blunt, but downtown Toronto (while a great city that I truly love) has a hard enough time being cosmopolitan, let alone Lawrence or Eglinton. Quite frankly, anything north of Bloor, west of dufferin or east of Church is not cosmopolitan. That's not to say that they don't have wonderful things and conveniences, but to be cosmopolitan isn't just having coffee shops, multicultural residents, restaurants, grocery stores, daycares, schools, etc. around.

It means to have musicians walking the streets, 20 different types of live music to hear on any given night within a 30 min WALK, spoken word, live THEATRE - not movies, experimental art galleries, ART, a multilingual populace - a cutting edge - where things are going on any night of the week. Nothing like that exists in any sort of density anywhere outside of the above boundaries.
Except in downtown Toronto, it's not within walking distance much of the time anyway.

When I lived downtown, I was constantly driving (or taking transit) to get to those destinations. Dufferin to Church is actually quite a significant distance for example.

During the evening rush hour, it's actually significantly faster to get from Eglinton to Dundas than it is to get from Church to Dufferin.
 

Chiggs@mac.com

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I was recently had a fascinating chat with some young parents at a get together recently.
The subject of 'family sized' units in the city was a hot subject.
The veteran 'burb' couples actually agreed with the one 'city' couple that was there. They seemed almost in awe of that couple.
What exactly is a family unit or a family neighborhood?
Are the suburbs really family oriented or is it just a huge myth?
Think about it.
You are young and starting out in life. You have a child on the way, and hoping for another someday, so you want a house with 3 bedrooms (four would be better) and a family room. You want a backyard for the kids to play in. You want to be reasonably close to a school. You want a great nurturing and secure enviroment for your family. Yo want to live well.

After a few drives out to several 905 locations on Sunday afternoons, you take the plunge and buy what you can afford in Milton, Bowmanville, or some outlying new area that has a brand new subdivision. Its a scenario thats been repeated thousands of times.

Now reality sets in.

That first Monday morning is the first big hit of many to come. You get up early, wake the the little one from his sleep, get him dressed and fed, and prepared for the babysitter. You rush through your morning routines, deliver the little one to the sitter and head for the highway. Wow! Where did all these cars come from? Certainly different than Sunday afternoon. The next two hours is spent in the car. You wonder how the drive home will be. You wonder what winter will be like. You wonder what traffic will be like in a few more years as more of these subdivisions around you get completed. You wonder if you need to gas up again. You wonder what that unfamiliar sound coming from under the hood could be. You wonder if you will get to work on time. You wonder what time you will be able to pick up the baby. You have lots of time to think about these things.

Weekend finally arrives, and you find yourselves totally exhausted. How do people do this year after year, you wonder. Oh, well. Time to get the houshold chores done and finally prepare a decent sit down family dinner after that first hellishly long week. Monday morning is just around the corner..waiting for you.

I could go on about just how much time the kids actually spend playing in that backyard, or how much time you actually will spend with your children playing in that backyard. Ahh, but when you do spend some time with them it will be 'quality time', won't it. Just buy them a couple of expensive video games. They will smile when they play the latest game. It will make you feel better while you take a break.

In a nutshell the suburbs really do not offer anything for your family that you can't get in the city and more. Family life in the suburbs is largely a an illusion. It actually robs you of the most valuable thing you have. Time.

The city couple with their little girl have learned the secret. Daycare is just around the corner. The school is 3 blocks away. The parks and Toronto island on the weekend are fantastic. So are the galleries, the museum, and the myriad of cultural events and activities. The office is a fifteen minute walk away. They pick up something fresh to prepare for the evening meal most days. The one late model car they own has not been filled up with gas for over six weeks. They are very content living in their two bedroom unit and they have something they will never trade away. They have time.
Granny - this is the post of the month as far as I'm concerned. As the parent of an 8 year old who lives downtown in a condo, I agree with you 100%. We moved back downtown when our daughter was just under 2 and have not regretted it for a moment. Granted we're lucky enough to have a 1200 square foot unit with plans to move into a 1400 square foot unit when it's built in a year or two but the value of "time" outweighs anything else in my mind. We sometimes think about moving into Bloor West Village but even then, it's 20 minutes of driving twice a day vs. walking down the street to my daughters school or my office...
 

urbandreamer

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Last Saturday I was in the Yonge and Lawrence nabe. Here's what I saw:

bars, cafes, coffee shops, boutiques, theatres, art galleries, and tons of (gasp) white ppl!:p

I think it comes down to how much you value living in a mostly white 'hood or not, choosing to live at Yonge and Lawrence, much like many Jewish families feel more comfortable living at Bathurst and Lawrence/Eglinton, or Portuguese families at Dundas/Dufferin...etc....

Things are a changing, but I still think an Annex or Queen/Dundas/College and Shaw area house is ideal.
 

simuls

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Except in downtown Toronto, it's not within walking distance much of the time anyway.

When I lived downtown, I was constantly driving (or taking transit) to get to those destinations. Dufferin to Church is actually quite a significant distance for example.

During the evening rush hour, it's actually significantly faster to get from Eglinton to Dundas than it is to get from Church to Dufferin.
I've lived for the past 3 years at king/shaw. Dufferin is an 8 minute walk, Church is a 35 min walk, Bloor/Church (roughly diagonal is a 45 min walk). It's all walkable. In fact I haven't even bothered to buy a transit pass OR take my bike almost anywhere because it's faster, easier, cheaper (not to mention better for me ;)) to walk!

Also, walking for 30 minutes in downtown Toronto goes by extremely quickly and feels like much less because there's so much to look at. There have been occasions out in Mississauga or Scarborough, Elglinton, Davisville, etc. that I've had to walk and my god, 3km seems like forever!!

I really hope that more families come downtown. On top of all the other more obvious advantages, every study shows that the residents are healthier than the suburbs and pollute substantially less.
 

cdr108

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... every study shows that the residents are healthier than the suburbs and pollute substantially less.

Yes, and that's based on precisely what you mentioned ... almost everything is within 30 mins walking distance.
 

CanadianDriver

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Also, walking for 30 minutes in downtown Toronto goes by extremely quickly and feels like much less because there's so much to look at....
I agree. I walk to work everyday as well, 30 minutes door-to-door for 3 years now. To me, 30 minutes seems like 10 when walking during rush hour. It feels longer though when the streets are empty (i.e. no distraction)

It's similar to walking while chatting with a friend... you never noticed covering 4 kms in an hour.
 

Eug

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I really hope that more families come downtown. On top of all the other more obvious advantages, every study shows that the residents are healthier than the suburbs and pollute substantially less.
Errr... I guess you don't realize city "residents" for the purposes of that classification would include those living near Lawrence or Woodbine, or whatever.


Also, walking for 30 minutes in downtown Toronto goes by extremely quickly and feels like much less because there's so much to look at. There have been occasions out in Mississauga or Scarborough, Elglinton, Davisville, etc. that I've had to walk and my god, 3km seems like forever!!
Around the Bluffs, people tend to walk along the park paths with their dog for example, looking at the water. People at The Beach walk along the Beach, or shop on Queen Street. People near Bayview may walk along Sunnybrook Park. People near Pape go mountain biking in the Don Valley, and then ride to the Danforth for a meal. Every place has its advantages.*

*I say this as someone who lived for 6 years in downtown Montreal, and >13 years in downtown Toronto. ie. I've lived almost 20 years downtown so I know full well the advantages of downtown living... as well as its disadvantages.
 
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Felino

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First, downtown Toronto is not Yonge/Eglinton. I met a new homes sales rep this past weekend who claims he moved from downtown to Vaughan just recently. When I asked where downtown, his response: Dufferin/Finch.

I have news for everyone: downtown means 'down-town'.

Now, my point: the HST will now discourage builders from creating new family sized condo units. The 2 bedrooms units built in the last 5 years in downtown Toronto are already small and very expensive. Miller mentioned last year how he'd like to see builders put in more family sized units in downtown Toronto.

The incentive: the HST and land transfer tax all within a 2 year period!!!!!!!!

Unbelievable.
 

Eug

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First, downtown Toronto is not Yonge/Eglinton. I met a new homes sales rep this past weekend who claims he moved from downtown to Vaughan just recently. When I asked where downtown, his response: Dufferin/Finch.

I have news for everyone: downtown means 'down-town'.
Who in this thread said Eglinton was downtown? :confused:


Now, my point: the HST will now discourage builders from creating new family sized condo units. The 2 bedrooms units built in the last 5 years in downtown Toronto are already small and very expensive. Miller mentioned last year how he'd like to see builders put in more family sized units in downtown Toronto.

The incentive: the HST and land transfer tax all within a 2 year period!!!!!!!!

Unbelievable.
I agree the HST is stupid as to applied to new homes, but to be fair, Miller has nothing to do with it. The land transfer tax he had everything to do with though, and I agree it's very punitive to a large chunk of new families who won't be first time home buyers, including lots who would be the prime customers for large-sized condos.
 
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