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Toronto's push for more family-sized condos (3bdrm+)

fedplanner

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Toronto's politicians and planners have been pushing developers to build more family-sized, what I'll define as 3 bedroom plus, condo units in recent years. Often times it's now conditional of rezoning approval in the downtown area. I do believe there is a need for these larger units if we want to have an inclusive community, but I'm concerned with the outcome. I'm not sure if the planners have thought this one all the way through.

Has there been any studies on who is occupying these larger units? Is it families as intended? What's to prevent these larger units being used as rooming houses or roommate situations for unrelated, young adults. There is a need for that too as it's an attractive, more affordable option than a one bedroom. I just want to share a concern that families are not moving into these larger units. Are these concerns vaild?
 

SunriseChampion

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It's fine in theory but market price 3-beds are a joke in terms of affordability for most families.
 

Avenue

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3-bedroom condos are still dramatically cheaper than 3-bedroom houses in the same area. They are definitely better than nothing.
 

SunriseChampion

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3-bedroom condos are still dramatically cheaper than 3-bedroom houses in the same area. They are definitely better than nothing.
Yeah, of course.....if you can afford even that. The people able to afford a 3-bed condo are in the same wealth bracket as those able to afford a 3-bed house.
 

SunriseChampion

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It can be like those 3br units in Westlake - at a whopping 880 sqf.

That's 500 sqf smaller than my unit... With an extra bedroom. Yikes.
Are they?! hahahaaa.....wow, I always thought that complex was a joke. Now I know it is.
 

WislaHD

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I wish we had more family sized condos. In another country, I have an uncle who lives in a condo complex where 3 and 4 bedroom condominiums are not the exception but the norm (this is a country that still has families with multiple kids). They aren't just 3-4 bedroom units, but also range 1,200-2,000 sqft in size. Comparable to an actual house in square footage, but in the air.

In Toronto, we have so few 3 let alone 4 bedroom units, that obviously the forces of supply+demand result in a rare but desirable housing type to be the domain of only the rich who could afford them. Not quite in the price range of most young families.

The major problem in Toronto when it comes to this topic is that condo developers do not receive their construction loan from the bank to build their project until they have pre-sold 80% of the condominiums in their complex. So there is a disincentive there to build 3-bedrooms as they take many many times more months to sell than 1-bedrooms and bachelors, and the developer is losing money every month that they are delayed from starting the project.

I'd love to see this issue tackled somehow. We need more family-sized vertical units in this city.
 

Admiral Beez

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Has there been any studies on who is occupying these larger units? Is it families as intended?
If I’ve got the money to buy a three room condo and want to fill a bedroom with model trains and another with a home office, who’s to say I can’t? If I fill it with kids, want happens when they move out? Should the board or government be checking that I’m using my private property to their liking? I’ve got five bedrooms in my home, but only two kids. Hopefully the UT property utilization inspectors don’t issue a citation.

The easy fix is to demand that new condos be 50% 3 bedroom, 25% 2 bedroom and 25% singles and bachelors. You’re bound to get families in most of them by default.
 
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TheKingEast

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If I’ve got the money to buy a three room condo and want to fill a bedroom with model trains and another with a home office, who’s to say I can’t? If I fill it with kids, want happens when they move out? Should the board or government be checking that I’m using my private property to their liking? I’ve got five bedrooms in my home, but only two kids. Hopefully the UT property utilization inspectors don’t issue a citation.

The easy fix is to demand that new condos be 50% 3 bedroom, 25% 2 bedroom and 25% singles and bachelors. You’re bound to get families in most of them by default.
And we would see less condos built because developers would not make any money. Larger 2 bed and 3 bed units are the last to go. These quick sellouts happen to projects that are mostly bachelors 1 beds and 1+1.

Condos would sit and sit and sit on the market if they were 75% 2 and 3 bedrooms.
 

lead82

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It’s easier to build larger units in mid/low rise buildings. Toronto needs Moreno duplex/4plex/8plex buildings and mid-rise. They are cheaper to build and don’t require the extravagant condo amenities. Build simple multi-unit buildings. Low rise means you don’t need much common space or elevators. The limitation is regulatory land use zoning which protects SFH at all costs and limits multi-unit development to expensive parcels of land along main arterial roads. Families want quiet space and don’t necessarily want to live right at major intersections. Many also want more ground level homes with easy access to the outdoors.
 

kEiThZ

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The easy fix is to demand that new condos be 50% 3 bedroom, 25% 2 bedroom and 25% singles and bachelors. You’re bound to get families in most of them by default.
It's not just the availability of units. It's the size of them too. 800-900 sqft for 3BRs in Toronto. It's bad. The second and third "bedrooms" often have a hard time fitting a double bed. Let alone furniture. Basically useless to any family with kids past the toddler stage.

^^^They do this quite a bit in New York. Wonder how many devs would do this here and how much they'd charge
I was offered this a decade ago while buying a condo in Ottawa. Useless to me at the time as a single guy. But developers do offer this. It's sort of an unadvertised thing. And they will often pitch it to older buyers who they know are downsizing. It's rarely pitched to families, because for most families that condo is a starter home.

It’s easier to build larger units in mid/low rise buildings.
I bought in a low rise building when I lived in Ottawa. It was made up of a complex with three low rise buildings sharing a common garage. And I regret buying in a low rise. I'll be moving back next year for a few years. That and accessibility to transit is why I kept it. But condo fees are terrible in low rise buildings. I won't buy in one of these again.

There's 128 units split between 3 small buildings. But that means three elevators instead of two elevators for a similarly sized high rise. The larger ground footprint, means landscaping and snow clearing costs are high. It means there's more hallways and lobbies to be lit. More switchboards to be maintained. Etc. I pay over $600/mo for maintaining a condo just under 1000 sqft in a building that's little over a decade old. My condo doesn't have a pool, a gym or concierge. No on-site super. Literally paying for nothing but basic maintenance. Low rises suck when done like that. But I can't imagine where a decent low rise could actually keep maintenance costs low.
 

lead82

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It's not just the availability of units. It's the size of them too. 800-900 sqft for 3BRs in Toronto. It's bad. The second and third "bedrooms" often have a hard time fitting a double bed. Let alone furniture. Basically useless to any family with kids past the toddler stage.



I was offered this a decade ago while buying a condo in Ottawa. Useless to me at the time as a single guy. But developers do offer this. It's sort of an unadvertised thing. And they will often pitch it to older buyers who they know are downsizing. It's rarely pitched to families, because for most families that condo is a starter home.



I bought in a low rise building when I lived in Ottawa. It was made up of a complex with three low rise buildings sharing a common garage. And I regret buying in a low rise. I'll be moving back next year for a few years. That and accessibility to transit is why I kept it. But condo fees are terrible in low rise buildings. I won't buy in one of these again.

There's 128 units split between 3 small buildings. But that means three elevators instead of two elevators for a similarly sized high rise. The larger ground footprint, means landscaping and snow clearing costs are high. It means there's more hallways and lobbies to be lit. More switchboards to be maintained. Etc. I pay over $600/mo for maintaining a condo just under 1000 sqft in a building that's little over a decade old. My condo doesn't have a pool, a gym or concierge. No on-site super. Literally paying for nothing but basic maintenance. Low rises suck when done like that. But I can't imagine where a decent low rise could actually keep maintenance costs low.
There are decent low-rise buildings with basic amenities. I live in an 8 plex which has barely any common areas except stairs to access the upper floor units. Minimal landscaping as the land area is small. No garage but outdoor private parking spot. Maintenance is $400/month but includes all utilities except hydro. Of the 8 units, only 1 is a 1 bedroom, the rest are 2+1 or 3 bedroom units. Great for families as all units are over 1100 sq ft. Not enough of this kind of product is in the city.
 

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