Lenser

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I know most people will eventually move to the low rise suburbs once they have 1 or 2 kids, but allow downtown to densify and grow taller for those who will always live downtown previsely out of dislike toward lowrise houses.

What?! People don't live downtown simply because they loathe low-rise houses. There's lots of factors involved. Let's not oversimplify things.
 

ksun

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What?! People don't live downtown simply because they loathe low-rise houses. There's lots of factors involved. Let's not oversimplify things.

I was talking about myself only... doesn't include others. Should have been more clear on that.
 

argus

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I am fine with 16 st buildings. I live in a 14s one right in the core. However, they are not midrises.
I am all for this kind of buildings downtow and nobody is asking for 50st towers all around the city, however, what I can't fathom is the fear of a 24s tower at College/Spadina while at the same time believing a 2/3 story nonedescript slab sitting there is perfect fine or is somehow better. I know most people will eventually move to the low rise suburbs once they have 1 or 2 kids, but allow downtown to densify and grow taller for those who will always live downtown previsely out of dislike toward lowrise houses.

Okay, I live in an area where most of the buildings are 11 floors, and a few above that number. That's mid rise and it has increased density, it's here, and it's successful at attracting people who don't want to live in a high-rise. The density of the downtown has increased, but one need not rely solely on tall towers to address that aim. There is a place for such buildings, but the real success will come through a mix of approaches.

As for the proposal, the trouble is context and the precedent it sets. We keep seeing secondary plans blown apart by the OMB - which undermines city planning. A sudden jump from a side street context of three floor houses to 24 floors upsets some people. They are not stupid or lack urbanity, they are seeing a change that they think is out of context. Like you, they have an opinion.

Interestingly, many people with kids end up moving uptown or to the burbs because they can't find a suitable - or affordable - house or family-sized condo units downtown. Until fairly recently, many developers put up buildings that were really aimed at singles and couples. They claimed that the market determined the choice. It's left some segments of the populace at a disadvantage. City planning shouldn't be left to developers or determined by the OMB.
 

taal

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I'm not so sure that's true ... the real issue isn't the size of the units, rather the price, units of that large size i.e. 1000+ sq ft go for 600/700K+ and that's the limiting factor that most middle class families can't afford and hence move to the outer 416 / inner 905 where you can find a house for that price (1400-2000 sq ft probably) in decent neighourhood.

Other limiting factor is the condo fees ... assume they're 70 cents per sq ft (when you include parking this is the new norm), that's $700 a month ... I personally find condo fees are unfairly distributed, the size of a unit typically has little ramification on the cost less utilities but even this is to a lesser extent.

The solution ? Not sure there is one, but, what those in the know (i.e. those who really want to live downtown in large units) realize is there are some very very nice older buildings (with low condo fees) where you can find such a unit for say around 500K or so, in OK areas.
 

ksun

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I'm not so sure that's true ... the real issue isn't the size of the units, rather the price, units of that large size i.e. 1000+ sq ft go for 600/700K+ and that's the limiting factor that most middle class families can't afford and hence move to the outer 416 / inner 905 where you can find a house for that price (1400-2000 sq ft probably) in decent neighourhood.

Other limiting factor is the condo fees ... assume they're 70 cents per sq ft (when you include parking this is the new norm), that's $700 a month ... I personally find condo fees are unfairly distributed, the size of a unit typically has little ramification on the cost less utilities but even this is to a lesser extent.

The solution ? Not sure there is one, but, what those in the know (i.e. those who really want to live downtown in large units) realize is there are some very very nice older buildings (with low condo fees) where you can find such a unit for say around 500K or so, in OK areas.

There are plenty of buildings like this - you just need to find them.
The building I live in has two bedroom suites at almost 900sf for about a 400k (actual purchase price last summer). Condo fee is about 52c/sf including parking. It is an older building with little amenity but that's a good choice if you want low fee.

And yes, it is in a very central area within 2 minutes walking distance to Line 1, better than an OK location, and well under $500k you mentioned, with which you can buy a three bed/2bath easily. I think it is large enough for a family of 3 (or 4 for the 3bd), however, there is not a single kid in this building - which means, it is the families who don't want to live in condos, not developers don't build for them.
 
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taal

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There are plenty of buildings like this - you just need to find them.
The building I live in has two bedroom suites at almost 900sf for about a 400k (actual purchase price last summer). Condo fee is about 52c/sf including parking. It is an older building with little amenity but that's a good choice if you want low fee.

And yes, it is in a very central area within 2 minutes walking distance to Line 1, better than an OK location, and well under $500k you mentioned, with which you can buy a three bed/2bath easily. I think it is large enough for a family of 3, however, there is not a single kid in this building - which means, it is the families who don't want to live in condos, not developers don't build for them.

What building is this ?

hmm hear at Yonge and Eglinton we have many families in our condo (and the units are 900 square feet only) of course many is a loosely used term but there are quite a few kids.
 

ksun

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What building is this ?

hmm hear at Yonge and Eglinton we have many families in our condo (and the units are 900 square feet only) of course many is a loosely used term but there are quite a few kids.

The Victorian condo just by Queen subway station.
For some reason, older condos are priced considerably lower, even for buildings with very low condo fee - I believe at 52 cents this 18 year old building charges less than many brand new ones. And trust me, it is well maintained. Nothing is falling.

the trend for more facilities (therefore high fees) in Toronto should stop. You live in downtown with everything at the door step and people want to pay for all this BS they may or may not use in the building? It is ridiculous. I can't think of a single thing I can't get within 10 minutes walk - theatres, shops, dentists, gym, all kinds of restaurants, bars.

I will NEVER pay more than 65c for a condo, even if the entire Las Vegas is at the ground floor.
 

argus

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I'm not so sure that's true ... the real issue isn't the size of the units, rather the price, units of that large size i.e. 1000+ sq ft go for 600/700K+ and that's the limiting factor that most middle class families can't afford and hence move to the outer 416 / inner 905 where you can find a house for that price (1400-2000 sq ft probably) in decent neighourhood.

Other limiting factor is the condo fees ... assume they're 70 cents per sq ft (when you include parking this is the new norm), that's $700 a month ... I personally find condo fees are unfairly distributed, the size of a unit typically has little ramification on the cost less utilities but even this is to a lesser extent.

The solution ? Not sure there is one, but, what those in the know (i.e. those who really want to live downtown in large units) realize is there are some very very nice older buildings (with low condo fees) where you can find such a unit for say around 500K or so, in OK areas.

Which part of what I said isn't "true"? I said "many" not all.

I've had four neighbours who could not find an appropriate place for their growing family - be it house or condo. Many of the condo units are occupied, or not in buildings those people like or prefer. It's tough to find a house downtown that doesn't require extensive renovation. Still, there are more people with kids wishing to live downtown, which is a good thing.
 

ksun

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As for the proposal, the trouble is context and the precedent it sets. We keep seeing secondary plans blown apart by the OMB - which undermines city planning. A sudden jump from a side street context of three floor houses to 24 floors upsets some people. They are not stupid or lack urbanity, they are seeing a change that they think is out of context. Like you, they have an opinion.

OEB undermines the city planning - what kind of planning is it - to keep the entire downtown outside the subway loop essentially under 10 stories, so that Toronto will always keep the character it had 100 years ago?

I don't know why people living in a 3s should find an adjacent 24s hard to accept. That's called "downtown living" in case they didn't know. It is their 3s houses that are out of place, not those condos. Of course they are not stupid, they are just selfish - I want a low density living style right in the centre of the city and nothing above 5 stories should be built anywhere near where my house is! They do have an option if they hate highrises nearby - move somewhere with zero chances of a highrise built nearby. If you can't adapt to the change, then move somewhere with no change.
 

Tulse

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I'm torn on this project. On the one hand, I think it's rather unreasonable to say to people who have been in a neighbourhood of lowrises and detached houses for decades that they should accept a radical change to that neighbourhood's character. And I can't imagine that anyone anywhere would be pleased with the notion of 24 storeys of drunk undergrads plopping down on their street. But I also think that this part of the city is ripe for change, and that College and Spadina is perfect for sensitive, intelligent intensification. I'm just not sure this project counts as either sensitive or intelligent.
 

arvelomcquaig

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A sudden jump from a side street context of three floor houses to 24 floors upsets some people. They are not stupid or lack urbanity, they are seeing a change that they think is out of context. Like you, they have an opinion.

Yes, it’s their opinion, but some opinions are better than others as different opinions have different effects on the world. The opinion that nothing should be more than three or four storeys in such transit-accessible downtown areas is a destructive opinion because it leads to less efficient and sustainable cities and thus needs to end.
 

ponyboy

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Like some other big cities around the world, I believe that the city should legislate/mandate minimum unit sizes, and even require a mix of 2- and 3- bedroom units that is more representative of the city population (this is probably not in the City of Toronto act, so would require the Province). This wouldn't result in everything being out of price (e.g. 1000 sq ft for 700K). Rather, the price of land would decline, so that 1000 sq ft unit would cost 400-500K. Economically, it would hurt landowners seeking to sell at current premiums, developers who paid a mint for what they have, and the city who benefits per unit, but it would address the important social issue of creating a built environment that supports diverse family/household sizes. Neighbourhoods that have the full spectrum of family/household sizes/types are more stable, allow people to stay in their neighbourhood as their needs change.

Our elected officials have given into the nonsense that the market only demands studio and 1-bedroom units of 500 sqft or less. My proposed strict regulation may sound like big brother meddling, but it gets down to basic issue of neighbourhood stability and sustainability, and creating communities that allow people to put down roots and maintain them as they transition from single to having children, downsize, and then age in place. The communities that still have a lot of single-family housing stock near by will do better because there are those alternatives in the neighbourhoods (e.g. Leslieville, BloorWest, College, Queen West to some extent). I worry more about the future ghettoization of new condo-centric communities of CityPlace and Liberty Village. There will be a lot of turnover and rentership in these communities by design. Developers have little to no skin in the game once these buildings are finished. They are out of there, and residents are left to live in these communities. Politicians needed to be more forward thinking and tougher on these issues, but it didn't happen
 

ksun

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^ I agree with the above proposals, however, what about condo fees? That seems to be a big concern for many families.
Nowadays, most new condo fees start at 60 cents/sf and can go as high as $1 for some old buildings. For a family sized 1000sf condo, the fee can be anywhere between $600 to $1000 a month, which is more than most would be willing to pay. Unlike a mortgage, you are stuck with the condo fees forever.
For some reason condo fees in Toronto are so high nowadays. In cities like Vancouver, it is usually much lower. Asian cities have lower fees too. Not sure about the European cities. I have many friends who refuse to buy condos mostly because they hate the ever increasingly condo fees that are completely out of their own control.
 

ponyboy

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re condo fees -- What do they do in Vancouver and Asia to make these fees lower? Are the buildings better built, requiring less maintenance? Are utilities included in fees here not included in fees there? Perhaps toronto condos have more amenities to support, more parking? I don't know.

I was looking at the new Motion rental at Dundas and Bay, and wondering if that building was designed and built with lower maintenance and greater durability since the developer is the landlord and is vested in its future. Does anyone know if purpose built rental buildings are better built than equivalent priced condos. Will this College St building be better built because it is a rental building?
 

Automation Gallery

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Does anyone know if purpose built rental buildings are better built than equivalent priced condos. ?

From reading this article, most likely

An urban planner warns: Beware of the too-cheap Toronto condo
the majority, not the minority, of Toronto condo developers who are not paying enough attention to quality. And that, she says, will result in headaches down the road – not only for condo owners, but for Toronto residents who will have to put up with more construction and repairs.
“These buildings, within 10 or a maximum of 20 years, will need major renovations,†she says. “And that’s pretty scary.â€

“Toronto has not been known for paying attention to high-quality buildings,†Ms. Lehrer says. “I’m not an inspector, but from talking to people in the business, a lot of them have said that over the last three years, there have been quite a number of companies that are cutting more and more corners.â€
More...........http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repo...-the-too-cheap-toronto-condo/article19345535/
 

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