Tag Archives: toronto
For more and more Torontonians, the words “Family Home” no longer conjure up images of a house in the suburbs.
Nowadays, young couples with children are increasingly choosing to live in condo communities closer to the downtown core, instead of dealing with the hassle of house maintenance, mowing and weeding, and long commutes.
The last census in 2011 showed that 32% of Toronto households with children live in Condos, and that figure is expected to go up in the next census.
But why have so many young couples opted to raise their children in condos?
Condo communities offer more
When raising children in a condo, it is important to look beyond the limited space of one’s own condo unit.
That is because the real benefit to the condo lifestyle comes from the extensive amenities and the community that one shares the building with.
In lieu of a backyard, most condos have open grassy spaces and/or playgrounds for children to enjoy.
Some new developments have kid-friendly facilities, like play rooms, libraries, kiddie swimming pools, and video game rooms.
And, with dozens (or maybe even hundreds!) of other households in the same community, children can easily find new friends and playmates, and enjoy activities in a more social setting.
For parents too, it can be easier to organize group events, such as parties or field trips, thanks to living in such close proximity to other parents.
All of these benefits can make Condo living a very attractive proposition for couples with young children.
Plenty to do closer to downtown
For parents who explore beyond the condo community itself, living closer to downtown Toronto offers its own set of benefits.
For one, there is never a dearth of nearby activities to keep children excited! The Harbourfront, Union Station, and Ripley’s Aquarium are all short walks or commutes away, and can offer hours of spontaneous distraction.
There is also no shortage of shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities to keep children happy, be it at Eaton Center or at St. Lawrence Market.
Less strenuous on the bank account
Perhaps the biggest benefit of living in a condo: it’s one of the few remaining affordable options for many young families in Toronto.
With average prices for detached houses hovering close to the $1,000,000 mark, many couples who are looking to buy their first home and start a family are realizing that buying a detached house is not in the realm of feasibility.
Condos, on the other hand, can start from the mid-400’s, and are a much more palatable option for many young middle-class families, especially for first-time home buyers looking to take advantage of government incentives.
Raising a family in a condo is not only possible, but even has many benefits.
If you’re in the market for a new condo to call home, check out our listings for preconstruction condos in Toronto, or drop us a line and we’ll find the perfect new home for you.
Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. is looking to transform Toronto’s waterfront into something straight out of a science fiction novel. Micro-units, taxi bots and modular buildings are just some of the innovations coming to Toronto.
After winning a competition organized by Waterfront Toronto, Sidewalk Labs was granted rights to develop Quayside, a 12 acre site in Toronto’s East Bayfront Neighbourhood, with the stated goal of scaling up across Toronto’s Portlands, an 800 acre area.
The first project by Google’s Sidewalk Labs, Sidewalk Toronto is expected to become a testbed for emerging technologies, material and processes. In Today’s post, we will cover three of these proposed innovations and their implications on Toronto’s real-estate scene.
Self-driving taxi bots
When Uber launched in Toronto in 2014 it caused a massive uproar and disruption among Toronto’s taxi drivers, who worked within a government run licensing-monopoly where only a set number of taxi-plates are issued per year. Prices for these government issued plates reached a high of $360,000 in 2012. Since Uber has come along, prices for taxi plates have reached sub $100,000 levels, and today can be found as low as $90,000 on websites such as Craigslist and Kijiji.
And if that major game changer wasn’t enough, Sidewalk Labs is bringing another potentially disruptive idea to Toronto’s waterfront: Self-driving taxi bots. Users can chose to ‘ride alone’ or pick bots with roof-racks for their bikes, among other possibilities. High traffic zones will be served by multi-passenger vehicles called ‘van-bots’ . These innovations are expected to reduce traffic and provide a quicker, more efficient user experience.
They will also reduce the need for parking spots in condos and around the neighborhood, allowing for more purpose built spaces that reflect then needs of the community.
As the cost of living continues to increase in the Greater Toronto Area, an increasing number of first time home buyers are priced out of owning a home. With the rise in rentals, there is a real demand for low cost affordable housing that is easy to scale.
Sidewalk Toronto looks to bring affordable homes built using pre-fabricated parts, made from a base set of modules that can be configured into different unit and building sizes, shapes and colours.
“Sidewalk estimates that modular systems can cut the assembly time in home production to one-third of conventional construction, saving both time and money. In addition to reducing the initial capital costs of construction, operating and renovating expenses will be reduced, as prefabricated units are interchangeable, standardized product components that can be easily replaced or recycled.”
As home prices continue to increase, and mortgages become less accessible, some Torontonians are finding themselves being priced out of even the smallest downtown condos. Sidewalk Labs looks to bring the concept of the micro units – some as small as 162 sq ft – as an aid to Toronto’s increasingly expensive real-estate.
When micro-units were piloted in New York City, over 60,00 applications were field for the affordable units. For the first time, people who could never live in the downtown New York City core, now owned a micro-sized unit right in the heart of downtown Manhattan.
“With similar dynamics at play in downtown Toronto, and a virtual blank canvas with which to work on the Eastern Waterfront, the impact at scale of a micro-unit program could be trans-formative for the local housing market.”
Self driving taxi-bots, underground garbage collection, modular homes that can be built on top of each other, sidewalks that learn your habits and adjust accordingly, and temperature controlled pedestrian walkways are just some of the proposed ideas for the world’s first smart city within a city.
Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google Inc. has brought forth a compelling proposal to re-develop the Queensquay lands just east of Jarvis into something the world has never seen before. Here are just a few of the proposed ideas:
1. Self driving taxi bots and busses
2. Underground robots that collect and recycle consumer waste without you ever feeling their presence
3. Modular homes that can be built on top of each other (imagine adding a lego piece to an existing tower)
4. Weather mitigation zones that block high winds, cold or extremely high temperatures.
5. Venice style canals with homes built in-between them, with digital canoe rentals
6. Lots and lots of sensors that will record, analyze and make use of traffic, temperature, and personal information.
The last bit has great implications for privacy, as increased contentedness and data-collection often comes at the cost of personal privacy. Sidewalk labs has issued a statement regarding their vision for how privacy will be handled in Toronto’s new digital city.
Here are five simple to incorporate tips on giving your drab condo balcony a make-over:
No matter how big or small your balcony is, it is important to establish zone-specific areas in your balcony based on what you intend to do use it for. Some ideas include using L shaped sectionals for lounging areas, a bar8stool or table for eating / working, and a series of long beds for planting and outdoor gardening.
Add Colour and Texture with non-permanent flooring
Most condos nowadays come with unfinished concrete flooring, leaving you with many options for how you want to decorate. Easy to install wood inspired plastic floorings are both durable and easy on the eyes. Ikea and other major retailers sell these for as low as $2 per square foot. Installation is easy and requires no tools or other materials, simply snap them together like a jigsaw puzzle.
As some condos have restrictions on permanent changes to outdoor areas, these inexpensive, durable and non-permanent tiles are a great option.
Choose durable low profile furniture
Choosing low profile furniture means you won’t block your prized view while still enjoying a relaxing seating experience. Consider weather-resistant cushions with a high UV rating and ventilation slits to avoid sun and moisture damage. Acrylic is one mildew-resistant fabric that is long-lasting. Pillows made from similar materials will also resist natural wear and tear.
Bring the backyard to your condo
Incorporate elements form the backyard such as an umbrella or fireplace. For umbrellas, ensure that you can mount the umbrella somewhere (such as to the frame or railing of the balcony) to avoid the possibility of it flying off your balcony during high-winds.
Bring space to life with hardy zone appropriate plants
Adding a few hardy plants can breathe new life into your balcony. Green shrubs, vines and minature trees are great additions that will not only add a touch of nature to your city dwelling, but can also serve as privacy screens from your neighbours.
It is best to choose plants that grow well in your climate. For those living in Toronto, evergreen plants such as Topiaries, Upright Cedars, Junipers, and Dwarf Alberta Spruce, will do well during summer and for most of fall and winter. Be sure to bring these plants inside during the coldest weeks of the year.
Search for Condos in 3 Easy Steps
We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new spanking website, designed from the ground up to make the condo shopping experience as smooth and hassle free as possible.
The aim of this post is to orient you to our new website, teach you how to use the powerful search and e-mail tools built-in to the website, and walk you through the process of searching for your dream condo at Condosky.com
Searching for a Condo… First things first
When you first land on our page you will be greeted by our homepage, with its striking blue banner and search bar.
The easiest way to shop would be to type in a search term and see what comes up. Why don’t we try running a search and seeing what comes up?
Since moving to the waterfront, I’ve been really digging the lakefront lifestyle, so I think I will search for something that is on the water. I’ll try typing “waterfront” and see what comes up.
Condo Search Results Page
Success! It seems our search function is working as expected. At this point you can scroll down to get a glimpse of the projects listed.
Condo Project Summary
Each project summary will include:
- the name of the project
- its current construction status (on the top right corner)
- the builder
- Starting price
- and expected occupancy
Clicking on any of these fields (with the exception of price) will show you results matching that field. For instance if I click 2019, I will be presented with a list of condos with an occupancy in 2019. If I click on Toronto, I will see a list of condos in Toronto. Easy as pie, right?
Our simple 3-step-search
If you still need to do more filtering, simply click on the Orange Magnifying Glass and filter using our simple 3 step process:
In this case I am looking for condos in Toronto, that are in pre-construction, with expected occupancy dates of 2018, 2019, and 2020+. You can mix and match any of these options to find what you are looking for.
Now, getting back to the search… If you find yourself too busy to read up on the individual condos, and just want to save this list for later, you can use our handy e-mail feature to e-mail a list of your search results. Once you click submit, we will send you an e-mail with links to each project on your search results page.
It’s all in the details…
Now that you’ve narrowed your search down, you are ready to delve deeper into the mysteries of each condo. Clicking on a project will take you to a more detailed page. Here you will find a summary of the project, renders, details, videos, a list of the condo amenities as well as a google map, complete with walk, transit, or bike score if available.
Viewing the Floor plans
Clicking on the Floor Plans button will grant you access to available plans, sorted by type of unit. You can click view to browse through these floor plans. If you find the floor plans are too small to fully appreciate you can also maximize them.
If you think you’ve learned enough and are ready to take the next step, simply register for more information. Registering will grant you access to important information about the project that is not available on our website.
Narrow down your choices using the Bed Room Types filter. Let us know if you prefer a low, medium, or high unit (or leave it blank if you’re undecided) and select the floor plan(s) that you are most interested in. Once you’re done, you can leave us a note in case you have any questions, or preferences you want to make clear. Hit submit and you’re done.
At this point, one of our friendly and knowledgeable agents will get in touch with you to help you to answer any questions you may have and to help you sort through the finer details.
And that’s it!
Congratulations, you’ve just registered for your first condo on Condosky.com. We hope the experience was as exciting and seamless as we envisioned it. Be sure to keep an eye on this blog for market updates, condo news, investment analysis, DIY home projects, and so much more.