Toronto condo designs can be a little dull
There has been rapid growth in real estate values in Toronto over the last two years, and condo buildings have become a necessary housing option for many urban dwellers. Housing is still a business at the end of the day, and some developers are more concerned with the payday than creating desirable spaces to live and grow and call home.
The result is that many condos in Toronto have become little more than a sprawl of bland boxes stacked in the sky. It’s all steel and glass everywhere you look. Exterior designs are shiny but monotonous, while interior unit designs and features are often cookie-cutter. That monotony can easily go deeper than the building façade.
In a previous blog post, we wrote about why urban dwellers are dissatisfied with housing options in Toronto. Developers are failing to address the demands of the two biggest cohorts of tomorrow’s homeowners, older residents and new families.
For older residents it’s a matter of improved accessibility within a downsized urban lifestyle. Many 65+ homebuyers are willing to trade square-footage for easier access to the street and the urban amenities in the city around them.
On the flip side, young families are finding that condo-ownership is the only option available to them if they want to buy a home. The old story—you buy a condo first, as a “starter-home,” and then move up to a freehold house after a few years—simply isn’t feasible in today’s market. That means condo developers are going to have to change what they offer if they want to appeal to buyers who want a home in which they can live and grow.
Tech lifestyle is driving changes to Toronto condo designs
A project that is moving in the direction of change is Tridel’s Ten York. Bringing cutting-edge technology from South Korea, Ten York features the Tridel Connect smart-home system.
As we covered in a blog post showcasing Tridel’s smart home tech, the new project is all about making everyday living easier and more convenient. Easier and more convenient is one of the guiding philosophies of every consumer direct business and technology in today’s marketplace, if not the number one driving principle.
In real estate, however, there’s a broad range of possibility to make living easier and more convenient. Not every project needs building-wide smart home technology. Smart-homes are still a new initiative, somewhat perilous because of the rapid rate that technology is changing; a cutting-edge condo today could be obsolete tomorrow, and the cost of upgrading to new technologies might fall on the condo owners. Without even going that far, developers should be looking to the many “easier and more convenient” lifestyle services that already exist.
New condo projects like Line 5 Condos in Mount Pleasant, currently in pre-construction, are incorporating current urban services into the design of their buildings. From home grocery delivery to priority parking spaces for car-share companies, there are a lot of services and features that urban dwellers use every day that condo developers need to be aware of.
Line 5 Condos is going to have a designated area for hot and cold food delivery storage so that residents can order meals and groceries online and easily pick it up when they get home. There will also be a designated space for Uber and Lyft pick-up and drop-off. These features sound simple, but they are recognizing two of the most common services in today’s urban tech lifestyle, services that many urban dwellers likely take for granted.
Additionally, the project is recognizing the evolution in the urban work force, incorporating a high-tech shared workspace similar to the offerings of companies like WeWork. When it comes to the building’s gym, the system is going to combine traditional exercise equipment with arcade style activities.
Toronto condos that adapt to urban lifestyles will thrive
Adapting condo designs to work with pre-existing urban lifestyle services is going to put Line 5 Condos and future condo buildings like it far ahead of the competition in terms of resident demand. The emphasis is on easier, more convenient living, but also on incorporating existing urban services that residents already use and expect, all while making the lifestyle experience more fun. Innovations in proptech are emerging hand-in-hand with changes to the way condo buildings are being built. At the end of the day, the people who buy, sell, and live in condos are forging the future. Developers and realtors have to keep up.