Condos, Condos, Condos

We’ve heard enough; in fact we’ve seen enough too. With the rapid densification and developments in Toronto, the housing demand keeps on rising and so do the condo towers. If you have been keeping your eyes on recent condo trends in Toronto, you’d notice these three significant, recurrent patterns.


Image source: BlogTO

1) History. Heritage. Legacy

Toronto has this tendency to highlight its history, especially the industrial past, through uniting the old and the new. King+Condos on King Street and Sherbourne Street, for instance, preserves its historic brick façade that juxtaposes with modern glass tower. Similarly, Loblaw warehouse on Bathurst Street and Lakeshore Boulevard that once served as a manufacturing and distribution facility, is currently being dismantled, where each brick is labelled in order to be reassembled brick-by-brick in the future.


488 University Ave

Image source: Urban Toronto

2) History? Heritage? Legacy?

The method of ‘recycling’ the building materials can also be achieved the other way round, by preserving the “bones” and refining the “skin”. 488 University Ave is currently undergoing a major transformation where concrete façade has been stripped away and being replaced by glazing panels. Ultimately, extra structures will be constructed to incorporate more residential units. Now, an interesting question: is this building old or new?


152 Elizabeth
Image source: Dezeen

3) Balconies make money

They say condos without balcony won’t make money in Toronto. I could make a full list of all the condos in Toronto with balconies, but it’d take me forever. Instead, take a look at this luxurious mid-rise condominium project in New York designed by the Japanese architect Ando Tadao. The building coordinates flawlessly with the existing neighbourhood and adjacent buildings while manifesting its architectural simplicity. Now, can we discuss about condo design in Toronto?


At this point, we notice two things: 1) Toronto is surely a nice place to live, evident from the increasing population of young people and workforce, 2) but are we generating the city that truly serves our people, community and neighbourhoods, or simply shaping the skyline with monotonous skyscrapers?