Pre-construction condo amenities sweeping Toronto's fall market

by Neil Sharma11 Sep 2019

50 Scollard

Autumn is the real estate industry’s second-busiest time of the year and the pre-construction condo market is replete with an interesting suite of amenities.

And according to Barry Fenton, president and CEO of Lanterra Developments in Toronto, the city’s shrinking condo units make dynamic amenities all the more essential.

“A lot of amenity spaces include mental wellbeing by having yoga studios and state-of-the-art gyms, but also massage rooms, saunas, wet and dry steams,” he said. “Whether someone buys a 500, 800, 1,500 or 3,000 square foot unit, they want to feel good and that’s why it’s important to include such amenities.”

Lanterra, like most developers, hires consultants to conceptualize what its buildings’ wellbeing spaces should look and feel like, the finer points of which Fenton likens to nature’s placidity.

“In some condos, we have planned exercise communities that come down and use the facilities, but it’s also about how the spaces are designed: it’s like being in a forest; it’s tranquil and peaceful,” explained Fenton. “A lot of facilities think a 10x15 room will work, but it doesn’t. People want to stay healthy in body and mind today, and we believe that these extra amenities help achieve that.”

Amenities also extend beyond the walls of the building itself. In Toronto, not only has public art become as intrinsic to condo developments as their fitness rooms, so have lavish lobbies, libraries, wine rooms and capacious pools.

“You’re living in a vertical space with balconies and lots of windows, and the truth of it is it becomes about the surrounding space, so we spend a lot of money on public art. At one of our condos, Ice, we have an area called The Bird House, for which we commissioned someone from London, UK, and spent $1.5 million to build it. It’s like being in New York and looking at one of the city’s marvelous sculptures,” said Fenton.

“People who live in condos want less space in their actual units because of the pricing and that forces them to be minimalistic in their own ways, so when you walk into a building it’s important to have a grand lobby with beautiful presence and, just as in when you enter a place of business, someone to greet you at the reception desk and wish you goodbye on your way out. It’s about having a great start and great finish.”

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