“Rich and poor” condo doors stir debate

Toronto’s latest condo development comprising subsidized and high-end units has sparked yet another big debate amongst investors and tenants

Investors in mixed-use condo developments are increasingly concerned that the bad press and stigma towards the concept in the U.S. may be adopted here.

And their fears may be warranted as news about a new project comprising subsidized, affordable units has ignited a fresh wave of debate. Many online commentators argue that they would not pay top dollar for a high-end unit when others can get a better deal in the same building.

Similar to other such development, the complex will comprise separate amenities and entrances for those who have paid full-price and those receiving subsidies. In the case of the new Aqualina Bayside development, a number of units are being offered to artists through Artscape.

This ‘poor door’ concept is already a hot-bed of debate in New York with city officials planning to forbid separate entrances.

However, Joy Patterson from Condo Chicks believes Canadians are more welcoming and open to mixed-use developments.

“The idea of having essentially two condominiums within one location isn't bad idea. Those who pay more will in turn have access to more amenities,” she says. “It gives equal opportunity for all to live in a desirable waterfront location and the art space concept would bring some culture to the area. The term "poor door" should obviously be revamped.”

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