Toronto condos’ shared facilities: Necessities or gimmicks?

by Ephraim Vecina on 02 Nov 2016
To draw in the greatest possible number of buyers, condo builders in Toronto tend to offer one-of-a-kind amenities on top of the usual suite of shared facilities—a trend that has left novelty-seekers thrilled, and others skeptical.
 
Robyn Hughes, a resident of an older midtown complex, spoke fondly of her building’s basement facility that features workbenches, extensive tool storage, and industrial-grade ventilation. She tends to her bicycle in the workshop.
 
“It works in a small building where people are respectful of the space and don't clutter it up,” Hughes told The Globe and Mail.
 
Other builders have planned more audacious features for their succeeding projects, such as an astronomical observatory (complete with full-fledged telescope) on top of Liberty Development’s Cosmo III.
 
This particular amenity has garnered no small amount of eagerness among prospective buyers, company officials claimed.
 
“I am so astonished by the number of people who say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone put a telescope on the top of a building,’” Liberty Development vice president Marco Filice said.
 
Other Torontonians are less impressed by these pronouncements, saying that such additions only hurt them through added maintenance fees.
 
Civil servant Igor Dragovic has resided in three condo complexes in the past ten year, all with lofty—and ultimately unwanted—features like squash courts and high-end hot tubs.
 
“A lot of these spaces are heavily underused and unnecessary,” Dragovic said, adding that a “bare bones” approach to building and advertising with lower fees would actually attract more people.
 
“Residents don’t actually use those spaces,” CentreCourt Developments president Shamez Virani agreed.

Related Stories:

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Building science specialist: What to look out for in a condo

 

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