Posts Tagged ‘condos’
Kanishk Bhatia’s June article at Spacing about the dynamic development of the condo-dominated neighbourhood of Fort York is a thoughtful consideration. When I moved to Toronto a decade ago and walked down there, I saw nothing but wasteland. So much change!
I sometimes pause to reflect on the change that has occurred on this particular plot of land between Bathurst Street and the Princes’ Gate (entrance to Exhibition Place) and bounded by historic Fort York to the north and Lakeshore Boulevard to the south. Much of this section of the city, together with surrounding land south of the rail corridor, was previously re-claimed from the lake and had a largely industrial character for decades. With the eventual displacement of industry, this “dead” space has been transformed into a new residential neighbourhood literally started from scratch – one of several such developments in Toronto in recent years. Today there are thousands of people living here who collectively represent a new chapter in Toronto’s continuing growth.
Unlike City Place to the east which has a relative “sameness” in terms of architectural style (due to much of it being built by a single developer), the ownership of plots was dispersed amongst four developers here, which has had the effect of a slightly more varied mix of building types sprouting up. The City of Toronto went through an extensive master planning process to guide the development of this new neighbourhood in line with its desired city-building principles around elements such as transit access, public realm elements and integration with existing heritage features.
While it could be argued that the term “neighbourhood” may be pre-mature given the area’s development is still very much a work-in-progress (new building construction is still on-going), one can start to see the early signs of a sustainable residential community taking shape. To be sure, it is easy to point out a number of shortcomings based on what exists today, such as the limited public amenities and lack of vibrant street life. However, given the still evolving nature of the development context, it might be wise to wait at least another 10 years before one can reasonably assess the success or failure of the city’s vision for this neighbourhood.
MacLean’s Chris Sorenson writes about a very problematic condo development in Toronto.
With Toronto’s condo market still running on a full boil, it was only a matter of time before some unlucky buyers got burned.
CityNews reported Friday that Centrust, the developer behind a proposed hotel and condo project north of Toronto’s busy Highway 401, has allegedly skipped town with roughly $12 million in buyers’ cash. The story is still unravelling, but it appears the units first went up for sale in 2010, and Centrust later filed for bankruptcy without telling any of the purchasers. Now the company’s principals can’t be located, with some speculating they’ve left for Korea. All that remains is an empty lot and a bunch of angry people.
While real estate deposits are typically held in a trust account, at least one of the developer’s lawyers has also filed for bankruptcy. Police are investigating, although it’s unlikely the buyers will get their money back—at least not all of it. Buyers put down anywhere from $20,000 for condo units (the maximum covered by Ontario’s new home warranty corporation, Tarion) to $600,000 for commercial space.
The debacle should be a red flag for anyone eager to jump into the frothy condo market in cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, where gleaming new projects with tantalizing amenities—juice bars, splash pools—seem to pop up every week. All that money sloshing around is bound to attract inexperienced and, possibly, unscrupulous operators, with many experts saying the industry largely remains a “wild west” in Ontario when it comes to regulation.
Today’s posting is another aggregation of Instagram photos I’ve taken in Toronto over the past week, on Bloor Street, near Yonge and Dundas, around Church and Wellesley, and finally in Kensington Market.
(Normal posting will hopefully resume tomorrow, when I actually get a working laptop.)
Planters of the future, on Bloor west of Dovercourt
Looking west on Edward Street
The rainbow flag and the flag of Canada, outside of Buddies in Bad Times
Construction tower for 66 Isabella, Church and Isabella
Front garden, 575 Church Street
Looking into Cawthra Park from Church
Pink flowers, grey wall on Nassau Street
Looking north on Augusta Avenue
I went on an extended hike east and south across Toronto
Of course, I wore my red-and-white plaid shirt. How much more Canadian could I get?
I last shared a picture of this statue of King Edward VII, built for a park in Delhi but later relocated to Queen’s Park, in May 2009.
I love these art deco office buildings east of Queen’s Park.
I like what a simple Instagram trick did for this shot on Bay Street, looking south at the towers.
This alley lies just west of Yonge Street on Wellesley.
The painting on the side of the Armen Art Gallery is worn.
The display of some of the books on sale at the Glad Day Bookshop was fresh.
This mural at Church and Wellesley is part of a #pinbuttonpride street history project put on by the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
Crews & Tango was still colourfully decked out for Pride.
This rainbow of tulips planted outside a convenience store was adorable.
Outside Mies van der Rohe’s Toronto-Dominion Centre, the Pride flag flew alongside the flags of Canada and Ontario.
The twin towers of the Royal Bank of Canada headquarters, with their gold-impregnated windows, rise up.