A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘condos

[URBAN NOTE] “Bay St. condos cost more than those on Yonge corridor, study says”

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The Toronto Star‘s Tess Kalinowski reports on condo prices in the downtown core.

A couple of blocks can make a $41,000 difference on the price of a condo in Toronto.

That’s how much more it cost on average to buy a condo near Bay St., compared to the Yonge St. corridor in the last year, according to number-crunching by online brokerage TheRedPin.

It looked at 24 major downtown intersections and found the Yorkville area owned the high end of highrise in Toronto between Aug. 2015 and Aug. 2016.

The average price of a two-bedroom unit within about a five-minute walk of Bloor St. and Avenue Rd. was about $1.4 million — the highest among the 24 intersections in the analysis.

It was followed by an average $1 million for condos near the intersections of Bay and Bloor streets and Yonge St. and St. Clair Ave.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 24, 2016 at 7:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “To get the rail-deck park, Toronto needs to work with developers”

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Marcus Gee’s opinion piece in The Globe and Mail makes some sense to me.

[Jennifer Keesmaat] argues that with space for new parks in downtown vanishingly scarce, decking over the rail lands is Toronto’s last chance to create a grand, signature park in the heart of the city.

As condo towers sprout left and right, the number of people living downtown is expected to double over the next quarter century, reaching almost half a million. Providing more space for all those people to stroll and play and walk their dogs only makes sense.

The 21 acres the park would cover – the equivalent of four large city blocks – is the minimum Toronto needs for its soaring downtown population, Ms. Keesmaat says. “Why would we make it even smaller by putting condos on it? That is flabbergasting in its small-mindedness.”

So instead of working with developers to create the park, the city intends to soak them for the cost. A city report released on Thursday says that “staff will identify options to enhance growth-oriented revenues so that local development activity can fund a significant portion of the rail-deck park project.” In other words, fees and charges developers pay when they put up a building would rise, inevitably affecting the cost of housing in a city where it is already painfully expensive. City hall would also pass the hat to “corporate sponsors, foundations and other philanthropic organizations.”

These are less funding plans than funding hopes. With so many pressing needs, from transit to housing, it seems rash to add another project to the long list that must be paid for … somehow.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm

[PHOTO] Cranes of Wellesley, evening

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Cranes of Wellesley #toronto #yongeandwellesley #cranes #condos #wellesleystreet

Written by Randy McDonald

September 16, 2016 at 3:00 pm

[PHOTO] Summit of Aura, Toronto

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Summit #toronto #skyscraper #condos #tower #aura #clouds #sky

The summit of Toronto’s Aura tower at College Park is lofty indeed.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 15, 2016 at 11:59 am

[PHOTO] Soon to go, 480-494 Yonge

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Soon to go, 480-494 Yonge #toronto #yongestreet #condos #construction

I was passing by Sunday when I saw this sign announcing that this block, on the west side of Yonge between College and Wellesley was slated for redevelopment into condos. Urban Toronto has more.

Renderings depicting the podium of a proposed 45-storey residential tower at Yonge and Grosvenor have been posted on Quadrangle Architects’ website. The KingSett Capital development spans several properties along the west side of Yonge Street, from 480 to 494 Yonge, including a heritage clock tower which was originally part of Old Fire Hall No. 3 before landmarking the St. Charles Tavern.

The redevelopment proposal calls for demolition of the long-since-defaced former fire hall and incorporation of its clock tower into the three-storey podium of the new building. The modern glass and corten steel base of the building, to house over 2,200 square metres of commercial space in three potential units, will be recessed to allow for the clock tower to take centre stage amid a pedestrian plaza area.

UrbanToronto spoke with Sami Kazemi, Senior Associate at Quadrangle Architects, who provided us with some additional information about the project. “Before starting any design work, we needed to understand the history and significance of this site. We found that it was not only significant for the heritage elements that physically remain, but also for its more recent history as the St. Charles Tavern and what that represents in the collective memory of Toronto. Through our research and consultation with the City’s urban design and heritage staff, it became apparent that the clock tower has the potential to regain its stature and visibility on Yonge Street, as both a landmark and visual marker within the community and city, and so our design is anchored around this opportunity respectfully.”

Written by Randy McDonald

September 14, 2016 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Photo, Toronto

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[URBAN NOTE] “How Toronto’s latest mega tower got the green light”

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Jennifer Pagliaro’s article in the Toronto Star explores the political mechanics behind the impending construction of a super-high condo tower at Yonge and Bloor. The City of Toronto lacks much control over the process, it seems.

An unprecedented development — an 80-storey Toronto condo tower that will be second in height only to the CN Tower — sets a new standard for density at a crucial downtown intersection. Those extremes have created schisms at city hall over more than a year, during a planning process that has left key questions lingering: How much is too much? And who decides?

What occurred with this tower, which Yorkville developer Sam Mizrahi has dubbed “The One,” does not reflect how all building applications are dealt with in this city. But it is an example of how, some councillors say, the city is being built higher and higher, under duress.

As real estate wars see developers buying smaller and smaller parcels of land at rising prices, they are increasingly building skyward to cover their costs.

That’s been noticed at city hall. City councillors and staff say developers are applying more frequently to build well above the prescribed height and density for a neighbourhood. Councillors say there is little recourse to accommodating exceptions, with a provincially legislated appeals body capable of overturning council’s planning choices.

With the province in the midst of a review of that powerful body, the Ontario Municipal Board, city advocates say it’s finally time to get serious about removing Toronto from its grasp.

In the absence of reform, this is how one very tall, very dense building got the green light at council.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 13, 2016 at 5:45 pm

[PHOTO] From “Green Leaves” by John Packman

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From "Green Leaves" by John Packman #toronto #yongeandbloor #publicart #johnpackman #green #leaves #stollerys

Photographer John Packman‘s “Green Leaves” wraps around the site of the former Stollery’s on the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor, printed on the boards which block the future construction site from public view. The city outside can be seen dimly reflected in the glossy image.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm