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April 3, 2024

Four-in-five GTA residents believe most Toronto condo units are cheaply made

Toronto consistently ranks as one the most desired places to live in North America, and with ambitious immigration targets by the Government of Canada, there is an urgent need for sustainable housing, with condos paving the way as the predominant housing choice. However, new research shows that traditional Toronto condos are starved of quality, architecture, livability and design forcing a high demand for improvement across the city.

In a recent survey conducted by Devron with members of the Angus Reid forum, the majority of GTA residents see the potential for condos to be a long-term housing solution, with almost half (47%) of respondents believing condos can be long-term homes, and 40 per cent saying it’s a potential option, depending on the unit or building. This sentiment is echoed strongly by current condo dwellers, with 71 per cent expressing confidence in long-term condo living. However, despite the increase in positive outlook, a staggering 93 per cent of respondents feel that Toronto needs better built condos, and almost four-in-five (79%) believe most Toronto condo units are cheaply made, indicating a dissatisfaction with the current landscape.

“The perception of condo living in Toronto is not ideal, and sadly, people have become used to low standards,” said Pouyan Safapour, President of Devron. “We want to show Torontonians that condos can be beautiful, functional and livable long-term homes that they can take pride in. With each development, including our latest project, 101 Spadina, we strive to challenge this status and change the narrative on condo living in Toronto.”

Design deficit: Torontonians demand architectural appeal

Condo developments that offer unique designs and stand out from the rest are more likely to inspire and capture the imagination of GTA residents. According to the survey, 59 per cent of GTA residents feel that current condo offerings in Toronto are lagging compared with other major Canadian cities in terms of interesting and exciting designs, while the majority (86%) believe that Toronto’s skyline lacks captivating architecture. Additionally, only eight per cent strongly agree that Toronto’s condo buildings exhibit unique designs and personalities, underscoring the growing interest for condo developments that offer architectural appeal, paired with unique and captivating designs. Interestingly, nearly all GTA residents surveyed (96%) said developers have a responsibility to build quality homes that contribute to Toronto’s liveability and infrastructure.

“The survey shows that condos can be a sustainable, long-term living option, and a home for people and families of all ages and life stages. Every building should offer a variety of suite sizes for growing families, not just one-bedrooms for transitory dwellers,” said Safapour. “The quality must go beyond just nice appliances and finishes – it’s often what is behind the walls that affects our life and comfort the most. Suites should be designed with people’s comfort and experience in mind, including features such as noise insulation between suites, quality windows for noise and thermal protection, high performance elevators and pressure sealed doors, leak detection, pot lights for even lighting, large windows and many more details that matter. We take a comprehensive approach to lead the charge towards a future where high living standards are the new norm in condos, and condos can become synonymous with the word ‘home’.”

Devron has embraced this commitment in the design of 101 Spadina—a 39-storey residential community meticulously crafted to meet the evolving needs and lifestyles of Torontonians seeking enduring, livable spaces. 101 Spadina is inspired by the art deco style and history of the neighbourhood and fuses modern and classic architecture to challenge Toronto’s glass buildings. The use of masonry construction, a rarity in contemporary glass high-rises, distinguishes the building from most downtown condos. The development will also feature a 10,000 square foot public park to help create more green space for the city and redefine downtown living. 

“Toronto needs more buildings that will contribute to the city’s livability and make people want to stay and lay roots in the city. We aim to do just that with 101 Spadina,” said Safapour. “We hope our community will become the standard in downtown Toronto living, not the exception.”

Condo purchasing considerations

As single-family homes remain out of reach for many, an increasing number of GTA residents are turning their attention towards condominiums as they contemplate their housing options. This surge in interest is driven by a variety of factors that make condo living particularly appealing, with the top consideration being respondents valuing reduced maintenance and less responsibility (33%) that come with condo living. In addition, 20 per cent want to live close to downtown Toronto, for convenient access to life’s essentials such as such as restaurants, childcare facilities, schools and medical services.

The appeal of condo living continues to rise, offering a compelling, sustainable alternative to traditional single-family homes. Designed to meet the diverse needs of Torontonians, Devron’s 101 Spadina project strives to set a new bar for condo living and positively impact the city.

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