A putting green is joining the list of condo amenities.


When shopping for a condominium suite, potential purchasers have a lot to consider.


Their decision is based on so much more than the layout and appointments. By definition, condominiums typically offer less space than a low-rise home, so for most owners the building amenities are a true extension of their living space.

The ab­sence of a backyard, for example, is no problem for condominium residents who can access a pool without leaving the building. The presence of a pool depends on the size of the condominium; there have to be enough suites for maintenance fees to cover upkeep and repairs.

Exercise facilities extend the same privilege; instead of relegating a portion of their living space to an elliptical trainer or weight bench, residents can work out in well-equipped fitness facilities, which nearly all new condominiums today include. They are convenient, and they save on commercial fitness club membership fees. In fact, the most popular amenities are currently those aimed at the health-conscious: a fitness centre, pool, running track, even a putting green and virtual golf.

Amenities are important for entertaining purposes as well. If an owner would like to host a gathering larger than the suite can accommodate, having access to a beautiful party room is like having a grand living and dining area. I have seen people host everything from cocktail parties to wedding showers and receptions, anniversary celebrations and more in condominium multi-purpose rooms. These rooms can be decorated to suit the occasion and usually have adjacent kitchen facilities to make catering easier.

And speaking of entertaining, many condominiums offer a home theatre where residents and their guests can gather to watch movies or special sports events. Even those who own the most compact condominiums can enjoy a big screen by making use of this well-loved amenity.

Business people appreciate having a boardroom and/or mee­ting room available where they can host business meetings, or even conferences in elaborate facilities. These rooms often include an adjacent kitchen and dining room so dinner meetings can be accommodated. Guest suites are well used in condominiums, too. Most report that residents have to book ahead to make use of these suites.

Access to fabulous amenities is enhanced by the fact that suite owners do not have to worry about maintenance. You can purchase a suite without buying more space than you need on a daily basis. Amenities are extensions of your living space and your life.

Pat Baker is CEO of Baker Real Estate Corporation, one of the world’s most respected and successful condominium sales and marketing firms. Through an international network of top-performing associates in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe (including Dublin), the com­pany works with many of Toronto’s prestigious developers to represents the city’s hottest-selling projects.