As someone who has worked in the industry for many years, I am amazed at how far condominiums have come since they were first marketed in Toronto in the early 1980s.
In those days, condominiums were essentially apartments that people purchased, and there was little to differentiate them from rental accommodations. Today, condominiums offer a coveted lifestyle that is increasingly in demand as our population ages and becomes busier with each passing minute.
Modern condominiums are more like scaled-back homes, but better. Owners have the freedom of coming and going without worrying about mowing lawns, shoveling snow and keeping up landscaping. Because the condominium market in Toronto is so competitive, builders are offering more perks to lure purchasers. Lobbies are incredibly appointed and furnished, suite layouts maximize space usage, and the features and finishes are luxurious. Suite sizes may be compact when you look at total square footage, but design innovations have made them more livable than ever before. And during the past decade, furniture manufacturers have eased the way by creating fabulous dual-purpose furniture that enables condo owners to increase the functionality of their space.
The roster of amenities right in the buildings is also impressive. These wonderful additions such as pools, party rooms, business centres, fitness facilities, game rooms, media rooms, virtual golf, theatres and guest suites are, in essence, extensions of each suite owner’s living space. And the great news is that unlike the condominiums of 25 years ago, today’s amenity spaces are bright and spacious, and not relegated to a dark corner of the basement.
Those who purchase condo suites today also receive an unprecedented level of concierge service, with these uniformed professionals providing conveniences that make day-to-day life all that more relaxing. Some upscale condominiums provide a building ambassador who arranges activities and/or valet parking for the ultimate in pampering.
Today’s condominium buildings are definitely more beautiful than ever before, with spectacular architecture and lush landscaping that make it a pleasure to come home. The incorporation of public art into the condominium design, as well as preserving heritage details, helps to make buildings memorable, benefiting both the residents and the city.
The other big difference in condominiums nowadays is the market itself. Rather than a later-life alternative for retirees, condos appeal to first-time buyers, move-up buyers and empty-nesters who opt for the freedom the condominium lifestyle offers. Condominium living is truly superb.
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. Visit www.baker-re.com to find out more about the city’s most important condominium projects.