With the increasing number of condos in the GTA there are increasingly difficult decisions to be made if you’re looking to get into the condo market. As little as five or six years ago it was relatively straightforward. There was downtown and uptown. The specifics of various markets within the larger ones, such as King West for example, either didn’t exist or didn’t represent enough of its own unique flavour to qualify for a category of their own. Outside areas such as Mississauga and the upcoming downtown Markham either didn’t exist or barely made the radar. Times, they are a changing.
Last week I spoke about the various advantages and disadvantages of a few condo markets our fair city has to offer. I spoke about the downtown core, downtown east, downtown west and the Yonge and Eglinton area. This week I will go over the remaining possibilities.
Perhaps the most popular area these days, right up there in competition with the downtown core, is North York. Over the past five years or so no area has seen as much of an overhaul as North York has. It represents tremendous convenience, in terms of proximity to downtown, whether it’s by car or by subway. It also boasts a fairly decent night scene, although there remains much to be improved in this aspect.
North York is an ideal middle ground for those seeking the downtown lifestyle but unwilling to deal with the everyday noise and craze associated with living in the big city. North York also remains, compared to downtown, affordable. If you’re looking for overall comfort and convenience, without taking a hefty toll on your wallet, North York might be the answer to all your desires.
While new, swanky developments are underway constantly — Tridel, for example, is putting up a lavish new residence at Yonge and Sheppard beginning in the next few months — with its equally swanky price tags, many buildings in North York continue to offer great value for your dollar.
Also gaining popularity is Mississauga — the west end. I can tell you that those who have grown up in Mississauga hold a certain pride and admiration for the area. Indeed, for whatever reason, those who have called Mississauga “home” during their development years continue to show a great deal of patriotism toward the city in their later years.
Not having grown up in Mississauga myself I always found the source of their passion somewhat elusive. However, now with the increasing level of “metropia” in Mississauga, I find even myself recommending the city to a number of friends and clients. In terms of value, Mississauga is tough to beat. A number of buildings offer dollar per square foot ranges unheard of within Toronto’s borders. Even a number of new developments have fallen within the Mississauga scope. The area is also home to a number of people in terms of employment, and represents a relatively exciting entertainment scene. Square One remains one of the most popular and diverse malls, and that area itself has seen a number of bars and lounges sprout up recently.
The thing with Mississauga is that, unless you’re accustomed to the area, or if you’re working in that area, chances are you’ll just be more comfortable overall in say North York, for example.
Downtown Markham is a new bit of landscaping that will begin to develop this year and then flourish over the next several years. The stretch on Highway 7 between Kennedy and Warden, generally speaking, is the area targeted. This will become home to a number of lavish condos — Tridel’s Circa leading the charge with posh office buildings, chic cafés and bistros as well as a number of fine dining and entertainment establishments. To be clear, the city’s vision isn’t downtown Toronto or North York, it’s more Yonge and Eglinton.
Why Markham? The city has recognized the fact the past several years have seen well-to-do individuals and families move within its grounds. It doesn’t look like much right now, and perhaps won’t for at least a few years. However, if you have a few years you can happily spend in Markham the way it exists already, a few years from now your smile will be even brighter than Markham’s future.