The developer behind a new downtown condo development says it is helping create a new breed of development for Toronto’s downtown.
The project, known as The City of Toronto, is part of a broader initiative to build mixed-use neighbourhoods for condos, and the developer says it has more than doubled the number of condos under construction to 2,400 units, compared to 700 condos under the old city planning model.
The development, located in the heart of the city’s downtown, is just one of several planned in the city as part of the City’s Downtown Plan.
The plan also includes more than 30 mixed-income and affordable housing projects in the downtown core, and Mayor John Tory is urging residents to look to the city for a mix of housing options.
The developer, RealtyCo, says the new condo development will be the biggest of its kind in Canada, with about 1,500 apartments under construction, or roughly one-fifth of the total number of apartments in the core.
The new development, which is slated to start in 2021, will house up to 2.6 million square feet of new residential space, including retail space and offices.
While condos are usually a niche market, Realtor.ca reports that the development will feature some of the densest housing in Toronto.
The City says the development is the first to include the full range of condo-style developments.
Realtors.ca also reports that condo towers will be built on at least two sites, while condo units will be mixed in with other buildings on the ground floor.
“There’s going to be a lot of density, so there’s going a lot more density in the building,” Realtressor.com quoted the project’s project director, Alex DePietro, as saying.
“The project will be more dense than what we’ve seen in other cities.”
DePioles said that although the new development will have many of the same features as existing condos, it will be smaller in size and be built from the ground up to create a more sustainable development.
“It’s really a mixed-used type of development,” DePolios told the website.
“We’re not going to build the same type of condo complex.
We’re going to bring in different kinds of housing, and it’s a new type of housing.”
The development is set to be the largest mixed- use project in Toronto, but it’s not the only one.
A similar project, The City’s Plan for Condo Development, was approved in 2013 by city council and was designed to bring about the citywide condo boom.
While condo towers have been a core feature of Toronto’s urban design for decades, there has been much debate about the density of condominium development, especially in areas with low population densities, such as the city centre.
In a recent article for UrbanToronto, UrbanToronto co-founder Michael Calkins said condo development in the area around the new city plan’s proposed condo towers would have to be at least 10 times denser than the densities currently allowed for condo towers in Toronto because of the density constraints.
“What you’re going be seeing in the condo towers, if they’re built properly, are probably going to look more like a denser residential complex than a condo complex,” Calkis said in the article.
“So if you’re not sure if they are going to have enough density, I don’t think you should build them.”
He said condo density in Toronto has been on the rise since 2012 when the city launched its downtown condo plan.
Calkin said there is no shortage of condo developers who want to build condos in the Toronto area, but the problem is that condo density is so low, and condo projects tend to take so long to complete, that there is often a lack of planning around what types of amenities and spaces are needed in a new development.
Toronto’s condo development plans were unveiled in December, but not before a number of condo towers had been approved or the city was looking at other options for development.
Some developers have expressed concern that condos could be built near the waterfront.
The city is now looking at the issue with new rules that are aimed at reducing condo density, including a new rule that will require developers to include affordable housing units.