(Source: Financial Post)

As Mr. Freed looks off his terrace, where the lap pool and giant padded loungers are looking a little forlorn on a wet spring day, he is confident Toronto will not also become North America’s biggest condo meltdown.

“Right now, there’s very large demand,” says Mr. Freed, dressed casually in jeans, shirt-tails hanging out, no laces in his shoes.

At 39, the laid-back developer is the fresh face of an eclectic group of condo kings who are transforming the very skyline of the city. Along with other design-focused builders like Cityzen Development Group, stalwarts like Tridel Corp. and Menkes Developments Ltd., and newcomers like Bazis International Inc., Mr. Freed is banking on the view Toronto is undergoing a seismic housing shift.

Figures show a marked slowing in the Canadian housing market this year, including a 7.3% year-over-year drop in existing homes sales in Toronto in April and a subsiding of the mania that drove the condo market into overdrive last year.

But builders say demographics, immigration, government regulation and cultural change will continue to skew demand for housing toward the condominium. Housing hotspots like Calgary may have already burned themselves out in a frenzy of building and soaring prices, but Toronto’s rise as a global city will allow it to ride out any short-term weakness, they say.

Read Jaqueline Thorpe’s full article “Toronto’s Condo Kings: Is their boom sustainable?” in the Financial Post (July 2, 2009).

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