Andrew la Fleur is downtown Toronto Realtor and a long-time friend of BuzzBuzzHome. He has been blogging about downtown condos for the last 5 years and you can find him at truecondos.com. In this two-part series, Andrew presents his list of the Top Ten Condos that Changed Toronto. These buildings were all highly significant and have had major impacts not only on the landscape of the city, but also on how condos are bought and sold in Toronto. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow!
1. One Bloor
If you asked the average Torontonian to name a condo building in Toronto I’m willing to bet a sizeable portion would mention 1 Bloor first (see up top for a pic). This project is famous for many reasons but most notably: the 2-week long line-up and hysteria that ensued when it first launched in 2007, the cancellation of that version of the tower, and the resurrection with Great Gulf in 2010 that practically sold out in just a few weeks. While it’s still debatable whether this is the most important intersection in the country, there’s no doubt this condo is one of the most significant in the city.
The Four Seasons by Lifetime Developments and Menkes Developments in Yorkville is the most expensive condo ever sold in Canada with prices nearing $2000 per square foot. The Penthouse recently sold for a reported $28M which was over $3000 per square foot. When it comes to luxury living, this building will be the address in Canada. Nothing else is even close.
3. College Park
College Park 1 & 2 are now several years old, however, they remain one of the highest in-demand condos in the city and the average resale prices are the highest in the city for a non-luxury, non-Yorkville condo. These condos proved once and for all that having a direct connection to the subway and the PATH network is a major value-add for buyers and investors.
4. Maple Leaf Square
When these two towers started selling in 2006, many people scoffed at the ‘ridiculously high’ pricing of $450 per square foot. At the time, the area was an empty wasteland between the Gardiner Expressway and the rail tracks. York Centre neighbourhood was just a dream. Now that the project is fully complete, prices have soared to over $700 per square foot, and the project has been hailed as a triumph of mixed-use design. Jane Jacobs would be proud to see a condo sitting on top of commercial offices, a hotel, a major grocery store, and several other shops, restaurants and bars, not to mention a direct connection to Union Station and the PATH network.
5. Harbour Square
These buildings started selling in 1980 during a time when condos were a foreign concept to most Canadians. They were the first high-rise waterfront condominiums in Toronto. There was absolutely nothing on the water at this time. The developer was a true visionary who understood that eventually, like all great waterfront cities in the world, being directly on the water is where people would want to live. Even though these buildings are now almost 30 years old, and the architecture is quite dated, suites are still in very high demand and some are now selling for over $700 per square foot, proving that in the end, it always comes down to location, location, location!
What do you think of this list? Anything you’d add or subtract? Let us know in the comments section, tweet us, or start a discussion in the BuzzBuzzHome forums. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow!