Home Realty: Families Can live Happily In Condos
The City of Toronto has launched a study to examine how new multi-unit housing in high-density communities can better accommodate the needs of households with kids.
This is an important matter to be focusing on these days as affordability concerns have meant more families are opting to purchase condos versus detached homes.
We can expect that number to keep rising as families continue to get priced out of the ground-oriented housing market and turn to condos as the only viable alternative. Cities like Hong Kong and New York experienced this shift decades ago and denizens of those places have become hard-wired for apartment living.
With more families moving into high-density buildings in Toronto every year, it’s key that the city look at ways to better accommodate them. The recently launched study — dubbed “Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities” — is intended to offer direction on how new developments can better function and facilitate life for growing families.
The study includes a public consultation component and it will explore issues such as unit size and layout, building amenities, the design of the public realm and neighbourhood amenities.
When it comes to suite size, developers have found creative and flexible ways to address demands for family-friendly housing. Many new buildings are designed so that suites can be combined with easily removable panels separating a one-bedroom unit from a two-bedroom unit, for example. Within the suites themselves, removable partition walls can create more bedrooms and semi-private spaces to house growing families. Solutions like these make it easier for developers to cater to several prospective buyer groups while not committing to building one type of unit exclusively.
While condos might have once been designed with empty nesters, young couples and single first-time buyers in mind, with more families moving into multi-family housing, building amenities are starting to reflect the needs of this other demographic. Many new condos have kids’ rooms and crafts rooms, full gymnasiums and ample outdoor areas for families to enjoy, including community gardening plots.
The design of the public realm and neighbourhood amenities are equally as essential to creating quality places to raise families living in vertical communities. Condo dwellers don’t have a backyard to call their own, so the surrounding area is their playground. A public realm that’s focused on families ideally will have adequate greenspace, or perhaps more urban-style recreation spots like the innovative Underpass Park, part of the River City development at the foot of the Don River.
And when it comes to neighbourhood amenities, the more the better. Community centres, arts and culture, and public art installations helps to enhance the experience for families choosing to live the multi-family life.
Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years. She has sold and overseen the sale of over $15 billion worth of real estate and, with Debbie at the helm, In2ition has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative new home and condo sales companies. In2ition has received numerous awards from the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the National Association of Home Builders.