Condo Market: Summer a Great Time to Shop For a Condo
With everything in full bloom across Ontario’s towns and cities, summer is a wonderful time of year to shop for a new condominium. Nowadays, developers spend a lot of time on landscaping buildings to add a touch of natural greenery and colour to their surroundings. In Toronto, a cosmopolitan city with an abundance of greenery, the cityscape is all that more lush with condo landscaping. Landscape architects are truly artists in their own right. They select plant material carefully so that the shrubs, trees and flowers flourish in appropriate light/shade conditions and maximize the visual effect. On a practical note, well-planned and planted landscaping at any residences enhances its value.
Landscaping takes on many forms in condos. For example, some feature ground-level courtyards with lovely garden areas. They may contain park benches, barbecues, trellises or other scenic touches or other spots where owners can enjoy a coffee and morning paper surrounded by greenery, or meet friends for a chat. Higher up in buildings, outdoor terraces are extremely popular. These landscaped areas may offer barbecues, reflecting pools, swimming pools, sunbathing decks, cabanas, hot tubs and/or or other highlights.
And let’s go up even higher. The green roof has gained tremendous appeal, especially with environmental consciousness taking on an important role in today’s real estate scene. As well as being beautiful to look at, green roofs are eco friendly and provide an inviting place to barbecue with friends and dine alfresco amid nature and fabulous city views. We are seeing a lot of developers feature fire pits on rooftop terraces as well, to extend the use of these areas past September. What a fun sight it is to see people in parkas barbecuing in the cold weather and then bringing their dishes into their suites to enjoy.
The icing on the condo landscaping cake is the effort many residents put into planting greenery and flowers on their personal balconies and terraces. Container gardening is a hot trend right now. Garden centres carry every shape, size, colour and pattern of container imaginable. Suite owners can add fresh herbs to their cuisine by stepping out onto their balconies. Some condos even feature gardening areas where residents can grow vegetables. Talk about eating close to home!
Of course, with balconies in a high-rise condo, residents must consider wind and shade conditions when choosing plant material. Of course, drought-tolerant and drought-resistant plant material is a good idea. The staff at garden centres can help with determining what will grow well and look good for as much as the season as possible. Ornamental grasses can add visual interest during the winter as well.
People are also incorporating natural materials such as rocks on their balconies to bring more of the outdoors “up.” You might want to highlight one statement plant in a container or group three or more that combine hardy and delicate flowers for effect. Fountains, living walls – the possibilities are diverse and exciting. After you move into your condo, you will have ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without leaving home!
BARBARA LAWLOR is president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Incorporated and an in-demand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at blog.bakerrealestate.com