Does a new condo ‘fit’ your lifestyle?
If you are shopping for a new condominium and fitness plays an important role in your life, congratulations! By definition, condos inspire active living, from their locations in the midst of amenities, to the wonderful amenities such as fitness facilities right in the buildings.
With Ontario’s Places to Grow Act having dictated that condo developers build “up” rather than “out” and locate buildings close to public transportation and amenities, condo residents can walk or ride their bikes to run errands or even travel to work. Walking is the first level of fitness, so strolling to shop, dine out, meet friends for coffee, post letters, attend concerts and the like is good for the body. Of course, cycling is also great for the heart, and in Toronto, new condos must include bike parking spots to encourage their use. What a fun way to burn off calories.
Next, let’s talk building amenities, which today are as beautiful as they are practical. For most buyers, fitness rooms are ranked in the first few must-haves on your list. What a pleasure it is to simply throw on workout clothes or a swimsuit and access exercise options without leaving the building. Plus, condo residents can leave gym membership fees behind. Unlike the dank swimming pools and collections of weights housed in the basements of the condos from decades ago, modern buildings feature state-of-the-art fitness rooms with high ceilings, massive windows and elaborate equipment.
Occasionally, you will find a condo that has an activities director or recreational coordinator who organizes group sports and outings. Some condos have climbing walls, golf simulators, yoga/Pilates studios, gardening plots and other inventive niceties. The fitness facilities themselves are much like commercial clubs with change rooms, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, plunge pools or swimming pools to vary the experience. Rooftop pools surrounded by sundecks and lounge chairs are common and well used in the summer.
Gardening plots are part of a growing trend toward eating close to home, and it’s catching on in condominiums. Condo gardening is becoming popular with residents to grow herbs, flowers and even vegetables. In addition to gardening being one of North America’s favourite pastimes, the activity burns off calories. Gardening in a condo can also take place on balconies lined with colourful containers. What a luxury it is to step out onto the terrace and snip fresh herbs, pluck tomatoes or pick fragrant flowers to liven up a dinner party. Unless you want to grow giant pumpkins or watermelons, gardening’s not just for lowrise anymore!
Nowadays, fitness is more than a craze; it is a way of life for people of all ages. Whether you prefer a leisurely swim, an inspiring yoga session, a vigorous weight workout, an invigorating aerobics class or even just a brisk walk, life in a condominium can fulfill all of your exercise needs and wants. As I love to say, go condo!
Barbara Lawlor is President and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, and internationally in Shanghai. Having received numerous awards and accolades, she is an indemand columnist and speaker well respected for her impactful industry voice.