Tag Archives: municipal election
Creative solutions are urged to make intensification work for families
Excerpt from an article by Theresa Boyle, Real Estate Reporter, Toronto Star
Toronto’s director of urban design wants to see more family-friendly condominiums built in the city.
During the recent municipal election, candidates such as Ward 20 victor Adam Vaughan suggested too many condominiums offer small units targeted at young singles. When couples settle down and start families, they are often forced to move out to the suburbs.
It’s about creating “real communities with the highrise condominium form,” he says.
The convertible suite is one idea that’s gaining in popularity, he notes. This involves building a large three- or four-bedroom unit in a condominium in such a way that it can be divided into two units, each with separate access to the hallway.
Another idea proposed by Vaughan during the election is to “rough in” connecting doorways between small condo units, so a family can purchase two small units and turn it into a single large one.
Glenn Miller, director of education and research with the Canadian Urban Institute, says it’s necessary for condos to accommodate people through the various stages of their lives.
“I don’t think condos are not family friendly. People think you have to have a backyard to raise children. They have to get over that,” she says.
She adds there’s a parkette across the street for the children, and they love to frolic in the condo‘s amenity spaces. As well, the Toronto Reference Library is directly across the road.
A three-bedroom condo is expensive and families feel that, for the same price, they can get a house with a backyard, she says.
Freedman agrees a shift in mindset is necessary when it comes to raising children in condos.
But he says there are some features that make condos more attractive to families, such as having great playgrounds, parks, community centres, libraries and schools in the area.
But he notes developers in other cities are designing condos with those family-oriented facilities included.
“I understand in New York there are lots of condo buildings that have all kinds of amenities for kids, such as after school drop-in and homework rooms, supervised indoor and outdoor play areas, et cetera.”
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