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Old November 15th, 2011, 02:29 AM   #1
Izzy Hungwell
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Toronto's Glass Condos Face Short Lifespan, Experts Say - Huffington Post

Toronto's Glass Condos Face Short Lifespan, Experts Say

Interesting read. My apologies if this has already been posted. I didn't see it.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #2
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Seems as though Cityplace is getting brunt of bad publicity the last few days.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 04:04 AM   #3
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Maybe there is something to be said in buying into a building built a decade or so ago... not as chic, but maybe constructed better. Remember all those leaky condos in Vancouver? One of my family members got stuck with one. Horrible.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 06:13 AM   #4
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This is one of those "here comes the condo crash" road signs I talked about.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 06:24 AM   #5
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But, the highway behind us is long, and littered with dozens of past signs....
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Old November 15th, 2011, 06:42 AM   #6
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I'm starting to think the condo market has spun itself into some sort of frenzy. When you're proposing 65-70 storey condos in ETOBICOKE you have clearly overshot any sort of sane market absorption.

The next 2-3 years will be critical to gauge the stability of the current boom. I'm hoping it will simply be a correction and a soft cool down to more reasonable levels; but there's always the chance for a full blown collapse where all those specuvestors take a major haircut on their investments.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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But then, downtown Toronto's new condo prices are still below the international average (believe they're relatively a bargain).
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Old November 15th, 2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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Living in a condo with floor to ceiling windows myself I'm a bit worried. But then again I'm not going to be here for 15 years so it should be okay...

I do wonder if this problem with windows is an inherent problem with the construction process, or if 'good' developers will be okay versus 'bad' developers in terms of quality. Is the kind of sealing for windows which aren't curtain wall just bound to fail in 15 years no matter who builds the building?
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Old November 15th, 2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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It would be interesting to hear more about it from more industry experts. Developers, per se, are not always 100% credible when dismissing their competition's product, but the
University expert's information was interesting. I wonder if we are headed for a huge leaky condo timebomb?
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Old November 16th, 2011, 12:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
It would be interesting to hear more about it from more industry experts. Developers, per se, are not always 100% credible when dismissing their competition's product, but the
University expert's information was interesting. I wonder if we are headed for a huge leaky condo timebomb?
I'm not sure I see the issue. From the day you move in your condo corporation starts saving for this stuff; and window replacement is on the list.

After 30 years there is enough in the war chest that the work (windows, balcony, boilers and HVAC, elevators, etc.) simply gets tendered and completed. Ontario law makes annual engineer inspections of these things mandatory and you can get a full description from the status certificate for nearly any building.

It's possible the real time table will be shorter than the estimates being worked with; my last two buildings were both quite conservative and things were lasting longer than expected.


This isn't any different than a 30 year old house getting the driveway repaved, decks replaced, roof redone (shingled at very least), more efficient furnace/water heater installed, etc. You might even need to drill a new well or redo the septic system in that timeframe.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 02:05 AM   #11
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That's true but I believe the argument is that instead of 30 years it'll be 10. Which is a big difference.

There was a huge overblown sense of pandemonium in the article, clearly hype to grab attention in a region showered with condos ... it's not just the 416; There is so much 905 condo development going on now as well.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 04:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
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That's true but I believe the argument is that instead of 30 years it'll be 10. Which is a big difference.
It is a building specific number (read that status certificate). Most condos in Toronto, including ones with floor to ceiling windows, are not replacing their windows every 10 years.

In addition to status certificate, see if your realtor can get you information on other buildings the developer put up. Good ones will have seen the information; though they may not be able to share.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #13
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I'm too scared of heights to live in an all glass condo. Even my balcony has to have no glass and solid walls all the way around.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 09:42 AM   #14
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Well... I take information from Engineers more seriously than comments from a rival Developer dissing everyone else's projects than his own.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 03:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filip View Post
The next 2-3 years will be critical to gauge the stability of the current boom. I'm hoping it will simply be a correction and a soft cool down to more reasonable levels; but there's always the chance for a full blown collapse where all those specuvestors take a major haircut on their investments.
This is exactly what I fear for the market.

Soft landings are much better, but when you look at Toronto's development, it is a complete outlier from the world around it.

Well, every generation needs its buying opportunity (and I am also hoping for a second opportunity).
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Old November 18th, 2011, 05:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
Well... I take information from Engineers more seriously than comments from a rival Developer dissing everyone else's projects than his own.
As you should! Good for you. No engineer worth his salt is going to get quoted in an article, or on the news dissing the work of another engineer.
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Old November 18th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #17
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Architects and developers are definitely not cut of the same cloth, and stumble over themselves kvetching about everyone else's work other than their own. Really, some of them need a rag stuffed in their cakehole when they get on a self promotion jag.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 09:21 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I'm starting to think the condo market has spun itself into some sort of frenzy. When you're proposing 65-70 storey condos in ETOBICOKE you have clearly overshot any sort of sane market absorption.
Oh please, let them be built there more.

I'm tired of them being built here in downtown (old town) Toronto, and they don't do a fracking thing for this part of town except make it more boring to be in. I'm tired of seeing decent independent stores be driven out by the high rents these places cause, only to be replaced by every god-dammed fracking chain store that exists selling the same things I can buy at suburban malls like the Eaton Center and Scarborough Town Center. I'm tired of seeing decent mom & pop restaurants be driven out to make way for whatever chain restaurant serving the same crap I can buy at a grocery store (check out the list of companies that supply Swiss Chalet, and you'll see what I mean.)

But mostly, I'm tired of seeing the sense of entitlement the occupants of these places have when it comes to expecting to have no noise, but tons of peace and quiet (when they buy places in neighborhoods that have nightclubs nearby.) This is the equivalent of human beings expanding out into areas where a certain animal species is, then complaining about said animals popping up in the backyards of their houses doing what said animals usually do (where my mom lived in Scarborough was were field mice originally were, and they used to pop up a lot)-if they don't like it, they shouldn't have bought a place to live there! I'm also tired of them destroying whatever artistic scene that was in said area, with it being replaced by nothing at all (what's believed to have happened to West Queen Street with all of the factory space that was occupied by actual artists turned into condo loft space more expensive than what they used to be previous to said conversion.) This does nothing but make for boring places to live and be in-what I moved away from Scarborough/North York/East York/York/Etobicoke to get away from.

If I were anybody in a position of power, I'd strengthen the OMB to make building condos here harder than previously, or at least make it so that said buildings were multi-use for everybody, not just single people. I'd also make them a lot smaller and force the developers to make them fit the neighboorhoods they're in (I'm talking about downtown Toronto.) But most of all, I'd force these 65-70 storey behemoths to be built only in the surburbs and not in downtown Toronto.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 07:39 PM   #19
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Two different issues, though. Independents languish because internet/media driven shoppers perceive larger chains to be either cheaper, or more glamorous. So, blame fickle shoppers, not increased density of population. Condos represent people, and that is something we often forget. More citizens. More taxpayers living downtown. There are still a plethora of sleepy little neighbourhoods we can choose to live in with no condos nearby, but living downtown in a city that is growing rapidly will mean we are no longer going to have the option of low density or single family dwellings.
Cities like New York have dealt with influxes of mass population and still retain independent shops, so I think we can, too.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 08:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taller, Better View Post
Two different issues, though. Independents languish because internet/media driven shoppers perceive larger chains to be either cheaper, or more glamorous. So, blame fickle shoppers, not increased density of population. Condos represent people, and that is something we often forget. More citizens. More taxpayers living downtown. There are still a plethora of sleepy little neighbourhoods we can choose to live in with no condos nearby, but living downtown in a city that is growing rapidly will mean we are no longer going to have the option of low density or single family dwellings.
Cities like New York have dealt with influxes of mass population and still retain independent shops, so I think we can, too.
Actually you're a bit off on this one ... while New York definitely still has a plenty of independent businesses they're concentrated in areas that haven't seen a lot development over the last 10 years; In areas which have, the situation just about parallels Toronto, but on a smaller scale has New York was more built out to start (but at the same time they've had less development then we have).

They face similar issues in terms of new development driving up the taxation base and correspondingly the business tax rate. New york really shouldn't serve as an example for us in this regard ... honestly if you think about it, nothing can, other then Toronto it self, really in North America, no other city has seen construction in areas on the levels we have.
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