There’s no solution to the absence of family-sized condos in the city yet, but it is on the radar.
The city’s conducting a series of public consultations
on every aspect of condominium living, and according to Peter Moore, the city planning division project manager in charge of the project, the subject of raising families in condos came up last week's initial meeting held in the downtown core.
"We raise this issue with developers," he says. "They say you can’t sell these big units because they’re too expensive. I know there was a direction to require developers to provide larger units, but I don’t think the direction was finalized as a zoning requirement or a official plan policy."
Peter Langdon, citing manager of the community policy sector of the planning division, confirms in a report to City Council’s Planning and Growth Management Committee that the recommendation is working its way through the system. He also added that Councillor Adam Vaughan has already insisted knock-out panels be installed in towers in Ward 20, which includes City Place, reasoning that though buying multiple units may be prohibitively expensive now, in 20 years or so, the relative expense may be more manageable.
People at the first consultation brought up the notion of adaptable of flexible units, condos that start out with the usual complement of studios and one-bedroom units, that can evolve over time through concatenation into large units suitable for families without millions to spend on the current versions of large suites.
"I’m pretty sure not many buildings are amenable to that at this time," Moore says, "but I’m pretty sure that will be an issue going forward."
The other family-related subject that came up at the first meeting was the possibility that, instead of each tower having its own fief-like amenities, developers band together in neighbourhoods and contribute to community centres such as other, non-condo neighbourhoods across the city.
The next public meeting will be held at Scarborough Civic Centre tonight from 7-9 p.m. There will be another meeting tomorrow at the same time at All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church, and on Feb 27 in North York at Congregation Darchei Noam, at Allen and Sheppard.
Writer: Bert Archer
Sources: Peter Moore, Peter Langdon
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