Toronto’s Condo Market: It’s About Lifestyle



Toronto’s downtown residential market – which is comprised mainly of condominium developments – is ranked close to New York City when it comes to density; it also happens to be ranked within the top seven international cities in terms of high-rise development.


Today’s downtown Toronto has become a city of cranes, one where condo developers continue to erect new developments as buyer and renter demand outstrips availability of product. However, despite greater demand relative to available units, the city’s downtown condo market has also become highly competitive, with developers vying to distinguish their developments to prospective buyers.


This is particularly apparent in the luxury condominium market, which is dominated by a handful of distinguished developers.


While each developer has adopted what they believe to be unique strategies to market to prospective buyers, many agree that a main driving factor for attracting potential condo buyers — other than the universal location, location, location — is lifestyle.


When it comes to luxury condo living, lifestyle encompasses a range of factors, like the building’s architectural design and aesthetic, how it markets itself, and the amenities it offers its buyers both within the units themselves, as well as within communal areas.


Due to scarcity of land in Toronto’s downtown core, some developers have turned to close neighbouring, down-at-heel suburbs, with the objective of revitalizing the community and effectively “repopulating” these areas with more affluent residents, which in turn attracts major retailers and entertainment services like pubs and restaurants.


This “community revival approach” is an investment over the long-term.


Other developers, like Mizrahi Developments and Camrost-Felcorp, have focussed their attention on already established downtown areas that embody a high-end cultural ambience. Notably, Mizrahi Developments, founded and led by developer Sam Mizrahi, has completed three boutique condo developments in Toronto’s highly prized Yorkville area, including projects at 181 Davenport, 133 Hazelton and 128 Hazelton.


Camrost-Felcorp development manager Joseph Feldman reflects on how Toronto’s condominium market has developed over the past ten years: “Over the past ten years, any condo project you looked at had a ton of shoebox condos. That’s the makeup of the majority of condominiums that you see being built today…a full building of large, luxury, spacious units? That’s hard to come by. A project isn’t considered luxury if it’s like everything else.”


Building luxury condominiums that are unlike anything else found in the Toronto market has been a guiding point for Sam Mizrahi, one of the more active developers in Toronto, and who over the years has become known for an ability to offer condo buyers the option to customize their condominiums.


Indeed, the next big project on Mizrahi’s radar is dubbed “The One”, an 80-storey high-rise tower to be located at the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets in downtown Toronto.


The One, though still in the development stage, is an ambitious project that will marry luxury condominium space with high-end international retail and entertainment space, the latter of which will occupy the first eight floors of the tower. With condominium units featuring 11 foot ceilings and a host of amenities, including winter gardens, combined with customized interior design, The One will also be connected to the PATH pedestrian network and the Bloor/Yonge subway line.


Needless to say, Sam Mizrahi is positive about the direction of Toronto’s speedy pace of development – indeed, it was an eye to the future that inspired Mizrahi to begin such an ambitious project as The One.


“This is one of most significant corners in Toronto, if not Canada, and we want to create a pedestrian experience and a destination that we can be proud of as a landmark building and for the future,” Mizrahi has explained in describing The One.