There were some interesting statistics released this weekend and it appears... surprise surprise.... that Toronto likes condominiums. In the 1960's, 99% of all single family dwellings in Toronto were houses. Today, 37% are condos or condo townhouses. The downtown population has increased in 30 years from 30,000 to 100,000.
Many cities in the world envy these statistics.
As a result, we're losing a lot of the old storefront communities and the streetscape has changed dramatically in all neighbourhoods. For some this is great news; for others it's sad news. My only complaint is the destruction of old buildings that our children might appreciate in the years to come. I'm particularly miffed at the plans surrounding the old Don Jail. If this were London England, this facility would be opened up to tourists and become a must see destination.
Builders no longer build rental apartment buildings. Instead,they sell their condos to absentee landlords/investors (the majority likely being foreign investors) who buy condos to satisfy the demand for rentals. We no longer build 3 bedroom dwellings to accommodate the families who want to live downtown. Only 1.2% of all new builds in 2011 were 3 bedroom units. Builders claim there's no demand. As a Realtor, I know different. The fact is, builders make a lot more money selling 400 square foot boxes to foreign investors than they do selling 1000 square foot 3 bedroom condos to families.
The long term consequences are potentially disturbing. Will the generation born today appreciate the value in these many thousands of small units when they approach buying age?