John Bentley Mays, the Globe’s Architecture critic recently held an online discussion with
G&M readers with, the topic was: “Are cookie cutter condos ruining Toronto?”.
Gotta love the media for setting the stage as if condos are “cookie cutter”. Wait a second, has anyone walked around downtown and looked at the semis and detached “beauties” we have here? please, dear editor, give me a break. Toronto has now the works of local and international architects and designers, residential, public and commercial infrastructure: Peter Clewes, Will Alsop, Quadrangle, 3rd Uncle, Burka Varacalli, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg, and many other super talented minds.
With 100,000 new faces coming into the GTA each year, we have two options only: build up (density), or suburbia (urban sprawl). if you care for the environment, and want to live in a great community, pick #1. There is no other choice for today’s world, and our design teams are doing incredible work crafting the best possible living spaces out of the reality they are confined to. Check out Toronto’s Top 10 Condos for 2008, and you’ll see what I mean.
One of the readers asked Mr. Mays:
Nicole McCaw-Kretchman from Canada writes: Good afternoon! Do you see the present boom in Condo living to remain strong well into the future. That is, will current owners of Condos in the GTA expect to see the value of their homes continue to rise? Is there a time in Toronto where we would reach a saturation point and Condo values would no longer keep pace with the Real Estate market? Please give me your thoughts on this issue. Thanks, Nicole
Now read his answer:
John Bentley Mays writes: I don’t see any end to Toronto’s condo boom, Nicole. With hundreds of thousands of immigrants arriving over the next 20 years, we will almost certainly have a thriving market, and a steady increase in property values. Toronto does face a rather stark choice, however: Either we build up, or we build out, on farmland beyond the city. The Ontario government is committed to encouraging greater density in population areas—Another reason why demand for condos will continue to be strong and steady for the foreseeable future.
I’ve never met Mr. Mays, yet to me he represents a “best of both worlds” approach with warm heart for the community and a realistic vision of things to come. Thank you Mr. Mays for your honesty.