Generic filters
Filter by Categories
All Condos
Ask Andrew
Hi-Rise (West) Inc.
New Condos by City
Halton Hills
Port Credit
Square One
Niagara Falls
Richmond Hill
The Blue Mountains
Baldwin Village
Bayview Village
Bedford Park
Briar Hill
Brockton Village
Canary District
Casa Loma
Church & Carlton
Church & Wellesley
Church St. Corridor
Clanton Park
Corso Italia
Danforth Village
Davisville Village
Distillery District
Don Mills
East Junction
East York
Eglinton East
Eglinton West
Entertainment District
Fashion District
Financial District
Flemingdon Park
Forest Hill
Garden District
High Park
Kensington Market
King East
King West
Liberty Village
Little Italy
Little Portugal
Long Branch
Moss Park
North York
Old Town
Regent Park
River District
St. Clair West
St. James Town
St. Lawrence
Tam O'Shanter-Sullivan
The Annex
The Junction
The Kingsway
The Queensway
Victoria Park Village
Wallace Emerson
Yonge & Bloor
Yonge and College
Yonge and Dundas
Yonge and Eglinton
Yonge and Lawrence
Yonge and Richmond
Yonge and Sheppard
Yonge and St. Clair
New Condos by Deposit
10% Before Occupancy
15% Before Occupany
5% Before Occupancy
New Condos by Developer
Acorn Developments
Adi Development Group
Allegra Homes
Alterra Developments
Altree Developments
Amexon Development
Andrin Homes
Angil Development
Aoyuan International
Aragon Properties Ltd
Armour Heights Developments
Artlife Developments
Ashcroft Homes
Aspen Ridge Homes
Balder Corporation
Ballymore Homes
Bazis Inc
Benvenuto Group
Biddington Homes
Blackdoor Development Company
Block Developments
Bloomfield Homes
Branthaven Homes
Briarwood Development Group
Brixen Developments
Brookfield Residential
Canderel Residential
Capital Developments
Carlyle Communities
Carriage Gate Homes
Carttera Private Equities
Castlebridge Development Group
Castleview Developments
Centrestone Urban Developments Inc
Centreville Homes
Chestnut Hill Developments
Choice Properties REIT
Choo Communities
Cityscape Development Corporation
Clifton Blake
Concert Properties
Concord Adex
Condoman Developments Inc
Conservatory Group
Constantine Enterprises Inc.
Consulate Development Group
Core Development Group
Cortel Group
Craft Development
Creek Village Inc.
Cresford Developments
Crown Communities
Crystal Homes
Cystal Glen Homes
DC&F Corp
Diamante Development
Diamond Kilmer Developments
Distrikt Developments
Doornekamp Construction Ltd
Dormer Homes
Downing Street Group
Dundee Kilmer
Eden Oak
ELAD Canada
EllisDon Capital
Emblem Developments
Empire Communities
Evans Planning Inc
Fernbrook Homes
Fieldgate Urban
Fifth Avenue Homes
First Avenue Properties
First Capital
Flato Developments
Forest Hill Homes
FRAM + Slokker
G Group Developments
Gary Silverberg
Gemterra Developments Corporation
Genesis Homes
Georgian International
Globizen Developments
Gordon Wells Ltd.
Great Gulf
Greatwise Developments
Greenfield Quality Builders
Greenland Group
Greenpark Group
Greybrook Realty
H&W Developments
Harhay Developments
Harlo Capital
Haven Developments
Homes by DeSantis
Hyde Park Homes
Icon Homes
IN8 Developments
Investissement SM Immobilier
JCF Capital
Kaleido Corporation
Kalovida Canada Inc
Kaneff Corporation
KBIJ Corporation
Kingdom Development
KingSett Capital
Kroonenberg Group
Lalu Canada
Lamb Developments
Lancaster Homes
Latch Developments
Laurier Homes
LCH Developments
Les Entreprises QMD
Liberty Development
Liberty Hamlet Inc
Lifestyle Custom Homes
Lifetime Developments
LJM Developments
Madison Group
Malibu Investments
Manorgate Homes
Marlin Spring Developments
Marydel Homes
Mattamy Homes
Medallion Capital Group
Mizrahi Developments
MOD Developments
Nascent Developments
New Horizon Development Group
NOCO Development Company
Norstar Group of Companies
North American Development Group
North Drive
North Edge Properties
Northam Realty Advisors
Nova Ridge Development Partners
Old Stonehenge
ONE Properties
One Urban
Options Development
Oxford Properties
Parallax Development Corporation
Patry Inc Developments
Pemberton Group
Phelps Homes
Pinnacle International
Platinum Vista
Podium Developments
Primont Homes
Queensgate Homes
RAJACan Developments Inc.
ReBuilt Construction
Reids Heritage Homes
Rise Developments
Riverking Developments
Rosehaven Homes
Rosewater Developments
Rowntree Enterprises
Royalpark Homes
Royalton Homes
Saxon Developments
Scholar Properties Ltd
Sequoia Grove Homes
Seven Numbers Development
Sherwood Homes
Shiplake Properties Limited
Sierra Building Group
SilverCreek Communities
Solmar Development Group
Solotex Corporation
St. Regis Homes
St. Thomas Developments
State Building Group
Sundance Homes
Sunny Communities
Tercot Communities
The Remington Group
The Rockport Group
The Rose Corporation
The Sher Corporation
Tiffany Park Homes
Time Group Corp.
Treasure Hill
Tribute Communities
Tricon Developments
Triumphant Group
Trolleybus Urban Development Inc
Trulife Developments
United Lands
Urbane Communities
VanMar Developments
Vermilion Developments
Vintage Park Homes
Wabash Heights Developments Inc
Westbank Corp
Westbank Corp. and Allied Properties
Zancor Homes
New Condos by Occupancy Year
True Condos Approved
Filter by content type
Taxonomy terms

Investing in Toronto’s New Waterfront with Dominic Tompa of Daniels Corp.

Podcast Featured Image 61

Dominic Tompa bought his first property when he was just 19 years old and he started his career in real estate in 1984. Today he is Broker of Record for Citylife Realty – Daniels’ in-house sales company which has sold thousands of condos for one of Toronto’s most respected developers. We talked about condo investing, the real estate market in 2015, and Daniels most ambitious project ever: Daniels Waterfront.

phones only

Listen and subscribe to the True Condos Podcast on your iPhone or Android device!



Dominic Tompa Interview Highlights Coming Soon

Click Here for Dominc Tompa Interview Transcript

Andrew la Fleur: Hi, welcome back to the show. On today’s show, I interview Dominic Tompa. Dominic’s the president of City Life Realty, which is the in-house real estate company that does all the sales for Daniels Projects, and of course, we’re talking about Daniels Waterfront, which is a large, master-planned community with condos and offices and retail and many other things. Very interesting and unique project. That is at Jarvis and Queens Quay, right in the water. Downtown Toronto, of course. You want to listen to this interview. For all the show notes on this episode, including how you can get the investor package for Daniels Waterfront, just head on over to, and you’ll see this episode with Dominic Tompa, and you’ll be able to download the information right there instantly. Okay, thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy this interview with Dominic Tompa. Here we go.

Automated: Welcome to the True Condos podcast with Andrew La Fleur, the place to get the truth on the Toronto condo market and condo investing in Toronto.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay, it’s my pleasure to welcome to the show Dominic Tompa. Dominic is the broker of record for City Life Realty. Dominic, welcome to the show.

Dominic Tompa: Thank you very much, Andrew.

Andrew la Fleur: Why don’t we start … Dominic, you can tell us a little bit about yourself and City Life Realty and how you got started in reality. I’d love to hear that story.

Dominic Tompa: Well, let me start with … City Life Realty is the fully-owned subsidiary of the Daniels Corporation. We are responsible for all of the high-rise condominium projects for Daniels. I started way back in 1984, so we were at the end of a recession at that time. It was just before the real estate market started expanding in the 1980s. It’s been 31 years. In the 1990s, I went into condominiums as a specialty, so I was both managing and selling condominium communities. I started working with Daniels in 2000. In 2000, we started doing sales on a rent-to-own program up in North York.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay. What initially got you into real estate though in the first place? What were you doing before your days in real estate, if anything? It’s always interesting to hear people’s stories into sort of how they came into the real estate industry.

Dominic Tompa: Well, Andrew, I was 21 years old, so I had not done a lot before that. I actually started right out of school. I was actually in insurance. I worked in an office that did insurance and real estate. The real estate looked a lot more interesting to me than the insurance was, and insurance wasn’t something that I was enjoying. Watching what the real estate sales reps were doing in the real estate side of it was something that caught my eye. From there, I just loved it from the first day.

Andrew la Fleur: In your early years, what were you doing exactly, then? Were you like a sales rep, kind of residential real estate?

Dominic Tompa: Exactly. I was working a residential resale marketplace in the GTA, and again, I, through the 1980s, that’s what I was doing, was just the resale residential market. In the early 90s, I saw the growth in condominiums, and I saw that it was a specialized marketplace, and I really thought I wanted to work a niche market rather than to be working across the board as a general agent working commercial, residential, and everything. That’s really where I got started in the condominium side. At that time, I was doing both sales, and I actually had a company that did condominium property management as well. They tied in very nicely together. From there, that’s how I started working with Daniels. I was doing some condominium property management with the Daniels Corporation. Then we got into working some unique programs to help people to get into ownership. That was Chelsea at NY Towers. It was the first ever large-scale rent-to-own program ever done by a developer in Toronto.

Andrew la Fleur: NY Towers, again, for those unfamiliar, that’s Bayview and Sheppard.

Dominic Tompa: Yeah, it’s a-

Andrew la Fleur: Those well-known towers, like somewhat iconic as you drive by the 401. You can recognize them right away.

Dominic Tompa: Absolutely. Incredible master-planned community. 13 buildings. We completely changed the skyline of Bay View and Sheppard. Chelsea was a boutique building that we wanted to … Daniels has as part of their mandate is really focused on making home ownership accessible. We’ve always tried to be very creative in the types of programs that we bring to the marketplace, everything from our gateway rental communities that helps people save towards down payments. Chelsea was the first one, where, like I said, on a large scale, any developer had ever done a rent-to-own program. Basically, people were able to purchase at the Chelsea with absolutely no money down at that time, aren’t for a year, and through the rental payments they were making, save towards a down payment of a purchase.

Andrew la Fleur: Wow. This was around early 2000s, was it?

Dominic Tompa: Yeah, I believe it was 2003.

Andrew la Fleur: 2003. Okay. You’ve been in real estate a long time. What still excites you, or what gets you excited about real estate today? What keeps you motivated?

Dominic Tompa: You know, it’s a very interesting business in that every single day is different. There is no doubt. I like being in our sales offices. I like talking to our buyers. It’s very rewarding to help people to get into the home of their dreams. There’s nothing like the excitement when they finally sign an agreement on the condominium they’ve been dreaming about, and just helping them get from thinking about buying to actually the whole process of the move. It’s a very rewarding business that, like I said, day in and day out, it’s very different each day. You’re also getting the rewards of helping people out.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, absolutely. It’s an exciting business from that angle. Talk to us a little bit more about Daniels. What really makes Daniels unique? You touched on that program you had in the NY Towers, but really, Daniels is known for many programs that are innovative, many ways that they’ve figured out to help people get into home ownership or condo ownership that other developers are trying to play catch-up or just never figured out how to do it the way that you guys do it. In your mind, what makes Daniels unique?

Dominic Tompa: I would say more than anything, Daniels is an innovator. We’re never following the market; we’re leading. We’re always trying to find both ways to create unique ownership opportunities and also to create unique communities. One of the things we do extremely well, better than anyone in the marketplace, is build master-planned communities where we’re actually creating an entire community. We’re not just putting up a condominium tower. We’re putting in retail. We’re putting in arts and culture. We really, really fuse all the elements of what is needed in a community. I think we do that better than anyone else. The other way we’re very innovative, which I touched on earlier, is with the different programs we do and how we make home ownership accessible. There is no one else in the industry, for instance, who’s done a rent-to-own on a big scale like we have. We’ve done this a few times.

We’ve also had programs as in Regent Park, which is the largest re-development of a city core that’s ever been done in North America, and it’s just been a huge success. There, we have a program called the Boost Program, which helps people saves, again, helps towards a down payment of a purchase. We have our gateway rental communities, which also has part of the rent going towards the down payment of a future Daniels homes. It’s that type of innovation that really makes us stand out.

Andrew la Fleur: You build a lot of buildings before you actually sell them, I think, which is a thing you’re really known for in the high-rise world, is you’re able to start construction and have a building almost all the way finished by the time you start selling it as opposed to so many stories you hear in the condo world where a project gets sold and construction doesn’t even start for various reasons for several years, and it just drags on and on and on.

Dominic Tompa: Which is part of our uniqueness, and also the fact is that when you’re buying from Daniels, you can count on us to deliver your suite in the timeframe we’ve promised it. You touched on one of the industry issues for so many people. When you’re purchasing a suite and you’re promised an occupancy date a couple years down the road and that ends up being 2 years after your promised occupancy, your whole life can change in that extra 2 years. You’re in a position where you’re constantly waiting for that, to move into that home. Very unique in the industry. We are building some of ours before we go on sale. What that allows a buyer to do is actually physically see, touch, feel the condominium they’re going to be living in and gives them absolutely certain dates of when they’re going to be moving in. That works very well.

Even when we sell before we go on sale, Daniels is very consistent in delivering the occupancy dates that we promise you up-front.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. You don’t just talk the talk. You actually walk the walk in the sense that you live in a Daniels building yourself. Maybe you could talk just from your own personal experience of living in a Daniels community. What’s it like? What do you appreciate about living in a Daniels building?

Dominic Tompa: Yes, I do live in a Daniels building. I think I can speak to it probably better than anyone in that, having been in the industry for 31 years, I’ve seen the different developers and been involved with a number of different developers. What I’ve always liked about Daniels is the quality of construction. Of course, I work with Daniels, but I can tell you, again, having been involved with other developers as well, Daniels delivers an amazing product. The quality of our construction, you can see it from a standpoint of our standing with Tarion. Tarion, on an annual basis, announces a high-rise builder of the year based on the Tarion warranties questionnaires from actual home owners. This is not an industry award. This is feedback from home owners who’ve purchased. Daniels has won the high-rise builder of the year multiple times and is always in the top 3 in the industry.

That is something I really appreciate. As a home owner, I’m looking for the same type of quality of finishes that any other buyer is. I’m looking for the same type of after-sales service from the warranty team and construction team that any buyer is. That’s what’s attracted me to the product. I know it’s a superior product.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. Obviously, we want to talk a lot about Daniels Waterfront and the very exciting project we’re talking about today. It’s about to launch very soon. Before we do that, let’s just take a step back. Maybe talk about the condo market in general. I’d love to get your thoughts on sort of where we are at this point in 2015 with the condo market, what you’re seeing. I know it’s been a very good year for the Daniels group with the many projects you’ve got going on, but how would you describe the market right now, the condo market? What would you say to those people who insist that we’re in a condo bubble situation?

Dominic Tompa: Well, the market’s been very strong. This has been one of our best years. I think statistically, it’s been our second best year in the last 10 years. The market’s staying very strong. As far as where the market is or is going, I think there’s a number of factors in play here. One is that there’s a really significant migration to the GTA, both in people who’ve been living in the suburbs wanting to be closer to work to entertainment, and also in immigration that’s coming into the country. Most recent immigrants are very attracted to Toronto because of everything it offers from everything from transportation to jobs and to the social life. There’s a really strong demand on condominium apartments, both from the end-user wanting to move in and then for an investor who is looking for a tenant, there’s a lot of people looking to rent right now.

There’s really nothing that we can see on the horizon that’s going to change those demographics. We’re going to continue to see a flight from the suburbs into the city so that people can be closer to work, quality of life, and we’re going to continue to see strong immigration numbers that are going to drive the need for more rental housing.

Andrew la Fleur: Why should anyone invest in a condo today in your opinion?

Dominic Tompa: It’s a very good long-term investment. If you treat your purchase as a long-term investment, your return on your money is going to be very solid at the same time. It’s low-risk. It’s something you can touch and feel. There’s nothing wrong with the stock market, but if you’re anything like me, I have no idea. I don’t understand it, why it goes up, why it goes down. With real estate, it’s something that is physically there. Regardless of any flucuations in the price, you’ll find that over time, you’ll always make money. If you’re investing in renting out your suite, you’re going to find that your tenant is helping you to pay down your mortgage. Your return on that investment just keeps increasing as time goes by.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. You’ve been in the business obviously a very long time. You’ve seen your share of ups and downs in the market. You’ve survived several recessions in real estate, ups and downs. What would be the main advice you would give somebody who’s new to real estate or who’s looking at buying their first condo this year? Other than sort of what you just mentioned, is there anything else you’d … What advice would you give to them based on your experience?

Dominic Tompa: I think you should look at real estate investing as strategically on a longer-term basis. I don’t think you should go into purchasing real estate on a, “I’m going to buy it, and I’m going to sell it in a year.” I think you should look … You talked about the ups and downs of the marketplace, and I mentioned earlier that I started in the early 80s when we were just exiting a recession where interest rates, I can tell you … I can remember. Talking about interest rates, but I bought a house in 1981. My mortgage renewed in-

Andrew la Fleur: 1981, so hold on here.

Dominic Tompa: I was 19 years old.

Andrew la Fleur: I was going to say, yeah, because you gave us some numbers earlier. 19 years old, you bought your first house. That’s amazing.

Dominic Tompa: My first house. I knew nothing about real estate, so I assumed a mortgage. That came up for renewal 6 months later in 1982, and it renewed at 18.75%, so to give you an idea of just how incredible the interest rates are that we’ve been experiencing here.

Andrew la Fleur: 18. … What was it?

Dominic Tompa: 18.75.

Andrew la Fleur: 18.75. I believe I’ve seen lately interest rates 1.85% as low as. That’s like 10% of the rate you were getting. It’s almost the same number. Move the decimal point over.

Dominic Tompa: Yeah. What that also tells you, Andrew, is how sustainable the real estate market is. We went through a bit of a downturn in that early 80s, but it very quickly came back up, and prices almost doubled in a period of 4 or 5 years. That was with interest rates, even when they came down from that ridiculous 18% mortgage down to about 10%. The marketplace we have now, and we talk about the long-term sustainability of the marketplace and where is the direction of the marketplace, and part of the people who talk about bubbles say if interest rates go up a couple of percentage points, it’s going to change the market. My response to that is, “I’ve seen rates way above where they’re at, and the market continues to sustain.”

What’s different about real estate is, it’s a tangible product that there’s an actual need for. It’s not like stocks where you can live with or without them. You need a place to live. When you come to this country, and you need a home, you need a place to rent. That’s not going to change. Even if interest rates were to go up 1 or 2%, it’s not going to make a dramatic change in our marketplace as long as all the other factors are in place.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, yeah, absolutely great point to keep in mind, for sure. Let’s talk about Daniels Waterfront now. Let’s get into this project. It’s very exciting. It’s different from anything else that Daniels has ever done in a lot of ways, but in the same time, it has a lot of similarities in that it’s, like you said, it’s a master-planned, full community. Why don’t you give us a bit of an overview of the project, and what are you most excited about in particular about Daniels Waterfront?

Dominic Tompa: As you were saying, it’s a master-planned community. It’s something that the Daniels Corporation does better than anyone in the industry. Here at Daniels Waterfront, we’re taking City Block and completely transforming this part of the waterfront. Now, in terms of location, what makes it very attractive is that it really acts as a gateway to the East Bayfront lands that are currently under development. We’re very closely connected to the city core. Being at Queens Quay and Jarvis, you’re just steps away from the Saint Lawrence Market. You’re a 10-minute walk to Union Station. You’ve got Sugar Beach/Sherbourne Common. You’ve got so many great amenities that are already here, that this master-planned community that we’re building at Daniels Waterfront is just going to enhance it. The location is just unbelievable.

What we’re doing with this community is we’re putting in 1.32 million square-feet of office, retail, residential, and arts and cultural space. One of the really unique aspects of Daniels Waterfront is how we’re integrating arts and culture into everything we’re doing here.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay. That’s a bit of a tease. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that and what that looks like, integrating arts and culture? The name of the project, officially, I guess, is Daniels Waterfront City of the Arts.

Dominic Tompa: City of the Arts. Exactly.

Andrew la Fleur: City of the Arts, what does that mean exactly for this project?

Dominic Tompa: We recognize what an incredible city that Toronto is from a standpoint of arts and culture. We have some of the best of arts facilities and cultural aspects to this city. We wanted it to be a part of what we’re doing down here. There’s a number of different ways we’re doing that. One of them is in some of the organizations are going to be located down here. For instance, Artscape will be moving their head office into the office condominiums that we’re building. We are also infusing it into the residential component, so at Lighthouse Tower, which is the first of the residential buildings, a 45-story residence that’s going on sale shortly, there’ll be an interconnectivity package where anyone who’s interested in the arts will have an package where they’ll have access to Artscape events. They’ll have access to tickets to North by Northeast events. They’ll have access to special TIFF events, so when TIFF is here with the Toronto Film Festival, you’ll be able to get special access to premier events.

We recognize that there’s a lot of different interests in arts and culture, and there’s a lot of different avenues for people to explore. We want to help them to do that. Within the amenities space of the Lighthouse, we just have some really unique amenities that people who are attracted to arts and culture will really be excited about. There’s-

Andrew la Fleur: I know there’s one room in particular you’re pretty excited about. 

Dominic Tompa: It’s my favorite. I don’t know why, because I don’t play an instrument, but I just think it’s so cool. I’ve never seen it in any condominium ever. We’re putting in a jam studio.

Andrew la Fleur: A jam studio, right. Yeah.

Dominic Tompa: If you’ve got a little garage band that you like to have some fun with, you can use the jam studio for your sessions. Another really interesting and exciting one is the arts studio. This will be curated by Artscape. This is another thing. When we create these amenities spaces, we’re not just putting them in and then you’re on your own. We actually get organizations involved to help the condominium to actually use this space to the best of what’s there. Artscape will be involved with the art studio and having sessions and classes that can help people with everything from learning how to sculpt or to paint, to music. These are really pretty exciting amenities spaces that are very unique.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, and you’ve done the same thing where, in some of your other communities, like I’m thinking of One Park Place where you have outside groups coming in to help with the rooftop gardens and teaching people how to do the rooftop gardening. You’ve got another group coming in, the organization, that runs sort of the fitness area and the fitness programming and that side of things. You’re focused on your strengths, I guess, as any good business. You focus on building the communities, but in terms of running the actual programs and making that community something vibrant and the amenities are things that people will enjoy and use, I guess that’s where you bring in partners.

Dominic Tompa: Yeah, we take it to the next level. What we don’t do is just create the amenity spaces. We want to have those amenity spaces be an extension of both living spaces and the lifestyles of the residents in that condominium. Here at Lighthouse, some of the other really unique spaces, we have a kitchen library, something we haven’t put into a condominium before-

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, I heard about this. Tell us about that. It’s very interesting.

Dominic Tompa: You know, you’re living in a condominium, and let’s see … if you have some interest in cooking and the culinary arts, there’ll be an actual kitchen library where we can go down to, and if you want to borrow a bread maker, you’ll be able to do that, or a special kind of mixer. We’ll also, again, be bringing in outside organizations to hold culinary sessions and different classes. Again, it’s really designed to not just create amenity spaces but also expand and really increase the enjoyability of people living there because they’re really getting a full experience.

Andrew la Fleur: You really set it up so that the amenities get really used and utilized, and it’s not just something that’s just sitting there, empty rooms that condo corporation and condo owners are paying for every month and you start to say to yourself, “Why do we have these things?” Which is quite honestly, often the case in a lot of buildings where amenity spaces look great in the brochure and on paper, but when the buildings actually get built, it’s like, “We have these rooms and we have these places that nobody really uses, and we’re paying for it.” You really take that proactive approach of designing it but also setting it up for success, setting it up for maximum usage.

Dominic Tompa: We like to program all our spaces.

Andrew la Fleur: Program them. Yeah.

Dominic Tompa: You mentioned the gardening. We’re a very big proponent of urban agriculture, and so in all of our new-

Andrew la Fleur: That’s something you’re doing in all your buildings now. You started a few years, a few buildings back, and now it’s in every building.

Dominic Tompa: Yeah, exactly. I can tell you, it’s been such a huge hit. From a standpoint … There’s so many people who are interested in gardening, but it also brings a community together. It’s wonderful to see in some of these communities, and we’re hitting that time of year in fall where people think of harvest-time. They harvest the vegetables that they’ve grown, and they usually have a nice dinner in our party room with a catering kitchen. It just brings the community together. We’ve had a focus on urban agriculture now in all of our condominiums. Again, we do program it. We bring in experts in the field to actually help get the program started. We don’t create any of these spaces and, as you mentioned, just leave them with the result that no one’s using them. One thing that we are very focused on is making sure that if we’re going to create an amenity space, it’s going to be a space that everyone in the condominium will really enjoy.

Andrew la Fleur: Getting back to Daniels Waterfront and sort of the getting people an overview of the project, it’s appropriately 1.3 million square-feet, which I believe around half of that square footage is the residential component, but the other half is made up of office and retail and other uses. Why don’t you speak to the office component in particular? Why is good to have an office component in a community like this?

Dominic Tompa: Well, because for any community to be truly a community, you have to have more components than just the residential. The offices is one of those components. Many people who live in Lighthouse will probably work in one of the offices that are down here. It’s a great location for an office. It’s a very unique concept we’re doing. We are actually creating office condominiums, which is a relatively new product in the marketplace. It’s fantastic for someone who has a business, wants to be in a great location, be able to own the office where their business is located and be able to control their long-term costs on the office. It’s a fantastic concept. We released the first of the … the east tower of the 2 office condominiums, and they’re over 50% sold in less than a month. It’s been very well-received.

The other aspect that you mentioned and is really important is that the retail and the restaurants. There’ll be a very nice retail component with some small shops, restaurants, so that again, to be a full community, it’s nice when, at the end of the day, you want to go out and have some dinner, and you don’t have to leave your community.

Andrew la Fleur: You don’t have to even cross the street.

Dominic Tompa: You’re just going down. There’s 25,000 square-feet of retail and restaurant space within this Daniels Waterfront. What’s really nice about it is it’s going to be a very attractive space from a standpoint of, for instance, we’re going to extend Sugar Beach to Sugar Beach North. We’re using the same architects that did Sugar Beach, Claude Cormier, and-

Andrew la Fleur: Everybody loves Sugar Beach. It’s such a hit. You see it. It’s becoming a bit of an iconic sort of image of Toronto, those umbrellas and the sand and everything. You always see it on pictures of Toronto. You’re watching the Jays game, and they do the outdoor shots, and there’s Sugar Beach. It’s become something that Toronto’s really known for. It’s right across the street from Daniels Waterfront, and now you’re, like you said, you’re extending the park in a sense. Sugar Beach North is going to be part of the community.

Dominic Tompa: Absolutely. You’re absolutely right. Sugar Beach is iconic. We’re bringing the umbrellas. We’re not going to bring the sand.

Andrew la Fleur: Too messy.

Dominic Tompa: It’s going to be a beautiful space, and we’re also, along that west portion, along Jarvis, is where we have 6,000 square-feet of restaurant space. We’re not at a stage where we’re announcing the restaurateur, but we’ll have a nice restaurant space with a nice outdoor patio opening up to the Sugar Beach North. We’re also, between the office condominiums, and the 2 residential towers, there’ll be a pedestrian walkway called the Yard. That will run east-west between Jarvis and Richardson Street. That will be a retail space as well as small restaurants that will just really enhance this community. That’s the importance of this mix. It’s about creating more than just a place where people go to sleep at the end of the night. It’s obviously their home, but it’s a place where they can work, and where, after work, they can go out and have fun.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. I guess it’s also important to note that my understanding is that the actual Daniels corporate head office is going to be relocated into the building as well.

Dominic Tompa: You’re absolutely right. We love this location. We’re so excited about this whole master-planned community that we made a decision to locate Daniels head office in the office condominiums.

Andrew la Fleur: Again, it gives the purchasers also just a sense of confidence, a sense of security, a sense of just … It’s a good feeling to know that if you’re buying into this building, the developer themselves who’s building the building, they’re putting their head office there. They’re going to be here for a very long time. It’s obviously going to be well-built and well-constructed. Every aspect of the project is going to be very high-quality and totally well thought out.

Dominic Tompa: You’re absolutely right. We have a lot of confidence in this community. We’re putting our name to it. We’ll be living here.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, you will. That’s a good way to put it. Yeah, you’re going to be living here too in a sense.

Dominic Tompa: We will maintain ownership of the retail. I think you’re right. It is a demonstration of the confidence we have in the quality of what we’re doing and also just the long-term viability of this community, that we think is an area, as I mentioned, is a gateway to the East Bayfront lands. This is an area that’s just going to keep getting better and better.

Andrew la Fleur: Lastly, why don’t we talk a little bit the suites themselves, the units, the finishes, and the floor plans, that sort of thing. What are some of the highlights that people should know about the actual units themselves at Waterfront?

Dominic Tompa: The Lighthouse Tower, which is the first condominium, is a 45-story condominium. There’s 531 suites in the condominium. There’s a real wide variety of suite types in there. You can look at anything from a 349 square-foot studio up to a 792 square-foot 2-bedroom beautiful southwest view suite. We also have from the 40th to the 43rd floor, we have what we call our gallery suites, with larger ceiling heights with a 10-foot ceiling heights and only 6 suites per floor, so you can buy a suite on one of the gallery floors that goes up to about 1,800 square-feet. The top 2 floors are penthouse floors, and there’ll only be 4 suites per floor. You can buy a suite that’s up to about 2,300 square-feet. As you can imagine, the views from these floors will just be spectacular, in every direction, whether you’re looking at the water or you’re looking at the lights of the city. These will be some amazing views.

The nice thing about the design of this building is that whether you’re buying for the first time, and you’re looking for a small starter suite to move into, or you’re looking for that final perfect 2,000 square-foot penthouse-type condominium, you’re able to find it. For an investor, we have a really great suite mix from smaller to larger suites, from studios, 1 plus dens, and 2-bedrooms that will be at a very nice price point and very easy to rent.

Andrew la Fleur: I know that the actual finishes themselves, appliances and all the finishes of the unit are going to be pretty high-end as well in the building. I don’t know if there’s any details you can share with that yet, but-

Dominic Tompa: The interior design firm is Cecconi Simone, who’ve done some excellent work for us in the past. I really think they really have a real handle on condominium interiors. The finish itself is high-end. We’re using [Miele 00:34:04] appliances, your elite quartz countertops, so you’ll really be pleased with what our standard finish is. That’s one of the things that when you’re purchasing with Daniels, yes, this Lighthouse will have a décor program, so when you purchase, you’ll meet with one of our décor representatives and actually choose your finish colors and package. You can do upgrades. Our standard finish, as a rule, with Daniels, is at a very high level, at a level where for many condominiums, what our standard is would be an upgrade.

Andrew la Fleur: Right. Yeah. Absolutely. Miele appliances. Very nice. Is there anything else you want to add about the building or anything we haven’t covered that you think is important for people to know?

Dominic Tompa: Well, just to get back to the amenities, I think the amenities are a very important factor in a person’s decision of where to live. Again, we look at them as both an extension of living space, and we look at them as an extension of your lifestyle. Some of the more unique … We’re going to have the standards. We’re going to have a great fitness center. It will be a program fitness center. There’ll be a 24-hour concierge, but there’ll also be some unique features, such as an outdoor tennis court, basketball court on the outdoor level on the 3rd floor. There’ll also be a bocce court, which is kind of unique. On the 11th floor, we have a beautiful cocktail pool overlooking the city with a very nice barbecue area. Something kind of unique to enhance the pool is we’ll have private cabana suites that you could book, and they’re actually open up to the outdoor deck but also have an indoor part of it. There’ll be little bar fridges in the cabana suites. I think they’re very luxurious, and people are really going to enjoy that in the summer time.

Andrew la Fleur: Very nice, very nice. Yeah. Again, when you’re dealing with a building of this scale, an entire city block, that’s where you can really get creative with some of these amenities and have the space to do an outdoor … A tennis court, a basketball court outside. It’s pretty unique that you can get into a building like this.

Dominic Tompa: Yeah. With all of these amenities, we spend a lot of time when we’re designing a building in looking at our amenities from a standpoint of what amenities in our past projects are really well-used. When we talk about things like the garden plots, we realized right from the first ones we put in just how popular they were. We’re constantly trying to enhance the usage of our amenity space. We don’t want to create amenity space that’s just another room that is part of your residence. We actually want you to be using it on a daily basis.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely, yeah. That’s great. Dominic, thank you so much for your time today. Very excited about this new project, and look foward to talking to you again soon.

Dominic Tompa: Great, thank you, Andrew.

Andrew la Fleur: Okay. There you have it. That was my interview with Dominic Tompa, and once again, I hope you enjoyed that in this week’s episode. For the show notes on this episode and to get the investor package for this project, Daniels Waterfront, just head on over to, and you can get everything there. Okay, until next time, I hope you have a great week.

Thanks for listening to the True Condos podcast. Remember, your positive reviews make a big difference to the show. To learn more about condo investing, become a True Condos subscriber by visiting