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Toronto's First Car-Free Condo

To my amazement, Tribute Communities has been given the go ahead to build a 42-storey condo tower on University Avenue, just south of Dundas with no parking spots. The City of Toronto’s decision to allow this represents a major shift in philosophy for City Hall with respect to how this city is being planned and what types of developments are encouraged and discouraged.

On the surface, it would seem to make sense that the city would want to encourage the development of condos without parking spots. After all, we are trying to be a ‘green city’, and a dense city, so encouraging a car-free lifestyle in the heart of downtown sounds logical. But the fact is many of the decision makers are City Hall are still stuck in the 1970s version of Toronto where the car is king, and anyone who rides a bicycle is not to be trusted.

This decision will certainly open up the floodgates for further projects without parking spots all over the city. Afterall, from a developer’s perspective, building a 3 or 4 level parking garage is hugely expensive and time consuming. Building a condo without parking should allow developers to offer more competitive prices and faster completion times – two things that every condo buyer wants.

One concern in building a condo tower like this is that all the units will be 1 bedroom, or 1+dens and the residents will be a homogeneous mix of students, singles, and couples. City Hall wants to encourage more 2 and 3 bedroom condo units in the downtown core, so it will be interesting to see how many larger units out of the whole project Tribute Communities allocates for 2+dens and 3 bedrooms.

If you are interested in this project, please contact me.

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