Revitalization

42 Storey Condo, No Parking

By Ben Bull
Published September 16, 2009

I'm not a fan of high-rise buildings. They create a gated community feel and do little to create a larger sense of community. How many high rise residents do you know who know the names of their neighbours?

But today's Star highlights an interesting development:

A controversial 42-storey condo building that will be built without permanent parking spots cleared a key hurdle yesterday.

The Toronto-East York community council overruled city staff skeptical about the dearth of parking to allow a plan that provides for only nine car-share rental spots, plus 315 spaces for bicycles.

New housing without parking: can you imagine this happening in Hamilton?

Ben Bull lives in downtown Toronto. He's been working on a book of short stories for about 10 years now and hopes to be finished tomorrow. He also has a movie blog.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted September 16, 2009 at 11:52:44

It's interesting. I'd assume prices would lower accordingly (parking spot usually adds at least 20k in downtown Toronto) to the benefit of those that don't drive. I assume they completed sufficient market research that there is a significant market otherwise there could be issues with obtaining financing as they've effectively restricted purchasers to those without vehicles.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 16, 2009 at 11:54:44

I assume they completed sufficient market research

From the article:


"If you look at the evidence of what sells downtown, the majority of units under 750 square feet in the downtown core sell without parking,"' said Stephen Deveaux, a vice-president with the developer, Tribute Communities. Parking spots typically add $20,000 or more to the cost of a downtown condo.

Deveaux called the project, which still needs approval from full city council, an opportunity to design and market an "environmentally progressive building." With so many jobs and handy transit nearby, the units will sell, Deveaux said.


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By JonC (registered) | Posted September 16, 2009 at 11:56:56

Ah, the benefits of reading the article.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:06:01

nope. this wouldn't happen in Hamilton. We DEMAND one parking space per unit, even in new downtown highrises. It's crazy. We are trying to mandate suburbia in the core, plus all the social services of course.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:06:29

From my time living in Toronto, most people I knew there who lived in condos or apartments didn't drive cars.

Maybe 15-20% of working people I knew who actually owned condos and worked in an average-paying office job (some of the jobs they had were graphic designer, programmer, customoer banking, administrator, and tattoo artist) that I knew owned cars - others rented or carshared as necessary and took transit/biked/walked elsewhere.

The condos with parking were more of a suburban North York/midtown thing, or the luxury condos that started at 700k+ downtown - not exactly my friends' market.

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By luke (registered) | Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:52:31

Downtown Hamilton is a highway bypass. No car is like no legs.

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By rusty (registered) - website | Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:56:47

The article sidebar notes the walking distance to amenities:

"What does it take to live car-less-ly? Schlepping groceries and other stuff home on foot can take some effort, especially in a downtown area that's less residential than some.

From 426 University Ave., site of a proposed condo building with no parking, it is:

• 10 blocks to the nearest supermarket (Metro at Gould and Jarvis Sts.)

• 4 blocks to the nearest LCBO (595 Bay St.)

• 4 blocks to the nearest Canadian Tire (Bay and Dundas Sts.)

• 6 blocks to the nearest mall (Eaton Centre)

On the other hand, it's:

• A few steps to St. Patrick's subway station

• 2 blocks to the opera house

• 3 blocks to major hospitals

• 5 blocks to Queen's Park"

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By frank (registered) | Posted September 16, 2009 at 15:19:38

It can't happen here, not yet anyway. It'd be insane to try. Lousy development practices and poor transit network make it inevitable that one needs a vehicle of some sort even if it's to get safely to the nearest grocery store (how many of those are in the core).

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 16, 2009 at 18:27:46

there's not too many in the core. I think roughly zero.

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By luke (registered) | Posted September 17, 2009 at 11:21:48

"The article sidebar notes the walking distance to amenities:"

The sidebar is just silly. If you've ever lived in downtown Toronto, the very idea of starting up the car, driving four blocks, paying for parking, all to get to the Canadian Tire, when you could walk in 3 minutes, is crazy.

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By GrahamM (registered) | Posted September 17, 2009 at 13:14:42

There is a 6 storey building proposed for aberdeen & dundern. 46 units, 37 parking spaces (or so)...

At a recent community meeting, the conversation was dominated by the parking/car concern (lack of). Hamiltonians need to let go of their attachment to parking.

As another example, bike lanes are proposed for Dundurn. Local businesses and residents are against them because they'll loose parking spots on Dundurn. Where else do you find people against bike lanes?!?

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 17, 2009 at 14:51:17

suburban Buffalo

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By Nobody (anonymous) | Posted September 21, 2009 at 13:30:39

You'd sorta think at least one entrepreneurial business type on Dundurn might see opportunity and build an off-street parking ramp, no? I mean, it's not like there's no vacant, boarded buildings on Dundurn St. S. to make way for more parking. I mean, if automobile parking spaces are so essential to business success, and everybody goes to the Dundurn St. liquor and beer stores for the easy parking access and given the Jackson Pollock movie proved that you can't get a 2-4 home on a bicycle, then financial success must be guaranteed to anyone who built a parking ramp nearby, right?

BTW, there WAS a grocery store on Dundurn S. near Aberdeen, and there WAS one in First Place on King St. W.

Nobody went there.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 21, 2009 at 14:15:38

"Where else do you find people against bike lanes?!?" I love the business owner who claimed he's never seen a cyclist on Dundurn. Can we take ANYTHING he says seriously after that? Dundurn always has cyclists on it even though the bike lanes (big surprise) go across the one bridge and then stop. I guess cyclists are supposed to drop out of the sky (maybe where Scott Thompson will build the new bike lanes he agrees we need but that shouldn't take a lane away from traffic), ride across the bridge, and then get airlifted back up into the sky again.

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