Many of us living in large urban centres visualize a condo as an apartment in a high rise building. In fact, only 31% of Canadian condominiums are of this type. The majority are apartments in low rise buildings which are defined as less than four storeys. Many people in smaller cities and less populated centres are more familiar with townhouse style condos which currently make up 22% of the Canadian market.
As the population in our major urban centres grow so will the number of high rise condominiums. This type by far will out pace any other as we go forward. Urban growth requires our neighbourhoods to be more dense. Immigrants are often comfortable with higher density living than many Canadians. They have often learned the advantages from a life lived in a country with fewer resources. Apartment condos are attractive to a newly developing buyer type - single people (at any age) and female buyers. Condo towers make good use of land resources and are favoured by urban planners. Smaller cities are re-considering their municipal by-laws and weighing the benefits of condo towers. This shift in position also highlights a smaller centres’ need to attract young professionals and increase their municipal tax revenues.
Statistics also tell us that more families are choosing apartment life. Benefits are a more manageable family budget, time saving commutes to work, school and play, and generally a shift in focus from external markers of success to more internal activities and values. Many environmentalists are pointing to apartment towers as the most efficient way to live in our modern cities. Good design can help us all share in our natural resources such as views on to water and green spaces.
Our growing senior population has also benefitted from an increase in choice of apartment condos. A well chosen space can help them live in community longer and feel supported by neighbours. Many quality condo management companies are exploring how they can maximize common space use to retain and attract owners by hosting such activities as coffee socials, yoga classes, and speakers.
A well chosen apartment condo, taking into account an owner’s chosen lifestyle, can indeed feel like home for many years.
Bettianne Hedges is a member of the Ontario Condo Group. For more information about condos visit www.ontariocondogroup.com.