There is a remarkable trend happening in condominium neighbourhoods across the GTA and especially in the City of Toronto, families are looking into high-density communities to raise their young families.
Most recent census data reports that 42 per cent of all people in Toronto reside in condos and the City of Toronto reports that, 32 per cent of households with children live in mid-rise and high-rise buildings (as of 2011).
The City of Toronto has responded by launching a study to examine how best to accommodate the needs of children in high-density developments. “Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities” includes public consultation and will explore issues such as unit size and layout, building and city amenities and well as the design of the public spaces.
The building and land development industry is responding to the demand for family-friendly condos and many new high-rise developments feature larger suites, extra storage space, outdoor space and child-friendly amenities.
A key component of building family-friendly condominiums is designing suites that are practical and appealing to parents with young children. That means creating units that maximize living space to keep the homes affordable, while ensuring there is ample space to store toys, bicycles and strollers.
For children who live in the inner city, playgrounds can be found within the surrounding neighbourhood. The City and the industry have met the challenge by creating innovative public spaces for families such as Canoe Landing Park at CityPlace, Underpass Park in the River City development and Sherbourne Common on East Bayfront. The Bentway, which is currently under construction, is a unique space under the Gardiner from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street that will also include a skating rink.
In CityPlace, two elementary schools, Bishop Macdonnell Catholic and Jean Lumb Public are now under construction along with Canoe Landing Child Care Centre and Canoe Landing Community Centre that include a gym and outdoor play areas. All of these facilities are in one building making it a great place for neighbourhood children to get to know each other and make new friends.
At Bathurst St. and Queens Quay Blvd. W., the Waterfront School (JK-08) shares space with City School, a high school that focuses on the environment. The Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, also in the same building, offers programs for kids as well as their parents and grandparents and features outdoor and indoor basketball courts.
Another great example is Emerald City, located at Don Mills Rd. and Sheppard Ave. E., a community of mid-rise, high-rise and townhomes that have put family lifestyle at the forefront with outdoor play areas and a lot of kid-friendly amenities. Built in an already established community there are many schools, daycare centres, shopping and transit already in place. With the addition of the Parkway Forest Community Centre and Park the Emerald City district is seeing an influx of young families.
As prices of new low-rise homes in the GTA continue to reach all-time highs, more and more families are calling new condominiums home. Our industry is at the forefront of the way people live in Toronto. Explore and see what new developments are available in your community.