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New in Toronto real estate: 109OZ

Posted by Robyn Urback / June 7, 2012

109OZWe all know development companies, especially in Toronto, try to sell would-be condo owners on a certain "lifestyle." But it appears the minds behind 109OZ have taken that premise to a whole different level. Literally touting the power of the "Humblebrag" on its website and in its presentation centre Reserve Properties and co. have saturated their sales approach with the boons of the Ossington area. Yes, there are great places to shop, eat, and play on Ossington, and Reserve is reminding would-be purchasers with special events throughout the summer.

Already having hosted a launch concert featuring Eight and a Half and a pop-up urban garden, the sales centre will later also feature art events, outdoor yoga, a vintage market, and a pop-up wedding. Oh, yeah, and I suppose you can buy a condo, too. Right. Here are some of the details.


Number of units: 85

Number of floors: 6

Unit sizes (in square feet): 504-1160

Starting price: 285k+

Parking: $35k (For units 660sf or more)

Storage locker: $3,500

Maintenance: $0.52/sf

Hydro included?: No

Amenities: Party room, rooftop patio (But..pft.. Ossington is obviously the main amenity)

Expected occupancy: August 2014


Yes, we all know Ossington's grand. But the good thing about 109OZ is that it appears not to take away from Ossington's plum nature. Whereas a more domineering structure might infringe on Oz's underdog/indie-designer/organic foodie vibe, 109OZ actually seems to blend quite well, probably thanks to its muted six storeys. Since amenities are kept to a minimum, condo-owners probably don't need to worry (too much) about skyrocketing maintenance fees during those first few settling years. And that intimate number of 85 units means you might actually come to recognize your neighbours in the lobby. Trust me, introverts, this is actually a good thing.

109OZThe other boon 109OZ offers (for most units) are expansive balconies and terraces with room for seating and barbecues (with gas hookups). The exterior spaces range from 31 to 374 square feet (practically the equivalent room of a downtown central studio unit), with ample room to grill up some miso tempeh and watch Ossington visitors assemble down below.


In my last post about the Canary District Condos, I vented my grievances with regards to the pseudo-kitchens that seem to crop up in more and more new Toronto builds. These "appliance walls" are, unfortunately, present in each of the unit plans for 109OZ. And looking at the layouts, I'm reminded of another structural pet peeve: the pseudo-bedroom door.

While some 109OZ units have bedrooms equipped with bona fide doors (with hinges and everything!), too many have sliding bedroom "barriers" that block view of the bed from the rest of the unit. Again, ostensibly, the rationale is rooted in space-saving, but I imagine I'd feel a fraud in my "one bedroom" that felt more like a bachelor with "nifty" sliding doors. Nevermind that slamming the door in a fit of rage would be next to impossible.


If you love Ossington, this is probably your place. You'll be walking distance to everything, close enough to transit to take you anywhere, and in a building that's modest enough to not garner dirty sneers from anyone (or most, at least). Expansive patios will let you feel part of the action when you can't be bothered to actually go out, and great activities and eats are right at your footsteps when you are.

But personally, I would need my suite to come with counter space (in part, to help avoid perpetual eating out) and real bedroom doors. Though there are some 109OZ units that include doors with hinges and lend themselves to kitchen islands, those units (generally) will cost you a cool 300K over the starting suite costs (probably because they include an extra bedroom and bathroom). That's a lot of dough for a door and a spot to chop carrots.

What do you think? Would you live here? Add your comments to the thread below.



Yikes! / June 7, 2012 at 11:18 am
$565/ft to live across a mental hospital....yikes!
Cyril Sneer / June 7, 2012 at 11:34 am
Can't stand this lifestyle sales technique. The idea is a I want a nice, empty box that I can put MY lifestyle into.
Adam / June 7, 2012 at 11:36 am
I'm not sure why someone would want to live right on Ossington - a strip that is quickly becoming a club zone with the downfall of places like The Ossington, Baby Hueys, Levack Block etc.

I long for the days when Baby Hueys was a dive bar without massive crowds of sweaty douchebags. Sigh, the evolution of my city.
Ben / June 7, 2012 at 11:52 am
Wow. This place is going to be virtually across the street from Bellwoods Brewery. I would live there.
alan replying to a comment from Cyril Sneer / June 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm
i agree with the lifestyle thing...

on the topic of maintenance fees in my building were very low and caused a lot of jaw dropping when i told my friends...some fees i've been told are kept artifically low to bring in the buyers...BUT after a couple of years my fees went up 75%...something to keep in mind...
Alex / June 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Those balconies look amazing. But I agree with the writer that the kitchen is weirdly arranged.
EveryonesOpinion replying to a comment from Adam / June 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm
I agree!
Baby Huey's circa 2009 was great! Same with The Ossington & Levack Block. I went to The Oss a few weeks ago and heard Top 40 music

G / June 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm
Wow, those floor plans are awful! So much wasted space. Condo developers need to be less concerned with lifestyle and more concerned with live-ability.
MrsPotato / June 7, 2012 at 01:31 pm

This reeks of Ikea-esque styling.
Joey replying to a comment from Yikes! / June 7, 2012 at 01:41 pm
Don't be a jackass. There's nothing wrong with living near CAMH. Keep your prejudice to yourself.
jameson / June 7, 2012 at 02:19 pm
When you comment on layouts, remember that this isn't a free-standing tower in the park model, it's built within an existing city block that limits potential windows. Think before you speak.

I have to say, would you rather have this mid-rise a high-rise structure like the Queen Triangle? This is far superior you idiots.
bullit replying to a comment from G / June 7, 2012 at 03:21 pm
I 100% agree, they are awful. Developers need to stop maximizing total square footage and start maximizing usable square footage.
go away / June 7, 2012 at 05:17 pm
tacky embarrassment.
tom o'bedlam / June 7, 2012 at 06:28 pm
yet another go-to-hell neighbourhood cash grab development on ossington from reserve properties. but don't worry, after doing this shtick in the Beaches and Parkdale, they'll be coming to yr hood in no time.
agatha s. / June 7, 2012 at 07:49 pm
good lord i hate this development.
Their "pop up urban garden" (which was basically two tables in a parking lot with some produce bought at the metro) featured such locally grown fare as pineapples.
Benj Hellie / June 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm
COMMUNITY CONSULTATION MEETING on 109OZ: MONDAY, 25 JUNE, 6:30--8:30, TRINITY REC CENTRE -- go if you can -- this is a city meeting and very important to determining what will happen on this site.

This project HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED -- due to many major variations from existing zoning, what will get approved is still totally up in the air -- the community consult is run by the city as a legally required stage in the approval process -- make your voice heard there -- politicians are there to learn what the mass of voters demand and city planners are there to learn what makes the neighbourhood work -- more details below.


(Apologies for my boilerplate. I'm hoping you guys on this thread make it to the community meeting and the sentiments on this thread get expressed to the city planning department.)

In response to concerns about this development, residents in the local area have coalesced into the group Smart Growth for Ossington. In our view, Ossington is at a tipping point and if it is going to work for all of us, we need our community to come together fast. Our aim is to engender widespread discussion in our community about the future of Ossington in general, and about this project in particular.

We are at the table with Mike Layton and the developer (and we are getting major backup from groups like Active18 and T-B Community Association), so citizen voices are definitely represented here. But we want *everyone* at the table -- that means you.

Go to for details.

More stuff:

* There will be a city-run Community Consultation Meeting about this project on Monday, 25 June, 6:30--8:30, Trinity Rec Centre (Crawford at the bottom of the park). PLEASE ATTEND THIS MEETING: this is where the city government will be judging community sentiment on this proposal. It is legally required in any development issue and city staff is legally required to take your opinion into account. This meeting is your SINGLE VERY BEST CHANCE to influence this development -- and in turn the future of Ossington. If you care about Ossington and our neighbourhood YOU GOTTA BE THERE.

* Please visit our web page for extensive information about our group's position, aims, and activities, for details about 109OZ and what it could mean for a lot of different constituencies, for information about how to help out Smart Growth for Ossington, and for general information of interest to anyone who cares about our neighbourhood.

* In our group's view, the proposal the developer has submitted is a flawed in many ways: we suspect the developer has made a mistake about what our neighbourhood really means and submitted a development proposal based on this mistake. Earlier planning documents make us very confident that city planning staff will be on our side on this. And we are bringing Mike Layton over to our side -- our sense is that in the period we have been talking with him, his opinion has shifted noticeably. We are optimistic that a project that is, in our view, much more appropriate to the site is what will eventually be approved.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ON 109OZ -- MONDAY 25 JUNE, 6:30--8:30P, TRINITY REC CENTRE -- all voices welcome, all will be heard -- bring your friends -- pull people off the street -- pay them if necessary (joke)
KRealv / June 7, 2012 at 11:27 pm
Hi Gang!!!
Benj Hellie / June 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm
... I should point out that that drawing of the building in comparison to the height of the one next door is a flat out lie. The drawing depicts the three story building to the left as rising above the third story of the proposed condo. In reality, as shown in the submission to the city planner ( -- page 9, 'north elevation'), the three story building next door cuts out midway through the condo's third story.

Again: the first two stories of 109OZ are almost as tall as the three story building (housing Golden Turtle) next door. The drawing posted above makes the Golden Turtle building taller than three stories of 109OZ -- so it is a lie.

The promotional drawing also does not depict the 'mechanical penthouse' slated to top off 109OZ. That HVAC shed is the height of another story.

The Golden Turtle building is about 9--10 meters tall. The zoning law allows for 14 meters -- up to the fourth story of the proposed 109OZ. 109OZ is asking for *six* stories -- plus another story for the mechanical penthouse -- for a total of 25.5 meters. That is more than 2.5 times the height of the Golden Turtle building!

The drawing represents 109OZ as about 1.6 times as high as the Golden Turtle building. To get to reality, take the Golden Turtle building they show and pile it on 109OZ again: roughly that high is how high 109OZ is.

Benj Hellie / June 7, 2012 at 11:43 pm
Sorry, one last thing: the building is really not 'modest'. In addition to the height, there is the width. It is nine storefronts wide. Nine = Golden Turtle + Frantic City + Hollywood Foods + Boehmer + I Miss You + one or two more piddly little buildings.

Nine out of 26 storefronts on the block x 2.5 times the height of the tallest existing building on the block -- more like 4 times the height of everything else -- that works out to as much or more facade on 109OZ as currently exists on the whole block.
Benj Hellie / June 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm
... correction, '25.5m' should be '25m'.
pat / June 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm
get use to the bar noise & finding empties tossed up on your splinter of a balcony.

waste of $$$$
Gala / June 8, 2012 at 12:58 am
I just found out this afternoon that builders are currently over charging on new developments on purpose!! Buyers come in and buy units at current market value then flipping the units when they are completed to make a quick profit. Well, now the builder wants their share of the profits by increasing prices to what they could be in the near future based on a current hot market. Problem is if and when the housing market cools down you the buyer have now grossly over paid for a brand new unit and will most likely never regain an investment on the property.

Here's something else to consider, Toronto has more new condo developments than New York, LA and I can't remember the 3 major US city combined! A lot of buyers are also from overseas with a suffering economy. If they backed out or stop buying Toronto properties the new condo property market could crash.

It's really unfortunate that builders now make it difficult for new home buyers to enter the market or any real home buyer to buy their next home. When buying from a floor plan you never see it till its done and there is a chance you might hate the layout once you are in. It's a risk paying so much for something that will take a few years to be built. I think home buyers should be able to buy off a floor plan at current market value. They are the ones taking a risk by investing into the project they cant see in person. I've also seen where buyers purchase units then the building project gets cancelled 2-4 years later! Buyers gets their money back but you lose out on any interest you would have made with that cash during those years waiting for the project to be completed! I've also seen builders do this only to rebrand the project so they can sell properties at the higher/ current market value because they delayed the project too much and they want to make more money on the same project.
marco island condos / June 8, 2012 at 05:18 am
What a beautiful infrastructure of interior designing in this blog...!
Jessica / June 8, 2012 at 07:55 am
"But the good thing about 109OZ is that it appears not to take away from Ossington's plum nature. Whereas a more domineering structure might infringe on Oz's underdog/indie-designer/organic foodie vibe, 109OZ actually seems to blend quite well, probably thanks to its muted six storeys." I just want to second Benj's point above that the picture is seriously misleading. As the architectural plans clearly show, the proposed building---at 25m/75 ft, in fact the height of an 8-story building, 45m wide and 41m deep---will loom like a battleship over the 2-3 story "main street character buildings" that house Ossington's charming and small-scale galleries, cafes, restaurants and bars. Moreover, given the sort of massive profits (on order of 9-15 million) that Reserve Properties stands to make on those 86 tiny high-priced units, how long before all those Victorian and other buildings housing "Oz's underdog/indie-designer/organic foodie vibe" are bought up and converted to big box condos? Pop-up garden centre today, King West in 10 years.

One last thing: if I could make a suggestion, writers of reviews of new condo developments would be doing their readers a service by alerting them as to whether the condo has actually been approved. Notwithstanding all the hype and glitz and (caveat emptor/conditional) sales, the application process has just begun, and community consultation has not even begun, on the 109OZ proposal. If possible, reviewers should also do some deeper research into these proposals---call the local councillor, get the plans, familiarize themselves with the existing height bylaws, etc. It's fascinating stuff---not least because this sort of information provides a more accurate picture of the proposal than the developer's marketing department is likely to provide.
mezimeen / June 8, 2012 at 09:54 am
To all the haters.

The project does not lack depth or thought. Everyones a critic it seems, but the fact of the matter is people can't afford $700,000 homes. You need diversity in neighbourhoods, both ethnically and financially. That's what makes Toronto great. Stop your bitching and whining about developers not caring or doing what YOU the apparent expert wants to do. Yes they want to make money but its pretty obvious with this development that some thought was used. It isn't that bad and ya, you'll never have winner for every unit so if you don't like it, don't buy it. But stop complaining because its the thing to do.
Quark replying to a comment from mezimeen / June 8, 2012 at 02:39 pm
They're not complaining 'because it's the thing to do' but because they're concerned about their neighborhood being shitty. And this condo development will make it so.
The Bee / June 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Wow, this thread has been coopted by people who sound like they just hate developers for being developers and don't like any change, even if it's for the good. Are these the same people behind the lobby for the Ossington liquor moratorium? Sure sounds like it. What do you want to bet there is a connection?
mike / June 9, 2012 at 02:06 pm
the thing about Ossington, and queen west in general is that the buildings are narrow, dense and relatively short (4 stories or less). This thing looks cheap, is very suburban in design, cheap materials, and jut does not give anything to the neighbourhood other than living quarters. If this was on Major Mac or in Mt Denis, then it would be an improvement tothe area, but quite frankly, the downtown west side deserves a hell of a lot better than this, and it is better than this. We deserve real brick, real windows, real wood floors, not the architectural equivalent of disposable cutlery. NEXT!
catherine / June 9, 2012 at 02:38 pm
How did those buildings across the street get so tall?
Marco Island Condos / June 12, 2012 at 09:09 am
I like you designing of infrastructure some of that looks like 3D Designs.But the price range of this big condo is too low.
Jessica / June 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm
Sorry, make that 82 feet high! A meter is actually 3.281 feet, so 25 meters is 82 feet. Sheesh.
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Shane Fenton is the worst / February 4, 2016 at 03:51 pm
DO NOT buy from Reserve! After four years of delays, we finally received our unit - with major changes made and almost six months of repairs and things that are wrong with our unit (repair men have put white paint all over our dark brown hardwood floors). What was supposed to be a planter infront of our unit turned out to be a five foot high wall of gas pipes and because of the placement of that, they had to put a garage door style shutter on our front window, which covers a portion of our front window. They built a chimney in our back terrace that was supposed to vent hot air from the underground garage, through our property and then decided not to do it and left the concrete chimney sticking out of our back terrace, removed the planters that were supposed to be there and will not reply to emails about it. Our storage locker is about 4 feet by 2 feet and all of the other ones are approximately 4 feet by 6 feet. When asked, we were told they were assigned randomly (even though we all paid the same price). Our lawyer sent a letter on September 15th 2015 with five major issues - they replied Feb 4th 2016. They have not responded to an email in almost a year now - I had to spend $1500 in lawyers fees to send that letter.
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