New in Toronto real estate: Noir
Noir Condos, in all seriousness, calls itself the "New Black." Forgive me — my mind jumped to a racial conclusion. But no, the "New Black" is indeed a fashion phrase. Phew. We're off to a good start, no? A Menkes Development project slated for the Entertainment District, Noir is all about sleekness and style, with 49 storeys and a whole glut of amenities. So, once you go Noir you never go back? That sounds just awful. Here's a closer look at Noir Condos.
Address: 87 Peter Street
Number of floors: 49
Number of units: 550
Type of units: Studio, one-bedroom, one-plus-den, two-bedroom, two-plus-den, three bedroom
Unit sizes (in square feet): 382 - 782
Ceiling height: 9'
Price range: Around $300,000 to $500,000+
Parking: $48,000 (for two- and three-bedroom suites)
Maintenance fees exclude: Hydro, parking maintenance (if applicable)
Architect: Core Architects
Interior design: Mike Niven
Amenities: Gym, theatre, water spa, billiards room, outdoor terrace, bar, guest suites (2), concierge
Expected occupancy: November 2016
A little full disclosure to start: I've written 20 of these Toronto condo reviews so far, and I try to be fair, I really do. Just as I remind myself whenever I take the TTC during rush hour — there's a little good in everyone, so try not to let loose on the guy who's saving the seat for his knapsack. And there's a little good in every condo too, right?
Usually, I try to give equal(ish) words to the good and bad, but suffice to say that Noir is not my favourite project (more about that later, of course). I'll give a few words to its boons, but you'll have to excuse my brevity.
The intersection of Peter and Adelaide will not go out of style. So close to King and Spadina transit, and perpetually neighboured by clubs, restaurants, and of course, the Hilton Garden, this address will not suddenly become a barren land of forgotten real estate. It's not a neighbourhood with the sort of character you might ascribe to Leslieville or Roncesvalles, but there will always be people who want to live in Toronto's downtown core. In that way, Noir has a superb address.
The building also offers great amenities for those who are keen on entertaining. While I'm forced to resort to homemade banana bread and my wit (pfft) to entertain guests, Noir residents will have some pretty spectacular-looking outdoor terraces, a theatre room, a water spa, and more. While these amenities are not my personal make-or-break condo factors, they will certainly attract some potential Noir buyers.
Gag me, please. While I often brush off condo brochure text as mere marketing babble, this one was just too terrible to ignore. The entire Noir brochure is written as diary entries in the first person perspective (complete with illegible "handwriting" font, no less), ostensibly to give the reader a glimpse inside the mind of a leather-leggings-clad bleach-blonde would-be Noir resident. Here's just one awful excerpt:
"When I told Grace I was moving into Noir she grilled me. Is there a gym, movie theatre, billiards table? YES. Water spa with massage? YES. Co-ed steam room? OH YES. Then she smiled one of her secret, knowing smiles. I wouldn't have thought it was possible but her twinkling aquamarine eyes seemed to shine even brighter. "
Fuck you, Grace. Who specifically asks about a "water spa with massage?" As if that's standard? Take a whiff of the air out in there the real world, Grace, and open those pretty little aquamarine eyes to fixed-rate financing. It's your type that's ruining the reputation of our entire generation.
The big problem with Noir — and frankly, the problem with too many new condo developments in Toronto — is that it's selling a "lifestyle" with little attention to day-to-day livability. Sure, that water massage might feel awesome the odd time you get around to using it, but the rest of the time you'll be living in a tiny suite (one-bedrooms under 500 square feet, three-bedrooms at 780 square feet), with a burdening mortgage, no nearby green space, in an area with ever-increasing (and arguably, crippling) density, and a parking spot that costs twice as much as your car.
If Noir really wants to sell its suites, it needs to convince me that this tower, as opposed to the seemingly identical three others for sale nearby, will offer the best investment and most comfortable lifestyle. I don't need a co-ed steam room or a billiards table — I'd much rather the assurance that my maintenance fees won't skyrocket once the bills for those amenities add up. And a little square footage for my dollar. The rest, as some notable municipal politicians like to say, is just gravy.
It's all yours, Grace.
What do you think? Would you live here? Add your comments to the thread below.