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New in Toronto real estate: Monde Condominiums

Posted by Robyn Urback / November 22, 2012

monde condos torontoMonde Condominiums is an absolutely huge new Great Gulf build, optimally slated for right beside Sherbourne Common Park. Yes, a downtown high rise that actually comes with a little green (and I'm not talking about money — well, maybe that too). This condo will rise a full 40 storeys tall, with a 12-storey "podium," and retail at ground level. Plus a laundry list of amenities, two green roofs, and more than 500 units. To reiterate: huge. Here's a closer look at Monde Condominiums.

monde condos torontoSPECS

Address: 5 Lower Sherbourne Street

Number of floors: 40

Number of elevators: 5

Total number of units: 516

Type of units: One bedroom, one plus den, two bedroom, two plus den

Unit sizes (in square feet): 483 - 1253

Ceiling height: 9'

Prices from (available suites): ~$350,000

Parking: $42,500 (for suites 675 sf or larger)

Maintenance: $0.50/sf

Maintenance fees exclude: Hydro, water, gas

Locker: $4,500

Architect: Safdie Architects, Quadrangle Architects

Interior design: Cecconi Simone

Amenities: Negative-edge outdoor pool, sauna, garden, yoga studio, billiard room, gym, outdoor terrace, 24/7 concierge, guest suites (2), resident superintendent

Expected occupancy: April 2016

monde condo torontoTHE GOOD

It doesn't get much better than a park right outside your door. And a new one, to boot (meaning Toronto's Sharpie-equipped punks probably haven't even gotten to these benches yet). Sherbourne Common is right next to the Monde Condos site, meaning residents will be privy to its green space, playground, skating rink, and other amenities right when they step outside the building. And all for the low price of $650 (give or take) per square foot! In all seriousness, it is somewhat of a rarity to find a new high rise in downtown Toronto with a park right next door ("parkettes" don't count — sorry, Financial District), and it doesn't get much better (or newer, at least) than Sherbourne Common. This is a perk that resonates especially with pet parents, who know that their puppies deserve more than a little plot of grass or two. Bitches know what I'm talking about.

But onto the building itself. I'm glad to see that Monde has done away with the pitiful 300-something-square-foot bachelor, perhaps recognizing that we humans tend to share our living spaces with other physical objects. Of course, I'm referring to items such as beds, tables, and perhaps an item of clothing or two — items otherwise known as "superfluous non-necessities" to developers touting "condominiums" of parking space square footage. The smallest suite in Monde is a still-livable 483 square feet (plus 55 square feet of balcony), which is not huge by any means, but does offer some room to breathe.

monde condos torontoThe quality of layout in Monde depends largely on the suite, but it is worth noting that all units come with a standard kitchen island/dining table combination — a definite bonus considering many condo kitchens can be hard to outfit. As well, some one-plus-den units come with a powder room and a full bathroom, and most layouts include bedrooms with actual windows.

And obligatory nerd remark: Monde will be situated in the "Intelligent Community" of Waterfront Toronto, meaning residents will have access to internet speeds up to 100 times faster than me. And you. And everyone else in the city. Damn.


I don't get it, Lower Sherbourne. What's with you and gargantuan structures that occupy and dominate full city blocks? It's a Sure, it looks great from a bird's-eye rendering, but what about from the sidewalk when all of these log podiums are actually built? Monde is guilty of the city-block-base (does someone need to take a look at zoning here, or what?) with its hefty 12-storey podium at its foot. Not exactly a scenic view for those looking out from Sherbourne Common.

Now, every developer likes to tout its supposedly "groundbreaking" design, and in this case Great Gulf is no exception. I believe the big talking point here is the cantilevered balconies on the tower's odd floors. And yes, they are quite interesting-looking, but they strike me more as ejected stapler trays than breathtaking examples architectural innovation. Or maybe I should just stop staring at my desk. But I wonder, too, about the functionality; if two people want to sit out on the balcony at the same time, must they sit front seat/back seat? Or can they squeeze side by side?

monde condo torontoSpeaking of squeezing, let's talk about density. Lower Sherbourne is poised to receive a considerable influx of new residents in the next few years, due mostly to the completion of this and other condo projects in the area. Now, the same increase in density could be said of many other neighbourhoods in Toronto, the exception being that Lower Sherbourne will be going from relative desolation (relative — I said relative!) to thousands upon thousands of new residents in a relatively short period of time.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but it is likely that there will be at least a few growing pains. Plus, the building itself is a mini-neighbourhood in the sky (and yet, only three of Monde's five elevators are designated for the tower), and with so many people sharing a few common elements, wear and tear on the structure will inevitably get pricey. Add up the (ever-rising, most likely) cost of monthly maintenance fees, plus hydro, plus water, plus gas, plus property taxes, plus interest, and let's hope you have enough left over for that pesky "principle" or whatever it is. Living here will not be cheap, but then again, where is?

monde condo torontoTHE VERDICT

The view from the inside isn't half bad. Let's just hope Sherbourne Common visitors like shade.

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

Read other posts in this series via our Toronto Condos and Lofts Pinterest board



Sam Smith / November 22, 2012 at 09:16 am
Too bad any suites with windows facing south will burn during the day due to the sun. I know this from experience. You can't even stand in front of your windows due to the heat.
Liam replying to a comment from Sam Smith / November 22, 2012 at 09:52 am
The upside to this, as I've also learned from experience, is that you rarely have to use your heat during the winter. That is, of course, if your building is well insulated.
maash / November 22, 2012 at 10:05 am
The tower is interesting. I really like the balconies. But the podium is terrible! It's great that it provides a built in awning, but seriously, there is some horrible 90's parking garage stuff going on.
Danny / November 22, 2012 at 10:20 am
That's a kitchen? Ridiculous when a microwave and a bathroom vanity are bigger than your oven and kitchen sink.

As for the balcony...or is that a diving board???
Rick / November 22, 2012 at 10:44 am
One of the ugliest looking buildings i've seen yet. Pathetic balconies, and more glass.... a glass shoe box ... who in there right mind would pay anything for this????

There is no way you can justify paying $350K for a 500sq of glass walls and totally useless balconies.

Keep on making other people rich Toronto.
moshe / November 22, 2012 at 01:50 pm
I love that Monde is offering larger units and a park to the downtown market. and I want this to succeed and bring new life to East Bayfront as much as anyone, but I think they have honestly overpriced this. It sits on abandoned brownfield land that literally cost the developer next to nothing. You could ask 650psf in the core, but here? 450psf max. Especially after the streetcar shown in the render was cancelled and replaced with BRT because now it costs 3x the original projection. Maybe there are still buyers out there for projects like this, but I see many more under-priced opportunities in the core.
viewaskew / November 22, 2012 at 02:19 pm
I don't understand that last picture. Its obviously taken at Sherbourn looking N-E yet it seems in that the far background you can see the buildings that follow Yonge Street!???

I think they're trying to pull a fast one!
TO_Blog_TRASH / November 22, 2012 at 02:33 pm
Another dumb review....
EC / November 22, 2012 at 02:56 pm
This place looks awful
Aaron / November 22, 2012 at 03:45 pm
Condofront becomes more and more exciting every day! Need more built right on the shoreline. Nothing like strolling amongst condos to get the heart pounding.
?? / November 22, 2012 at 07:53 pm
Why is there always a complaint about design?

Moshe Safdie is a legendary architect and has received great critical acclaim over the course of his career. I'm pretty sure he knows how towers work. Like come on.
cathie / November 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm
Why do condo builders always put the toilet beside the tub, when it should be the sink beside the tub. No place to put your clothes/towel when you get out of the shower, and who wants to sit in the bath with a toilet that close to you?
Jucky / November 23, 2012 at 02:54 am
Why all the haters? No one is forcing you move to Little India but those of us that are happy to be living in this area see it not as becoming a ghost town but quickly following suit like areas along Gerrard, west of Jones. We welcome new developments and neighbours. You'd be hard pressed to find a more friendly, community-centric neighbourhood to live and raise a family.
Real(tor) / November 23, 2012 at 02:02 pm
1 Do not buy pre construction.
2 We are building way too many units at the moment.
3 All units will eventually be absorbed by owners and owners/investors.(more than 2 milion people comming to To in the next 20 yrs)
4 Shoe box in the sky is a flawed argument. Condo crowd is getting married later in life and more and more people do not get married at all. In addition to that the divorce rate is high and
will remain high= lots of demand for small units in the down town core.
Prices will go up in the long term as they always do. Only reason not to buy new is you can get better deals in resale.
Ps Developers pay a much higher commission to realtors to sell pre construction.
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VB / December 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm
ANOTHER GLASS tower in the sky?? These cheaply built buildings will need all the glass replaced within 10 years of being built. Toronto's climate is not conducive to glass residential towers (how many more falling glass does there have to be before Torontonians realize this). What a horrible idea! This is a very stupid investment!
New Launch Condo / February 10, 2013 at 05:38 pm
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