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New in Toronto real estate: Lumen Condos

Posted by Robyn Urback / December 13, 2012

Lumen CondosLumen Condos is "a measurement of light and life as inspired an imagined in architectural design." Uh, I think that means the building's light fixtures are important or something; I'm really not too sure. Part of the Concord CityPlace community, Lumen has absolutely nothing to do with the enigmatic character in the fifth season of Dexter, and instead offers real estate opportunities for people looking to invest by the Gardiner. A decidedly different thrill. This 30-storey building will come with a breathtaking illuminated lobby, every amenity imaginable, and, most likely, one hell of a hydro bill. Here's a close look at Lumen.

Lumen CondosSPECS

Location: Bathurst and Lake Shore Blvd

Total number of units: 300

Number of storeys: 30

Number of elevators: 3

Types of units: One bedroom, one-plus den, two-bedroom, two-plus den

Unit sizes (in square feet): 525 - 933

Prices from: ~$300,000

Parking: $40,000 (for units above 550 s.f.)

Storage: $5,000

Maintenance fees: $0.51/sf

Developer: Concord Adex

Architect: Raw

Interior Designer: Figure3

Amenities: Indoor pool, 24/hr concierge, gym, party room, yoga studio, guest suites, games room, movie room...

Expected occupancy: March 2015

Lumen CondosTHE GOOD

Hey look, a park. And a new bridge. This place is all right. Right? As long as you're not driving, CityPlace access is pretty easy — it's walking distance to everything when the weather is warm, and steps to the Spadina and/or Bathurst streetcars. In terms of a pied-à-terre, not a half bad choice.

The building itself does look mighty fine, but more impressive is the distinct lack of pitiful 300-something-square-foot bachelor units. Sorry — "studios;" that's what we're calling them, yes? Most Lumen units aren't exactly plush with extra room, but 550-square-feet for a one-bedroom is fair... I guess... at least by today's standards. And definitely improved upon if you can snag one of those units with a 120-square-foot balcony. That's like *half* the size of a starter condo on King West. Rejoice.

If I continue, I'll just be grasping. I don't think the idea that "you'll have lots of neighbours and therefore plenty of options of people to watch your dog when you go out of town," is really a good reason to make a $500,000 investment.

Lumen CondosTHE BAD

Cool — a view of the lake. Maybe. If you pay for it. But with Lumen situated right by the Gardiner, all residents can count on the incessant sounds of weekday traffic and the unrelenting congestion that seems to worsen with every grand opening. Oh, how peaceful it will surely be to sit back on your 35-square-foot balcony and watch the emergency vehicles try to get to the fender-bender in the middle lane. This, friends, is tranquility.

Lumen developers boast that the building is located in Canada's fastest growing neighbourhood, which, apparently, needs no further footnote. But since when did "fastest growing" actually mean "best?" CityPlace has already garnered a bit of a reputation for lacking any sense of community, not to mention the condos that have seemingly been overtaken by hoards of student tenants. (And so, that explains the Economic textbooks and beer funnels found in the garbage rooms after each semester.)

Some haters critics have already sensationally pegged CityPlace a ghetto, while others, more reservedly, have stuck with "concrete jungle." Either way, it's pretty inarguable that the area lacks any real sense of character, and I imagine it'll yet be a long while before anyone says, "Hey, let's do dinner and explore CityPlace." So you're safe for now, Leslieville.

Lumen itself — other than that nifty glowing swimming pool — is pretty generic as far as downtown condos go. It has those blasted pseudo-kitchens with barely any counter space, unimpressive standard laminate flooring, and a few absolutely ridiculous layouts. One of its one-bedroom units (Layout 9, for those keeping track) has its kitchen IN ITS ENTRANCE HALLWAY, and another (Layout 12) has the fridge basically opposite the front door. Both units are so oddly laid out that it seems opening the oven would totally block off access to the entire suite. Not too *bright*, if you ask me. (Womp, womp.)


I prefer Dexter's Lumen.

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



mjb / December 13, 2012 at 08:23 am
Can blogto please find somebody else to review the real estate developments?
Huuk / December 13, 2012 at 08:47 am
I totally disagree with the above comment.
Be hyper critical of these terribly generic condos.
The good ones get praise, the bad ones get ripped to shreds...just like these concrete eyesores should.
Good review. Its projects like the Lumen that will accelerate the condo bubble burst with lazy design and greedy developers trying to justify $600 a sq ft for no reason.
cosmosuave / December 13, 2012 at 09:44 am
J G Ballard's High Rise pretty much sums up this neighbourhood...
Nicole / December 13, 2012 at 09:47 am
I agree, it is a very good honest review.
Mikey / December 13, 2012 at 10:14 am
The base price (300k) divided by the base square footage (525) is under $600!! That passes the initial smell test for me! Haven't even read the rest of the article yet.
Justin / December 13, 2012 at 10:20 am
While I agree that generic condos like this deserve all the sarcasm and vitriol we can throw at them, a little more professionalism (read: (copy)editing) might be nice in reviews like these. Otherwise, spot-on. Yet another glass-concrete vortex to suck real urban life off the streets and into tiny, capsular worlds devoid of any real character. You know all those hulking concrete slab apartments we built in the 70s and now almost universally hate? Guess what people are going to think/say about developments like "Lumen" in 20+ years...
Torontoperson / December 13, 2012 at 10:26 am
I read American Psycho years ago, but these apartments remind me of that book. They are cold, sterile and devoid of warmth. The building is ok. It will most likely be very plain once built, as the rendered drawings always make them look better than real life. The building is totally out of character for its surroundings. I really don't know why people waste so much time making lobbies so nice or give them so much space in a building.
Racw / December 13, 2012 at 10:29 am
Good review but the marketing suite has been closed forever and the suites are being completely re-designed. I am not saying it is going to be better, I am just saying this is waaay out of date BlogTO..get it together.
Robert replying to a comment from Justin / December 13, 2012 at 10:35 am
Too many people to house, what do we do to house them? Suburban sprawl? Talk about sole sucking blandness and isolation, no urban life there.
I guess the only real solution would be to start the cull, who is first?
Ghost of Amsterdam brewery / December 13, 2012 at 10:55 am
The *only* saving grace of this corner of cityplace was the old Amsterdam brewery that the developer gleefully tore down recently. Why couldn't they turn that into a community centre/pub/local market/shopping area? Instead, another building with a rich history was demolished for more blah glass and steel.
who's ur fadda? replying to a comment from mjb / December 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm
go somewhere else
john homes / December 13, 2012 at 01:21 pm
3 elevators for 30 floors, near the gardener expressway you do the math this place sucks big time. This will be a welfare building with bedbugs and cockroaches in 10 years.
Homes for sale in colorado springs co / December 13, 2012 at 03:46 pm
Great post! The fact that you means someone is reading and liking it! Congrats!That’s great advice.
Homes for sale in colorado springs co / December 13, 2012 at 03:46 pm
Great post! The fact that you means someone is reading and liking it! Congrats!That’s great advice.
Alex / December 13, 2012 at 05:32 pm
3 elevators for 30 floors? Ha ha ha! Have fun with that!
Lindsay / December 13, 2012 at 06:19 pm
"overtaken by hoards of student tenants" is an oversimplified and discriminatory approach. students are also workers, of all ages and of all types of lifestyles.

your writing style is shallow. and it detracts from your point (which isn't really that unreasonable).

also, THREE elevators for THIRTY floors?? I hope they are huge elevators fitting 25 people at a time.. ouch..
Urban Planner / December 13, 2012 at 07:28 pm
Yet another example of shoddy design and construction from CityPlace, in a soon-to-be ghetto of escalating maintenance fees and underservicing (e.g., elevators); cheap and cheerful to rent, but as an ownership unit? There are better deals elsewhere (anywhere).

(and I should know, I live in a CityPlace Apex unit)
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Lindsay / December 14, 2012 at 06:56 am
Okay, to be fair, that's the standard for most apartment buildings in Toronto, having three elevators; there's no chance of billions of people tromping in them at all hours of the night or day, is there?

Also, with the proviso that these buildings be built ELSEWHERE in Toronto, (like the suburbanized parts) I (amazingly) have no problem with this building, and think that it's well designed; also I think that all of the predictions about this place being a ghetto in the future is kinda silly.
n / December 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm
another crap building for downtown. who wants to live in these buildings? where are 5-6 storeys buildings with no extra facilities costing millions to maintain. With usable kitchens and actual living space for normal sized sofa and normal tables and chairs? Is that just a dream for suburbs or for those that can afford 1mil houses. i am never going to buy a condo in toronto. awful builders and too expensive for what you get.
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