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New in Toronto real estate: Sixty Colborne Condos

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 31, 2013

sixty colborne torontoSixty Colborne is a surprisingly stunted tower planned for King Street and Church. At just 25 storeys, you'd think this was midtown! Anyway, Sixty Colborne certainly can't compete with Aura, Ten York, or the Trump Tower in terms height (though it offers few breaks in price), but it does boast some boons to show that size doesn't necessarily matter. Right, ladies? Here's a closer look at Sixty Colborne.

sixty colborne torontoSPECS

Address: 60 Colborne Street

Floors: 25

Total number of units: 281

Types of units: Studio, one bedroom, one bedroom plus den, two bedroom

Unit sizes (in square feet): 440 - 1,422

Ceiling heights: 9'

Prices from: Low $300,000's

Parking: $45,000 (for select suites)

Locker: Waitlist

Maintenance fees: $0.57/sq ft

Developer: Freed Developments

Architect: architectsAlliance

Interior Design: Johnson Chou Inc.

Amenities: 24-hour concierge, fitness centre, pool, lounge, guest suite

Expected occupancy: Spring 2015

sixty colborne torontoTHE GOOD

Nuts to you, Ten York. Not every condo need climb dozens of storeys tall. Indeed, Sixty Colborne is a very palatable 25 floors, which is modest enough to not take over the architectural fa├žade at King and Church. That said, this project (like all new development projects in Toronto) did come with its share of naysayers, though I'd say their attention is better spent on the 47-storey tower a few doors down. And while the aesthetics of this project will surely have armchair architects divided, it is refreshing to see something other than a sterile box glass tower. ("Hey look — orange!").

sixty colborne torontoNow, if you ask Brad Lamb, Mirvish, et al., King West is undoubtedly where it's "at." After all, King West has, uh, nightclubs. And the TIFF Lightbox. And restaurants (for now). But if I had to pack up for either King end, I'd undoubtedly opt for east. Despite recent development, this stretch of King manages to retain a little visual and architectural interest (the nearby St. James Cathedral is just one example), with neighbourhood perks including the St. Lawrence Market, The Sony Centre, and plenty of shops and restaurants. The demographics, too, present as a little less homogenous, diverging more from the single/professional/urban profile that seems ubiquitous in the west end. Stereotypically speaking, of course. In short: good grab, Freed. You develop that former parking lot.


Sixty Colborne has some pretty wonky-looking layouts. There's the one-bedroom "L"-shaped unit with a bedroom cubby and kitchen corridor, step-in closets that seem fictitiously labeled as "walk-in," and the odd den cube that seems better suited to coats than a workstation. Granted, I suspect buyers will be allowed a certain degree of customization, but it does solicit a little head scratching upon first glance.

sixty colborne torontoUnits can be further improved upon, of course, if buyers spring for optional upgrades. Some those upgrades include partition walls, breakfast bars, and kitchen islands, all of which, naturally, come at a price. But considering that a studio unit in the tower can cost upwards of $730 per square foot or more (read: a pretty staggering price), I can see how buyers might be a little reluctant to fork over even more dough. And if you decide to treat yourself to a one-bedroom with a view? Uh, well, that's close to half a million dollars. But hey, that pool looks pretty nifty — worth it, right?

sixty colborne torontoTHE VERDICT

At these prices, I wouldn't opt for King Street — either end.

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

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iSkyscraper / January 31, 2013 at 09:06 am
I really hope Herzon & de Meuron get a cheque for this because that base scrim and the grid-like lower floors are a complete rip off of 40 Bond in Manhattan.

Robert / January 31, 2013 at 09:15 am
More odd space, no real kitchens, lots of square footage given to entrances that are not an entry hall, 'left' over space called dens, and the need to move through other spaces to get to the main living space. Not for me, but I am sure it will appeal to many.
Christopher King / January 31, 2013 at 10:00 am
Not every building in the downtown core has to be a high rise
Amanda / January 31, 2013 at 10:30 am
Why does it have to be so ugly out front? Really takes away from the beauty of that neighbourhood.
Alex / January 31, 2013 at 10:30 am
Wow, low $300's for a bachelor unit? That seems just a little expensive. Is that really what bachelors in downtown are going for? Nice location though, and the mock-up of the outside looks nice. I'd still prefer a condo without a pool though to keep the maintenance fees down, but it seems like no one is building one.
skazzberry / January 31, 2013 at 10:41 am
This blog is so crap now. What happened to the days when I would find awesome hidden gems and hole in the wall places across Toronto though here? Now its all corporate BS events and Condo reviews and what looks like sponsored restaurant previews.

Way to go sell out!
Rachel / January 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm
I have to say the reviewer is a little harsh on the floor plans. Out of all the condo's my husband and I looked at this building definitely had the best layouts, however the price point didnt make sense as we would be renting it out... if we had to choose one to live it though (and could justify the price) we would have chosen this building.

Also - nice pool, but you wouldn't catch me swimming in it.
Sean / January 31, 2013 at 01:05 pm
The kitchen looks AWFUL. There are more cupboards in a trailer than that condo!
Wiz replying to a comment from skazzberry / January 31, 2013 at 03:17 pm
Maybe that's what's become of Toronto.
JL replying to a comment from Christopher King / January 31, 2013 at 03:38 pm
Not only do we need less high rises, but not everyone looking to live downtown is seeking quartz countertops, cork floors, steam room showers, floor-t0-ceiling windows, the newest fridge that has wifi with talking recipes, etc - especially over the next decade, as more and more of us are having to live with less disposable income, we are looking for the basics - we want to ditch our cars so we can walk to work. We want a safe, clean, modern, but basic living space but not filled to the hilt with the newest, the most expensive, the best of everything - how many of these buildings can downtown really support? There is a glut of very affluent housing and nothing else - at some point, we are going to wind up with thousands of empty units, or worse, someone will buy up a whole bunch, rent each unit out to 6-7 university students, and those who paid full price for their unit will be treated to screaming students running up and down the halls drunk every night. Yes, I get that our downtown has a demand for high-end housing and that's great. But those who need to be downtown because they can't afford a car, or a $100 bus pass, so they can get to their jobs and services by foot, shouldn't be priced out of downtown. The housing at the YWCA is a good start, but we need the YMCA and other places like that to provide something similar. There are all these Toronto Housing buildings within the downtown area with a 15-20 year waiting list and to me that's insane - if there can be all this creative development for affluent highrises there must be some solution for these Toronto Housing buildings.
Frankos / January 31, 2013 at 09:35 pm
Not mentioned is the fact that the city hasn't approved this project and the developer has appealed to the OMB: http://slna.ca/slna-news-pdfs/Appeal%20Letter%20101%20King%20St%20E%20and%2054-70%20Colborne.pdf

To me it seems like a bad case of an uncompromising developer up against a reactionary anti-highrise community (I went to the community consultation and there was downright ugliness and disrespect from both sides).

Anyway, the OMB appeal is interesting: it suggests the developer had discussions with the city before they purchased the land where they were told (unofficially) that a 25-story tower would fly on that site.

I agree that the community should be more concerned about the development next door, but the ambiguity around what can be built on this site is an example of how the city needs to have better defined and more enforceable development guidelines for all of its neighbourhoods.
Lee Reed / July 24, 2013 at 07:21 pm
Developers are in it for the money. This is fine, that's what they do. It's their business. But the other side of the equation is that they could care less about the area they are moving into, or what the effect of one more glass box, totally unsuited to the area, would be. 60 Colborn case in point. Freed seems to feel that because he can make money out of the area, he can dump his latest pile here without any concern for the fact it is completely unsuited to any sense of the area. And the city is too weak to stop him. Here's hoping the OMB is on the side of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, and can put this one in the ditch, but past experience with the OMB says we're in trouble on that one.
Leeside replying to a comment from Lee Reed / July 25, 2013 at 01:26 pm
Lee Reed has put his finger on it. Understaffed planning department that doesn't have the enforcable guidelines needed to actually plan a city. And the ever-compliant OMB waiting down the road to give developers essentially what they want. As a result, and by default, the developers are in effect planning the city. They'd knock-down the flatiron building if they could put up condos and make a buck. 60 Colborne is one more piece of badly designed, insensitive, cheaply built schlock, and should not be allowed into the St. Lawrence area, but it's not the worst of what is planned. Ironically, these monstrosities are destroying the very area that the developers tout as the appeal for building and buying here. Do they really believe that nonsense about "respecting the neighbourhood" ? If they did, they wouldn't be here.
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