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New in Toronto real estate: The College Condominium

Posted by Robyn Urback / January 17, 2013

college condominiums torontoThe College Condominium will surely be a magnet for students (ahem...that is, their investor parents) and potentially a source of NIMBYism due to its 15-storey façade. Don't get me wrong — 15 storeys is not a mega-structure by any means, but it certainly will make a statement on an otherwise modest stretch of College Street west of Spadina. A Tribute Communities development, this condo will have a couple hundred units with various sizes and layouts, and several parking spaces underground that will cost the equivalent of a brand new luxury sedan. Here is a closer look at The College Condominium.


Address: 297 College Street

Floors: 15

Total number of units: 234

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

Unit sizes (in square feet): 477-1026

Ceiling heights: Up to 9'

Prices from: $326,990

Parking: $55,000 (For select suites)

Maintenance fees: $0.57 (+ hydro, gas, water)

Developer: Tribute Communities

Architect: Core Architects

Interior Design: Bryon Patton & Associates

Amenities: Fitness room, party room, theatre, billiards room, 24-hour concierge

Expected occupancy: Summer 2016

college condominiums torontoTHE GOOD

Have developers suddenly grown tired of Richmond and Adelaide, or has that area finally reached condo saturation? Either way, The College Condominium wins a point right from the get-go for not being in the way of obnoxious Friday night limo traffic. Granted, living right on College will come with a few drawbacks (noise, congestion, dumb Frosh activities, etc.), but the boons of this location will definitely outweigh the bad. First off, your brunch options from this spot will be superior, extensive, and disproportionately delicious, with so many great options within five minutes or less (yes, Bella, I'm thinking of you). You'll be minutes from Kensington Market shopping, seconds from Chinatown late night eats, and just steps away from the University of Toronto campus.

Which leads me to my next point. I'm quite confident that most of us have "that friend" who comes up with the "brilliant idea" to buy a condo and rent it out. "Easy as pie," he'll claim. "The rent will cover the mortgage, and I'll sell it in a couple of years and bathe in the profits." Savants, they are. But sometimes the rent doesn't cover the mortgage, and appliances need repair, and tenants don't necessarily climb over each other to snag a studio in CityPlace. But I suspect the situation might be (lucratively?) different for owners of a suite at College Condominiums.

Proximity to U of T makes the building incredibly desirable to students — especially international students — with the demand for close-to-campus accommodation an enduring, endearing characteristic of the community. So, while Liberty Village, say, might be a "hot" neighbourhood today (debatable, but never mind), housing by U of T will always be in demand. In that way, a purchase at The College Condos seems a much safer bet.

And the units themselves? Well, that depends on the suite. There's a terrible L-shaped 661-square-foot one-plus-den with wasted space and a windowless bedroom, but a very livable 514-square-foot one-bedroom, with a walk-in closet and room by the entry. It just boils down to which suite you (or rather, mommy and daddy) select.

college condominiums torontoTHE BAD

God help the working professional souls who move in here thinking they can relax in their brand new purchase. Try weekday parties, dramatic 3 a.m. breakups, and other gems courtesy of only those who have maneuvered their classes after 12 p.m. I'm not saying The College Condominiums will be a glorified dorm necessarily, but chances are there won't be the same respect for the nine to five as you might find in a building by the Financial District or over on Queen West. The College Condominium will likely have a heavy presence of tenant-occupied suites as well, which can often take a greater toll on amenities and other common building elements. Just a couple of things to consider when deciding whether to drop off that hefty down payment.

Speaking of, make no mistake — The College Condominium is not being offered at student-friendly prices. Depending on the suite, you're looking at paying about $600 - $700 per square foot or more, which (despite a supposed "cooling" real estate market) is certainly no steal. But despite the full prices, the suite finishes still seem to reek slightly of "student," with laminate flooring over hardwood and bitty 24" appliances. And while maintenance fees for new builds usually start at $0.50 - $0.53 per square foot (which, granted, is artificially low), the fees for The College Condominium start at a curious $0.57. Plus water, hydro, and gas. These are not unreasonable expenses, mind you, but the value might be lost when the awful sounds of Ke$ha start to bleed between the walls. Crazy Kids, indeed.

college condominiums torontoTHE VERDICT

Depends on whether these balconies are conducive to multi-storey beer funnels.

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 / January 17, 2013 at 08:29 am
tuba / January 17, 2013 at 08:30 am
steve / January 17, 2013 at 08:54 am
Not a place for me to live, but will be appealing to some. A good project for the area.
hmmm / January 17, 2013 at 09:16 am
less on condos, more on foods!
jameson / January 17, 2013 at 09:20 am
"but it certainly will make a statement on an otherwise modest stretch of College Street west of Spadina"

Have you ever actually been to College west of Spadina? Sketchy computer stores? It's exceedingly lifeless compared to other blocks. Of course, other parts of College are completely perfect, so it's challenging to create a workable comparison.

I think that this building is actually in the process of having a Loblaws on the ground floor. Would have been nice to have that see something like that included rather than obnoxious generalizations about students.
andy / January 17, 2013 at 10:21 am
It's definitely an interesting looking building. Not sure Id want to live there, but a welcome addition to look at on that stretch of the strip.
Me / January 17, 2013 at 10:32 am
BlogTO accusing someone of NIMBYism. Now THAT'S FUNNY!!!
Me / January 17, 2013 at 10:34 am
And that last paragraph was just painful to attempt to read. Robyn really needs to take some writing courses if she actually wants to be a REAL writer rather than a pretend one.
Joe / January 17, 2013 at 10:46 am
Won't know for sure if this building is good or not until it is finished. You really are at the mercy of the builder when it comes to condos, since the Tarion warranty is pretty useless. I bought a condo from Streetcar Developments a couple of years ago, it look good but they decided to cheap out on the materials, including only putting drywall (instead of concrete) between units and hallways. So you could hear everything - you neighbour doing dishes or coughing in their units, etc. At prices this high you're probably better off buying resale where you can see what you're getting, instead of rolling the dice with a smaller developer.
the lemur replying to a comment from jameson / January 17, 2013 at 10:48 am
'Sketchy computer stores? It's exceedingly lifeless compared to other blocks'

Think maybe that's what she was actually getting at by referring to that stretch of College as 'modest'? As in nondescript, unremarkable?
Jennsanerd / January 17, 2013 at 11:17 am
I'll take the Ke$ha suite, please.
Mikey / January 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

CRACK VIALS FOR EVERYONE (in my limited imagination, crack comes in vials)!!!!!

cathie / January 17, 2013 at 09:44 pm
Tribute Communities website is terrible.
Ralph Spurlock / January 23, 2013 at 02:19 pm
I am a Florida certified general contractor in Miami Florida. I seek investment partners for residential and commercial property acquisitions. As one who has been in the Florida construction industry for fifty years, I know that it is not possible to buy a building site, design and build the building for less than current real estate market prices.
New Launch Condo / February 10, 2013 at 08:47 am
This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoyed this and I will be back for more. Thanks
New Toronto Condos / March 11, 2013 at 01:36 pm
This is an interesting new Toronto condo building. it looks and sounds fabulous, but the mixed reviews have been insightful to read
oshawa home / July 13, 2013 at 05:59 am
Interesting new houses In Oshawa
If you are looking For your new Home in Oshawa
Vralnag / July 25, 2013 at 05:18 pm
What's with the totally useless kitchens in all these new condos? Look at the floorplans, barely any space for people who ever actually do anything even slightly involved in their kitchens.
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