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Are Cookie-Cutter Condos Ruining Toronto?

It's a question that gets asked a lot in this city. We are now the condo capital of North America, selling more of these concrete boxes in the sky than cities like New York and Chicago. We are obviously in love with condos, but are they good for us? Architectural critic for the Globe, John Bentley Mays, will be doing a live web-chat on the subject today at 1pm.

Mays recently wrote a piece expressing his disappointment with the failure of an architecturally unique condo development on College Street. N-Blox was something new for Toronto-a high end, boutique style condo on a major pedestrian street with a real focus on architectural excellence. It looked like something out of Berlin or Amsterdam, certainly nothing like it in Little Italy.

I was a big fan of N-Blox when it was announced last year. I thought it represented a major leap forward in condo architecture for this city. Unfortunately, no units were sold in the building so the developer completely changed the plans into something a little more cookie-cutter for Toronto and it sold out in a matter of hours.

Admittedly, the high prices in the original design (around $750,000 for 1000 square feet) played a role in the project's failure, but after seeing condos at 1 Bloor sell for prices much higher than that, I have to wonder why Torontonians don't seem to want to embrace new and exciting architecture.

Join the conversation on globeandmail.com today at 1pm EST and throw your 2 cents in on the issue.

Andrew la Fleur is a registered real estate agent and regular contributor of blogTO.

Photo by Reza Vaziri from the blogTO Flickr pool.


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