What is a ‘Luxury’ Condo?

In case you haven’t heard the story that is all over the local news last year, there was a million dollar drug bust at a penthouse suite at a condo on Fort York Blvd. By all accounts it looks like the dealers were operating out of 219 Fort York Blvd.

I actually really like 219 Fort York. It is phase 1 of the Water Park City complex, completed in 2005. The building has great views, offers good value and decent location, and was the first tower completed in the Fort York Blvd neighbourhood.

My beef with the media’s reporting on this story is that they are referring to 219 Fort York as ‘luxury condominium’, and an ‘exclusive address’. It is not a luxury condo, and it is not very exclusive. It is clearly an entry level condo made for the masses and is particularly popular with first time buyers on a tight budget but who want to still be near the downtown scene. The building and it’s sister building (231 Fort York), also have a high percentage of tenant-occupied units.

I think it is time to retire the word ‘luxury’ from our real estate lexicon when referring to condos. The word is too vague and has lost its meaning. It was often used in the past when condos were considered to be a new and novel way of living. They were seen in the 80s and 90s as glorified apartments. Now, there are so many different types and styles of condos ranging from the very low-end right on up to the ultra-exclusive. Just because a condo has floor to ceiling windows and granite in the kitchen that doesn’t make it a luxury condo.

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