downtown condo

About a year ago I lever­aged the equi­ty in my cur­rent house to buy a down­town con­do. It’s under con­struc­tion now, due to be fin­ished in anoth­er two years. My orig­i­nal inten­tion was to rent it out or sell it (depend­ing on mar­ket con­di­tions around the time of clos­ing), but ever since I came back from Europe, I’ve been flirt­ing with the idea of mov­ing there myself and rent­ing out my house instead.

I’ve missed that feel­ing of con­nec­tion after walk­ing in cities that were bustling and full of life. There’s a cer­tain inti­ma­cy to urban liv­ing that I long for, where every­thing is with­in walk­ing dis­tance and peo­ple are all around. It does­n’t help that I work from home in a sleepy area in the east end, most­ly inhab­it­ed by retirees.


27 storeys of glass and met­al.

It’s an extreme­ly tempt­ing propo­si­tion. I’d final­ly have a bal­cony and view from a cor­ner unit on the sixth floor, close enough to the ground to do some peo­ple watch­ing but far away enough to stay pri­vate; some­thing I’ve missed great­ly from my first years out of uni­ver­si­ty. I’d have big south-fac­ing win­dows to fill the place with light in the morn­ings. I’d be in the heart of down­town, just a block off Elgin, walk­ing dis­tance from the Rideau Centre, Byward mar­ket, and the NAC. I’d have access to the 4500 sq. ft. recre­ation cen­tre which includes an indoor swim­ming pool, a sauna, fit­ness facil­i­ties, a pri­vate lounge, and guest suites.

The con­do is also a lot more my style, as these are mod­ern, New York-inspired lofts (most of the suites tak­ing their names from NY neigh­bour­hoods and land­marks), each one with hard­wood floors, indi­vid­ual HVAC and stack­able washer/dryers, a flush European-style kitchen, and 24-hour concierge ser­vice. I get to pick out my colours and fin­ish­es soon, and I’m already plan­ning where I’d want to put my fur­ni­ture.

But I don’t know if I can give up the place I have now, due to the lux­u­ries afford­ed to me by the extra space: a spare room I can use as a pho­to and Tai Chi stu­dio, a giant clos­et, and least of all, a liv­ing room large enough to host inti­mate house shows or small gath­er­ings.


  1. I can­not real­ly give any advise, but I do have a ques­tion… What is a ‘European-style’ kitchen? How is it dif­fer­ent from a Canadian or American kitchen?

    PS: When you move in the Netherlands you leave your kitchen in the house/apartement, in Germany peo­ple always (or at least most of the time) take their kitchen with them. How’s that in Canada?

    • European-style usu­al­ly refers to the cab­ins. The hinges are hid­den on the inside and there’s no mid­dle pil­lar (which I find espe­cial­ly annoy­ing).

      How on earth do you take a kitchen with you? Do you mean the con­tents? Or the appli­ances?

      I think in Canada the major appli­ances are usu­al­ly left for the next per­son, but all the oth­er things are tak­en.

      • In Japan & some Euro places you do take the whole kitchen with you — it’s a pre­fab unit which the mover dudes come in and dis­con­nect and dis­as­sem­ble and put in the truck and take to your new place. Crazy huh? I’d nev­er heard of it till I went to Japan. But they don’t hop around mov­ing a lot like we do.

  2. 24 hr Concierge Service!!!


    I’m so jeal­ous of either of your options!.… LA is a mad place to rent, insane to buy into, and I still resent pay­ing what we pay just to have some­thing rel­a­tive­ly rea­son­able that does­n’t have bugs or leaks.….I’d be hap­py with a washer/dryer in-unit instead of haul­ing it three flights.…. ::sigh::

    I so wish I were in Canada for the views too .… and I love the archi­tec­ture… much pre­fer it to here.

    • Yeah, an equiv­a­lent con­do in down­town Toronto would be a much more, just because it’s such a well devel­oped metrop­o­lis. For me to afford some­thing like that means I would be well out of the city.

      After my uni­ver­si­ty days I nev­er take my washer/dryer for grant­ed.

  3. P.S. Just looked at floor­plan rel­a­tive to Black Hat feng shui. SO AWESOMELY planned for it. Good choice.

  4. You’re a bet­ter finan­cial plan­ner than me. Good for you to look ahead. That puts my wor­ries to rest.

    Is there a draw­ing of the fin­ished prod­uct? Is there going to be a false ceil­ing for run­ning the ser­vices? With the ameni­ties and concierge ser­vice, I won­der what kind of main­te­nance fees it car­ries.

    • There aren’t any sketch­es of the inte­ri­or, prob­a­bly because each unit is going to be pret­ty dif­fer­ent, depend­ing on what options are ordered. I’m not sure about bulk­heads though.

      The main­te­nance fees are com­pa­ra­ble to what I pay now. They’re a lit­tle high­er, but they also include access to a recre­ation cen­tre.

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