Toronto’s newest luxury condominiums include appealing amenities that put the best hotels in the world to shame. Saunas, golf simulators and pool rooms of both the swimming and billiard variety are being built into the city’s luxury projects.
With COVID-19 limiting cruises and travel to balmy beach resorts, developers say buyers want to be active, have fun and relax on their own properties.
Amenities are the new destinations, and clients are spending leisure time down the hall instead of overseas.
Barbara Lawlor, president and chief executive officer of Baker Real Estate, says the upcoming United Building at 481 University Avenue by Davpart Inc. features activities and amenities akin to a pricey premium destination.
“It is like living in a five-star resort,” Lawlor says.
“It’s hard to get around to doing everything that’s offered. You couldn’t do it in one day.”
A golf simulator and video-game lounge at the United Building allow residents to practise their moves either solo or against friends.
A built-in theatre and courtyard are perfect for large gatherings (when it is safe to gather). A Zen garden and reflecting pool provide space to unwind.
The United Building sits in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District, within walking distance of restaurants, shows and the subway. Its location is a selling point for those who abhor traffic and transit. Lawlor says the closeness to social events and cultural attractions is what buyers demand.
“People want to be able to walk to everything, I keep hearing,” Lawlor says. “At United, you can do that, while also being able to come home, and almost every mood can be satisfied with the amenities.”
Discerning buyers also normally crave access to the swanky city scene, with upscale, club-style catering, bars and ample space to host parties. The new 77 Clarendon in north Toronto caters to that crowd.
The building’s 24-hour concierge acts as a personal assistant, booking a party room for residents or making reservations at nearby restaurants.
“If you’re having a get-together, [the concierge] should help you with the event planning,” says Janice Fox of Hazelton Real Estate, who is selling the building designed by Menkes Development Ltd. Essentially, Fox says, the service helps “in the day-to-day management of your life for your household.”
The upscale 77 Clarendon is designed with self-care in mind. The fitness and spa area take up an entire floor and outmatch standard community gyms.
“There’s a gym and yoga area, with space for personal trainers,” Fox says. “There’s even an area for massage therapy. There’s certainly an emphasis on health and wellness.”
Those who are used to standard fitness chains know the dilemma of deciding whether to use the public showers, or get back in the car still sweaty and head home. Condo gyms that include fitness-centre-style amenities eliminate the need to ever start a car engine after a workout.
The wellness centre at 77 Clarendon one-ups most chain gyms. A highlight is the state-of-the-art, treadmill-style exercise pool that blasts water toward the swimmer.
In total, there are more than 7,600 square feet of amenity space on the ground floor alone at 77 Clarendon, with even more workout space available in the outdoor common area.
The building sits just minutes from green space, offering unrivalled access to parks, and views of the surrounding trees from each of the 12 units. The suites embrace the outdoors: Each features a terrace with barbecues and ample space to build and develop a garden.
Most developers understand the appeal of outdoor spaces. All 38 units in the seven-storey Leaside Manor, being built by Shane Baghai, include sweeping views of the city.
“The outdoor space is so important to people who just sold a home,” Baghai says. “Now they have a balcony or terrace and enough space to plant flowers or vegetables.”
Baghai says during the design process he aimed to create a boutique experience. Built near grocery stores, a curling club, walking trails and with access to a number of other activities, Leaside targets those seeking green space and social opportunities.
“This is the jewel of Leaside,” Baghai says.
That outdoor experience can take a property to the next level. Being able to see the rolling waves of Lake Ontario from a tenth-floor terrace suspended between two towers is a unique selling point for the Mirabella Luxury Condominiums on Lake Shore Boulevard near High Park.
Justin Federbush, vice-president of marketing and operations for Diamante Development Corporation, says the view is what makes Mirabella stand out from others.
“Our south waterfront views are unobstructed by development and the park views are panoramic to the north,” Federbush says.
“Our architecture is classically inspired and the views are spectacular. We are situated in a unique lakefront, bay-like topography at this part of Toronto and it allows for beautiful, endless, clear blue vistas.”
The inside of Mirabella is just as luxurious as the outside. Each tower has its own collection of amenities including a pool, saunas, a fitness centre, a library, a yoga studio, a business centre and a children’s play area. Those looking to host friends can use the party space, which has access to a full kitchen and dining room.
Similarly appealing to buyers, No. 7 Dale Residences by Platinum Vista Inc., emphasizes social space, which is often at a premium in condo buildings.
A unique tea house with view of the surrounding green space makes for a great spot for friends to gather, or for a little self-reflection time.
“The tea house from one of the original homes that sits on the top of the ravine slope will be preserved, fully restored and integrated in the landscape design,” says Hunter Milborne, president of Milborne Real Estate and partner in the development of No. 7 Dale.
“It’s a perfect place to read a book or have a glass of wine with friends.”
The property, which backs onto Rosedale Ravine, features 26 residences that were transformed out of three former bungalows. Residents are treated to spas and saunas, a steam room and gym just steps from their front doors. The space sits on three acres of land surrounded by and interconnected to green space, with magnificent trees more than 150 years old adding to the amazing foliage.
On the inside, No. 7 Dale features a luxury workout area finished with a spa and steam room. Cyclists looking to get in some off-season training can take advantage of the included Peloton bikes.
Each of these new Toronto properties features luxury amenities meant to appeal to people transitioning from single-family homes to condominium living and offer amenities that would be next to impossible to find in the suburbs.
As more and more people look either indoors or to their own neighbourhoods to find entertainment and enjoyment, the amenities offered by Toronto’s luxury condominium market have become that much more of a draw.
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.