These condo apartment buildings consist of two and three-bedroom units. They are designed for couples and small families who will be owners-residents. There are not too many of these projects being built these days.
2. Investor-rental and owner-occupied condos
These condos have a majority of bachelor and single bedroom units that are leased as rental units by investors. In these buildings, the owner-residents may be in a minority and they are living in what is in effect a rental building.
3. Mixed-use (retail-residential) condos
The bottom one or two floors contains commercial-retail units while the higher floors consist of residential units. The residents in these condos may have issues with parking, litter, noise and odours from the retail units and retail customers wandering into the residential areas.
4. Mixed-use (retail, commercial, residential) condos
The bottom two floors have retail stores and services with condominium office units in the middle and residential condo units on top.
5. Hotel–condo hotel rooms–condo residential buildings
In these buildings, the bottom floors are a hotel with the hotel rooms owned by individual investors. Convential condo residential units sit on the top floors.
(The condo owners have got to hope that the hotel does not go out of business.)
The Trump International Hotel and Tower is an example. There is the hotel, with 261 condo-hotel rooms (with no kitchens) and then there are the condo residences; 118 normal condo units on the top floors.
The developer hopes to sell all the hotel rooms to investors. The investors pay $20,000 to $30,000 annual municipal taxes on their commercial hotel rooms on top of all their other fees and expenses. When the room is in the rental pool, it will generate income whenever it is occupied.
A condominium project that is operated as a hotel with a registration desk, cleaning service and more. The units are individually owned. Unit owners also have the option to place their unit in the hotels rental program where it is rented out like any other hotel room. (One King West Hotel is an example.)
7. Residential condos with suite-hotel units
These are condominium residential apartment buildings where owner-residents and investors, who rent out their units on one-year leases, share the building with individual investors and companies that manage multiple units who rent them as budget hotel rooms for visitors and tourists who don't want to pay for full-service hotel rooms.
8. Office condos
Office buildings that consist of condo units. They can be stand-alone or be part of a shared facilities corporation with retail and/or residential units.
9. Condos with Shared Facilities
This is where two or more separate condo corporations share common amenities such as underground parking garages, swimming pools, fitness rooms, party rooms, a basketball court, driveways, visitor parking, a gatehouse, security services and landscaping.
The Shared Facilities has its own maintenance fees and reserve fund. There is a Shared Facilities Board of Directors that manages the common shared facilities that are jointly owned by the two or more corporations. This board can also levy common element fee increases and special assessments on the condo corporations.
Many condos that have Shared Facilities fight—and may take each other to court—over the costs of running and maintaining these shared amenities.
Condominiums that are converted from rental apartment buildings, commercial buildings, factories, schools, churches or warehouses into condominiums.
Row houses consisting of single units from the basement to the top floor with what seems endless narrow staircases. They often have an exclusive-use rear patio area in the back and either a single-car garage and parking spot in the front or a large underground parking garage. Monthly maintenance fees are far lower than in condo apartment towers.
12. Stacked townhouses
They are more like two-story apartments, one stacked on top of the other. There is a common underground parking garage.
A unit consists of the basement level and the ground floor while the second unit sits on top. In other cases, there are three two-story units for a total of six stories above ground.
Some newer stacked townhouses consist of three units. There is a basement unit, a ground floor unit and a two-story unit sitting on top of them.
13. Townhouses with Lock-off suites
A townhouse where the developer built a separate studio or one-bedroom rental unit in the basement.
14. Mid-rise condos (pocket-condos)
These are condos that are only four to eleven stories high. Usually they are mixed retail-commercial-residential buildings with small stores and services on the bottom floor. Perhaps there are offices on the second floor. They usually offer few amenities and limited parking for retail customers.
15. Live/Work units
Usually a townhouse unit in a residential condo townhouse complex that faces a busy street. They can also be two-story units that sit under a condo tower. The unit can be used as a residence or as a commercial unit. There are restrictions on the type of business that can be run out of the unit. They also have been built to commercial standards such as having fire sprinklers.
16. Common Element Condominium Corporation (CECC)
A CECC is a hybrid between a standard condominium corporation and freehold townhouse or detached home ownership. In the US they are called "Site Condominiums".
Once rare, they are becoming more popular because the developers can make more money off of them than by building traditional free-hold townhouses or detached houses. The roads, sewers and street lighting may not be built to municipal standards nor are they maintained by the municipality. Most purchasers are not aware of this. Terminating the corporation may prove difficult later on, as the municipalities don't want to assume responsibility for the upkeep, repairs and replacing of the expensive infrastructure.
Personally, I think they are a horror. Here is a good article describing how they are set up.
17. Student housing
Townhouses near universities and colleges, or on the subway lines, may illegally house a dozen students or more.
18. Retirement condos
Seniors buy units in a building that has special amenities for the elderly including meal plans, housekeeping and personal assistance.
They can be hard to sell when the resident dies and the monthly fees must be paid until the unit is sold. Here is another news report on this issue.
The developers are now building condo towers to attract buyers that have different incomes. The majority of the units on the bottom floors are smaller units and are in a lower price range.
Above these units, larger units are sold at far higher prices. Finally, at the very top, they have penthouses at extremely high prices. It's like placing Forest Hill on top of North York with Weston sitting on the bottom.
The expensive units may be a separate condo corporation than the cheaper lower units and have a separate lobby, elevators and amenities. (A poor door arrangement) although they will have a shared facilities agreement.
20. Affordable homes projects
The Heintzman Place, near Keele and Weston Road is an example of a condo corporation that has subsidized rental units for half of its total units. In its two towers, it has 643 units of which 300 are subsidized rentals.
21. Two-unit neighbourhood condos
A detached house that is split into two vertically-split units separated by a firewall. The yard, roof and driveway are common elements. It is not like a semi-detached because the two units share a single lot. Most often, the existing house is demolished and is replaced by a huge two-unit structure.
A two-story townhouse that is converted into a multi-unit condo by building upward and dividing the building into multiple condo units.
23. Condos with affordable housing units
Using Section 37(i) provisions, builders in the City of Toronto can exceed building densities if they include a certain number of affordable condo units in their new condominium developments.
The affordable units may have a separate entrance, separate elevator, be situated on the bottom floors and the residents may or may not be allowed to use the building's amenities. (Poor Door.)
The owners of the affordable units usually do not have a clear title.
Condos with affordable rental units
A residential condo may share a building with a social agency that provides housing for people with special needs or for people who need short-term emergency housing.
26. All-inclusive condominium communities
These huge complexes contain residential housing, commercial office space, retail shopping, entertainment, personal services and superb amenities and shared facilities so in theory, a person would never have to leave the condominium complex. It is a complete work, live and play private community.
(World on Yonge in Thornhill is an example.)
27. Dual-key condominium units
These units are divided into two sub-units, typically sharing a foyer and possibly some facilities such as a kitchen. Originally, they were designed to cater to multi-generation families: parents could provide a more private living space for their children, or a family could have grandparents move in with them, for example.
Now they can be used for leasing a room, short-term rentals or living quarters shared with an office.
28. Commercial condos
These can consist of condo units in retail strip malls, small units in industrial buildings, office buildings or even storage unit condos.
Other community housing types
a. Co-op ownership
This is where the owners own a percentage of the total cooperative that is determined by the size of their unit. They do not own the unit but have exclusive use of them. It is a form of shareholder's lease.
Potential buyers are screened by the board of directors.
b. Co-op rentals
This is where a non-profit corporation owns the co-operative and tenants rent their units. They are also required to contribute a certain amount of volunteer hours each month working for the cooperative.
c. Life leases
It is an unusual rental arrangement because the tenant makes a cash contribution (not an investment) towards the rental unit of an agreed upon amount—usually less than the price of a similar size condo unit.
When the tenancy ends, for whatever reason, the tenant is entitled to the return of his/her cash contribution.
On top of that there is monthly rental payments.
top contents chapter previous next
Some high-rise condos offer units based on different income brackets. They are like a passenger jet with its nose facing up. Seating is based on price; the well-heeled at the front and the cheap seats at the back.