Condos push electric vehicles and TikTok spaces to lure Toronto buyers

Developers are throwing in electric Porches and podcast production facilities to entice tech-savvy and energy conscious consumers


Condos in Toronto are looking to the future, with real estate developers keeping their eye on sustainable living options and amenities that accommodate new generations; that goes as far as building space to produce social media content.

Real estate brand Concord released details of its new “future-proof” sustainable living condo development in Toronto. Chief among Central’s attributes is electric vehicle charging outlets installed at every parking stall, which the company says is a first for Ontario.

“Central is the epicentre of the hi-tech live/work trend and the embodiment of future living,” said Concod Adex sales and marketing vp Isaac Chan, in a statement.

On top of the 100 per cent electric vehicle parking garage, the 52-story Central tower at 38 Widmer is also tricked out with hi-speed WiFi across the entire building (amenities, elevators and parkade too) and refrigerated parcel storage for grocery deliveries, playing right into the extremely online generation. And from now until August, the developer is throwing in a 2021 Taycan, Porche’s first electric vehicle, with penthouse units.

Electric vehicles start at approximately $40,000, before government rebates. Transport Canada is targeting a complete transition to electric vehicles by 2040, which a tower like Central anticipates.

“There’s a new rise in condos that are trying be more green about their electrical and the heating,” says Meray Mansour.

The RE/MAX Hallmark Realty broker has noticed more and more new condo buildings in Toronto real estate, particularly in the downtown area, attempting to stand apart from the rest by appealing to tech-savvy and environmentally conscious buyers and accommodating their lifestyles with smart thermostats and solar-powered common areas.

The upcoming One Delisle condo for instance – designed by architect Jeanne Gang and breaking ground at Yonge and St. Clair this year – promoted a commitment to sustainability with energy recovery ventilator systems in each suite and electric vehicle charging stations or roughed in conduits at each parking spot.

“It’s a small percentage unfortunately,” Mansour adds, adding that she can’t imagine buildings that have already been constructed to overhaul their electricals to accommodate a path towards sustainability. “It’s becoming more of a regular thing with the newer builds.”

Courtesy of RioCan

Rendering of a content studio planned in the Verge condos.

Do you need a condo with a TikTok studio?

Condos in Toronto have also been introducing shared workspaces, or what Mansour refers to as “we spaces,” building the growing trend in communal office spaces into residential real estate and further blurring the lines between work and home.

“People are working more from home,” says Mansour, pointing out a scenario clearly exacerbated by the pandemic.

The most recent evolution to that shared workspace trend is RioCan’s Verge condo development in the Queensway area, which tapped DesignAgency to build soundproof phone booths and a fully-equipped content studio with pull-down backdrops, green screens and audio-recording so residents can produce work presentations, podcasts and TikToks.

“The co-working space and content studio at Verge are a practical response to the increased importance of capturing video and audio and a reflection of new, hybrid work models,” says DesignAgency’s Anwar Mekhayech, in a statement. “They can easily double as a space for creating fun, social content or having fun with friends.”

“They’re just coming up with ideas that will help sales,” says Mansour. “Not that they really need that right now. New builds are selling like crazy.”

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