The phrase “Condo boom” tends to be synonymous with downtown development and burgeoning condo-heavy communities like Davenport Village and the Canary District. But there are booms happening across the city in already mature, prime neighbourhoods like The Beach. Yes, there are still sections of established neighbourhoods that are ripe for development – it’s not a phenomenon exclusive to up-and-coming areas.
The Beach has long been considered prime real estate territory and one of the best family communities in the city. Images conjured are of a mature market with seven figure, executive family houses along coveted streets like Northern Dancer and Glen Manor but there’s also a surprising number of condos for sale in The Beach,
Among these are a combination of both luxury lofts and affordable starter units for first time buyers. It’s also a great down-sizer market with spacious condos steps to everything.
There’s been a flurry of new building activity in recent years that hasn’t been met with arms wide open; some residents protested what they saw as the soul of the Beaches being sold to the highest bidder. But most of these new builds are low-rise and mixed-use, integrating gently into their surroundings with thoughtful design.
Today, we’re giving you a quick overview of some of the key projects bringing an influx of new condo stock to Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood, along with the area known as the Upper Beaches along Kingston Road, north of Queen.
New Toronto Beaches Condos Springing Up Along Main Arteries of Queen Street East, Kingston Road and Woodbine Avenue
The Bellefair Kew Beach Residences – 2 Bellafair Avenue & 2000 Queen St. E.
Formerly the Bellafair United Church, this is perhaps the most anticipated new development of the bunch. The newly opened Bellefair Kew Beach Residences reportedly sold out in the first weekend of sales. Not surprising considering it’s prime location directly across from Kew Gardens.
The Bellefair houses just 23 residences, including eight penthouse suites with rooftop terraces overlooking the interior landscaped courtyard.
It’s a popular spot for condo dog owners and a super convenient location with the Beach’s main drag of shops and restaurants, as well as the TTC, at your doorstep.
Lakehouse Beach Residences – 1960 Queen St. E.
Images © Reserve Properties.
Beech House Condos – 353 Beech Ave.
Located just south of Kingston Rd., the Beech House Condos by Mitchell Loft contain 95 units. Sizes are larger here than most pre-construction condos with suites starting at 800 sqft and stretching out to a massive 2,255 sqft.
The terraces are a main selling feature here as the building’s surrounded by a mature tree canopy, with the Glen Stewart Ravine steps away.
Another major selling feature is the 50,000 sqft YMCA that will occupy the main level. The developers are working closely with the YMCA of Greater Toronto on this mixed use development from the outset, with plans for shared facilities and eco initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of the build.
Images © Mitchell Loft.
Heartwood on the Beach – 1884 Queen St. E.
Heartwood the Beach is currently in development at the corner of Queen and Woodbine. Fieldgate Homes is focusing on quality finishes and in this low-rise, six-storey development with retail on the main level.
This condominium will contain 70 units – 43 one-bedroom and 27 two-bedroom layouts along with much-needed underground parking.
The best thing about this project is Fieldgate’s focus on sustainability. They’re using two, innovative types of wooden material – Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glulam – to frame the building which, according to the developer, “has the strength of concrete and steel without the carbon footprint”.
What I love about the preliminary renderings (and remember to mentally erase the slick furniture and lighting fixtures when looking at artist’s renderings in sales materials – narrow in on the bones) is the focus on light with those huge, floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors. And they’re not skimping on the promised finishes.
The downside to this project is the lack of focus on outdoor spaces but if you’re a beach lover, you’re just a few minutes walk to the boardwalk so really, does it matter?
Images © Fieldgate Homes.
Kingston & Co. – 1100 Kingston Rd.
I’m cheating here a little bit because I would definitely call this a Birch Cliff condo as it’s east of Victoria Park. But with it’s killer lake views, it’s worth mentioning.
Designed by award-winning Teeple Architects, Kingston & Co is another low-rise development, what the developers call “gentle in scale”. With just eight-storeys that step up to ten-storeys to the west, this new build should blend in nicely with its neighbours.
Despite being a low-rise, the building is expansive and contains 140 units. Although there are some tiny abodes, more than half of the units are above 800 sqft. What’s most unusual is the number of floorplans – over 70 unique plans to be exact, many with views of the lake.
Images © TAS. Kingston & Co. rooftop also featured in our lead image.
The Southwood – 633 Kingston Rd.
The Southwood Condos is one of the latest projects by Streetcar Developments, known for their east end projects. This development received over 700 pre-registrants in the first six weeks of its sales office opening, speaking volumes for the reputation of the builder.
After changing the face of Leslieville through many new developments, they’re now turning their attention to this “next big thing” pocket in the Upper Beaches.
I should say, they’re turning their attention back here – Streetcar was behind one of the Upper Beach’s earlier loft conversions to kick off this condo boom, 952 Kingston Road, which opened its doors back in 2007.
The best part of the Southwood is that it contains large, family-sized suites at reasonable prices.
Image © Streetcar Developments.
Two Hundred The Beach – 200 Woodbine Ave.
Two Hundred, a new project by The Riedel Group who recently completed 1 Rainsford just steps away, will house 28 units at the corner of Queen and Woodbine.
The highlight here in my opinion is the finishes in the kitchens and baths. There’s a little more personality and warmth in the interiors than we’re used to seeing in many new condo developments.
Beach Hill Residences – 763 Woodbine Ave.
Unlike many of the other new developments in The Beach, developer Carlyle Communities went against the grain with Beach Hill, purposefully designing a building that “doesn’t blend”. Critics have applauded the bold look, particularly what the Toronto Star calls a “welcome splash of colour”.
Given it’s location close to Gerrard away from the prime Beach pocket, a more youthful and bold approach may be just what it takes to kick of a greater revitalization of Gerrard East.
Image © Carlyle Communities.
Beach Club Lofts – 303 Kingston Rd.
Image © Zen Homes.
Cornerstone Terrace Lofts – 323 Kingston Road
Images © Wilkinson Developments / Rick Brown & Associates Inc.
Bespoke Towns – 96 Coxwell Ave.
This is a really neat little pocket of the Upper Beaches with a lot of change on the horizon. I feel so strongly about the value appreciation potential here, this is where I bought myself last year, near Dundas & Coxwell.
Bespoke Towns is a community of 22 townhouses by Buena Vista Developments. The early designs look good but keep in mind you’ll be directly across from the police station which some people love (safety first) and others will see as a strike against it. Also keep in mind that these are stacked townhomes which again, come with some cons in the minds’ of some buyers but the reality is, virtually all new townhome developments in and around the core are stacked builds nowadays.
There’s not a whole lot of info released yet on this project; the investment potential is really going to come down to price. But what you are definitely getting here is more size than a standard condo development. With units from 1,195 to 1,482 sqft, you’re getting room to grow as your lifestyle changes. That’s one of the biggest mistakes buyers of pre-con make – buying for their current lifestyles versus their anticipated ones four or five years down the road.
Image © Buena Vista.
Investors, Upper Beaches Very Promising But be Wary of Pre-Con Prices
As a condo community, The Beach provides all of the benefits of a mature, family-friendly neighbourhood that you can’t always find in transitioning areas under development. And as we’ve discussed previously, the Upper Beaches is one of the most promising areas of Toronto to buy into now in terms of value appreciation potential. Providing you don’t overpay going in, that is.
And that’s the main caution I’ll give for those of you considering pre-construction condos – they tend to be overpriced, even by today’s market standards. When you’re assuming the high level of risk that comes with buying pre-con, it should come with savings, not a premium.
If you’re interested in any of these developments either as an investment property or as a future home for yourself, give us a call at 416.583.1660 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hook you up with a Beaches neighbourhood specialist who can advise you which projects are worth exploration and which to steer clear of.