Buying a condo in Toronto – Why should prospective buyers think it through?

Onwards from the 1970s, Toronto saw a rise in its population in both the local-born residents and in immigrant groups as well. From the turn of the late 80s and 90s, the city began attracting more people. Immigrants became the largest source of the city’s population.

The city is undoubtedly unique. Apart from being a tourist destination, it began attracting banks and corporations, started developing its IT sector, and became the Canadian HQ for multi-national firms. Other than that, it is the only Canadian city having sports franchises across all major sports leagues of the United States of America and Canada (excluding the National Football League).

What is the most unique aspect of Toronto? It is urban planning. It mixed residential lots with apartment buildings as a way of curbing urban and suburban sprawl. This led to the rise of the construction of apartments, condos, and lofts in the inner-city suburbs. Rowhouses exist near downtown while semi-detached and detached homes exist as well.

Construction of typical suburban homes took place in both inner and outer suburbs. Despite the city’s unique urban planning policies; the construction of suburban homes is on the rise and that they are more affordable than any condo in the city.

What should Torontonians decide between buying a home and a condo?

In Toronto, both a condo and a townhouse are among the most popular choices for homebuyers. At one time, Toronto was quite an affordable city. However, since the early 2000s; the affordability factor started eroding.

From the 2010s, the affordability of housing in Toronto began eroding quite fast. Today, it stands as Canada’s most expensive city for housing, a title that Vancouver had since 1995. Measures are being taken to help cool down housing prices as well as rent controls. Implementation of the credit stress test is also helping curb down housing problems, but that has done so to a minimal extent.

Condos provide residents a convenient lifestyle. They come in all sizes. They are often located near amenities (schools, parks, retail setups, malls, etc.). They are often located in the inner-city areas near business and entertainment venues.

Homes (townhouses) on the other hand are present in some inner-city areas and most outer-lying suburbs. They are secure, often have parks, playgrounds, and schools nearby, and provide residents space and privacy of the ultimate kind.

Torontonians thinking about buying either of these two need to investigate some things before they buy any one of them. They should do so to make a sound decision. It only takes a few moments for prospective buyers to ask themselves if buying any of these two is worth it and how they can end up saving money, time, and averting frustration.

Hence, here they are:

Buyers should check if the condo board of the condo building has faced any lawsuits, or is facing them?

If there is a pending lawsuit on the condo board (aka the homeowner’s association) for any particular reason, then buyers should understand the lender giving them the loan/mortgage will not approve the final paperwork.

This is an important thing to consider because a lawsuit is not a good thing to face. It can be because the condo board may have neglected the condo, were involved in criminal activities, and vice versa.

Also, is the condo board financially responsible or are they in financial trouble? This one is necessary because no one would ever want to live in a run-down building governed by a bankrupt board. Such a building is home to criminals, hobos, con-artists, and other members of the wrong crowd.

If the condo board is not facing any lawsuits, hasn’t faced any before, and is financially responsible then that condo building is the best investment buyers can make. Otherwise, going to another building is suitable.

What is the condition of the building’s exterior?

Buildings can look nice in advertisements, on their websites, and social media pages. In reality, they could look the exact opposite; seepages, leakage, and deplorable conditions.

Prospective buyers need to check if the building’s grounds have been maintained, or do they need maintenance? Is the building clean, or is it dirty? What do the building’s units look like from the inside? Are they luxurious and well planned, or are they cramped and nightmarish? What about the buildings around it, how good are they?

Answers to these questions help buyers avoid a lower-priced property resulting in a loss in the future.

What rules and regulations have the condo board made?

Rules and regulations are crucial for both condos and townhouses. Prospective buyers should learn about them and be familiar too at their very earliest.

Here are some common rules residents should be aware of:

  • Is there parking available for the guests?
  • Can the homeowners have pets in their condos?
  • Is a doorman/front desk representative present for the condo?
  • Do residents need to schedule a rooftop space?
  • When can do condo’s amenities be used (pools, gym, clubhouse, parks)?
  • Are condo owners/tenants allowed to have a grill for barbecues?
  • Are residents allowed to hold parties in the condo?

A lot more details can be shared. These examples can however give prospective buyers an idea of what the condo board/owner’s association allows and does not allow in their building.

Are the condo’s units occupied by owners?

Given Toronto’s real estate prices; some condos are investment units. Here the condo units are not occupied by owners. If a condo complex has loads of investor units, then the lender will not approve the prospective buyer a mortgage for a condo in that building.

Toronto is expensive hence real estate is now more of a lucrative investment.

 Are residents of that building happy residents who like living there?

It would be wise for prospective buyers to inquire about the building from residents and ask them if they like living there. Any complaints they have will impact their decision to buy a condo in that building as well as closing any paperwork.


Buying a condo or a townhouse in Toronto is undoubtedly a very good investment move. If buyers think they have found the place of their dreams, they should take time to do their research and homework. They might face some surprising facts, but this will also help them avoid making a bad investment move.

The factors mentioned above can help buyers buy the best home, one that is not only safe, secure, sound, and comfy but also one that will give them a good profit in the future.

Related Posts