What are your thoughts about the Fort York neighborhood?

Category: Condos

 

Hi David, love your blog!

One thing I have noticed is that you are not too hot on the fort york neighbourhood.

Can you give some input on why not?

I see buildings with great quality (IE 628 fleet st), and others not so great (219/231 fort york).

With its proximity to downtown and transit(509/511), the island airport, and lots of parks nearby(coronation park and fort york and the upcoming under the gardner project), library, and the upcoming Loblaws.

I see this is a great neighbourhood for people who want to be downtown with out being downtown in the thick of it.

Thoughts??

 


Hi Larry,

You’re correct – I’m not super-hot on the Fort York neighbourhood.

I suppose if we look at everything on a relative basis, there are other areas I’d rather put my clients in, for the same dollar.

You’re correct, however, that Fleet is home to a better-built condo than Fort York. I see the difference.

But overall, the idea of being sandwiched between Lake Shore Boulevard and the Gardiner Expressway doesn’t sit well with me.

For the longest time, there was no supporting infrastructure, and people were totally car dependent. The new Loblaws might change that to some extent. But I still prefer walking out the front door of a condo, and being one block from everything – coffee, groceries, restaurants, retail, transit, etc. Fort York seems a little bit like living under a bridge, or next to one.

At the right price, I’d be a buyer here. And I have clients who have bought 2-bed, 2-baths for investment who are renting them out at a decent yield.

But would I target Fort York for a buyer who is going to live there? Sorry, but I wouldn’t. Not when there are far better options.

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  1. Joel says:

    I think for the same money St. Lawrence market area is a much better lifestyle and better condos. If you are looking for value there is Moss park. These are the areas I would prefer for the same money.

  2. Jani says:

    I agree. 4 years ago I bought a 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom condo from 231 Fort York and many other condos went up at the same time. I was excited about the new neighborhood and I was sure that services would follow – after all, even a modest grocery store would have thousands of potential customers within a block. You could price your products really high and people would suck it up for convenience factor.

    How wrong I was. 2 years later 2 dry cleaners had opened. You had to drive everywhere. Crossing the railway on Bathurst was horrible in the mornings. While I enjoyed the amazing panoramic lake view, I soon concluded that living there actually kind of sucked. It was time to call my real estate agent. She looked up sales prices in the building over the past 2 years and the average prices had gone down (!) while most of downtown was red hot. In the end, I managed to get what I paid but that’s not good at all when real estate prices are going up.

    The building itself is rather cheaply made and low quality and the entire pocket has great potential to turn in to urban ghetto in the next 10+ years IMO. Too much density and not enough services and infrastructure. Maintenance fees will skyrocket. More and more people will bail out or keep the condo and rent it. And we know what happens when a condo building becomes mostly tenanted.

    1. James says:

      Jani, Your experience is totally different from mine. I absolutely love this area! I feel like I get the best of both worlds. Right by the lake, 10 min walk to King. Starbucks and Timmis close by. Parisco cafe for when I walk to “work from home”. All of this minus a lot of foot traffic, (except for when there’s an event happening). I work close to King and Bathurst, so it’s a 15 min walk to work.

      If I need to get out of the city or I have visitors, getting to the Garder is a breeze. My condo has 200 free visitor parking spaces. I’m right on the street car line so getting to the core is very convenient.

      When it comes to value and appreciation, you have to look where others aren’t. I find that a lot of realtors steer their clients away from this area (my realtor included) because they can’t see the value. Now that’s changing. I purchase my 2 bed + 2 bath + den for $420k two years ago (920 sq). Similar units are going for around $700k right now. I’d say that’s a pretty good return.

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