You all know how much I rave about outdoor space in downtown Toronto condos, and what a fan I am of large terraces.
Sure, you may only get to use them for 4-5 months of the year, and there are a lot of people out there that think it’s a “waste” to spend money on outdoor space in a city with our climate.
So with the season just changing from summer to fall, I wanted to take a look at outdoor spaces and throw a curve-ball at you: what about outdoor spaces on the ground level, facing the street?
Haters gonna hate.
I remember when I bought my condo in 2010, and I was so happy, and so proud, to be talking about my large outdoor terrace facing the CN Tower and downtown Toronto, and all the plans I had to landscape it.
As if on cue, our resident office Debbie Downer poked his head into the conversation, uninvited, and said, “Great move, Fleming! Spending all that dough on a space you’ll use for two months every year.”
We’ve had this conversation about outdoor spaces before.
I think they’re awesome, but many people argue it’s a waste.
Make no mistake – it’s a feature you’re paying for, much like a killer view.
So just as a killer view, overlooking a vacant parking lot that you just know is going to be a condo, can come with a caveat, so too can outdoor space.
What would you think about owning a condo on the ground floor of the building, facing the street, and with your outdoor space open to the sidewalk, the road, and for all passer-byers to see?
Here are three videos of various types of ground floor, street-level terraces:
Okay, so the first video shows outdoor spaces with absolutely zero privacy.
Well, to be fair, there’s frosted glass in between you and your neighbour, but every other person within a few hundred yards can get an HD view of you picking your nose.
Those red concrete planters are about up to my knee, and the hedges only block the view if you’re 6-years-old.
Alright, so now we have something a bit more private, but still fairly open.
I mentioned in the video that you’re “raised” as though that made it more private, but then I realized it makes it sound like you’re on a platform, on display.
I also mentioned that I’m biased because I have clients in these, but I just felt as though they’re different from the ones above.
In the first video, you could basically reach out and touch the person sitting in the chair in front of the unit, because you’re on the same level, and those terraces are only like 6-8 feet deep.
But in this video, you see a terrace that’s about 16-feet deep, so it’s larger and the people seem to be less on display. They’re also set back a ways – behind the garden (no flowers at the moment, just dirt), the tree, and the hedge.
Alright so these folks have built themselves a fortress, but I wonder if it’s because of:
a) privacy from the people passing by
b) dizziness from 5,000 cars per day driving by
c) the unsightly gas station across the street
Pick one, or pick them all – those units have NOT sold well over the years.
So what do you think?
Do you see the value in having outdoor space if it’s on the ground floor?
Or do you value privacy too much?
You know what my answer would be. But then again, I often wear no pants in my office. Remember to knock first…