Here’s a point I need to make, but one which should not be accompanied by surprise: I am not an architect.
I am also not an engineer, a city planner, or a Toronto condominium developer.
But I am, however, a real estate broker with experience buying and selling condominiums, so I think that qualifies me to opine on the ridiculous condominium floor plans that are being submitted with development applications these days.
We’ve done blogs on this topic before.
November 17th, 2021: “1-Bedroom Condo Floor Plans: Pass Or Fail?”
In this blog, the discussion was more about micro-condos and how an exceptionally small space is often unliveable.
Case in point:
In the 2021 blog post, I gave this a “fail” because of the wasted space in the foyer, which is significant, given this is 310 square feet in total and that foyer is probably 70-80 square feet.
I also did a feature on 3-bedroom condo floor plans with the same theme.
November 15th, 2021: “3-Bedroom Condo Floor Plans: Pass Or Fail?”
In this blog, we talked about the size of new 3-bedroom units, and how tough it is to cram 3-beds and 2-baths into 700 square feet, but also about the layouts.
Case in point:
I gave this one a “fail” because the person going into the Master Bedroom essentially has to walk through Bedroom 3.
Today, I’m not looking to talk about size or even layout.
I want to talk about shape.
This sounds like semantics, but I assure you it’s not.
Layout does have to do with shape, but in the example above, the shape is a rectangle. In a perfect world, all condos would be rectangles or squares, since those provide the opportunity to avoid wasted space, but they also avoid awkward angles and “jogs” in the walls that mess up living or dining spaces and make furniture placement impossible.
A condo that is rectangular in shape might have a terrible layout.
But a condo that is a terrible shape will, with 100% certaintly, have a terrible layout.
I’m not big into Twitter but a client turned me onto “Urban Cayman,” whose handle is @ProjectEND. I think credit is due for the following floor plates.
When developers apply to the municipality, they submit a mound of documentation, all of which is made public.
Here’s a link to “Development Applications” in the City of Toronto.
From there, you can zoom in on a location or search by address. Once you’ve selected an address, you can click on “Supporting Documentation” and see every single document they have filed with the city.
Geotechnical studies, official plan amendments, heritage impact statements, pedestrian level wind study, noise impact study, sun/shadow study, and about 30-40 other documents.
You can also download their “Architectural Plans.”
I just did that for a condo proposed at 335 Yonge Street, as I’m writing this. I’d provide a link but the City of Toronto website doesn’t allow it. So just follow the steps outlined above, and you can download the “floor plate” for every condo proposed.
So having said that, let me go back to some of the floor plates that I found on Twitter last week and we can have some fun tearing these apart.
First and foremost, check this one out:
This is brutal.
And these floor plans suck.
When I said at the onset, “In a perfect world, all condos would be rectangles or squares,” you’re going to see why shortly.
Take that corner unit, for example:
That’s a great shape to work with.
You can get a great condo layout in that shape, so long as you don’t screw it up. You have 1,014 square feet of space, presumably two walls of windows, and a rectangle. Who knows what the unit’s layout is going to look like, but the point is: success is possible.
Where is success not possible?
With this insanity:
That is a ridiculous floor plan, and we don’t even know where the rooms are yet.
The shape of the condo is silly.
It’s a 436 square foot condo so it’s already tough to make that space work efficiently, but with that shape? No chance.
Then again, it’s sister is perhaps worse:
Sure, it’s larger at 569 square feet, so there’s more room to work with. But can you imagine how much wasted space there’s going to be?
Then there’s the one at the bottom:
That’s 315 square feet, so already a micro-condo.
In my blog from November of 2021, I showed multiple examples of a “fail” for condos this size that were rectangular.
So how difficult would it be to make that a workable floor plan, based on the shape?
“Do I know what rhetorical means?”
On the other side of the building, things get even weirder:
Sure, you’d love to live in a 1,018 square foot corner unit, if you happen to be reading this right now from your mother’s basement. But what the hell is this supposed to be?
Worse, is in the southern peninsula:
Honestly, we could do this all day.
But let’s move on to this floor plate:
Are you familiar with nesting tables?
Honestly, that’s what I think of when I see those three stupid units in the top-right corner:
But the next one takes the cake, folks!
And I don’t mean one of those standard vanilla-icing cakes from Loblaws that is the only cake in the city of Toronto that my daughter will eat (like mother, like daughter….), I mean like one of those massive wedding cakes that are expensive and yet probably don’t taste as good, but I digress…
Here are three absolutely abysmal condo “shapes,” all nesting together like there’s nothing wrong:
Show me a worse “shape” than that red one, and I’ll buy you coffee for a month. Seriously, I challenge you.
It zigs, zags, then zogs, and I don’t even know what a “zog” is, nor do you. But if any condo zogs, it’s this one!
That condo is 832 square feet and I wonder how much of it is wasted. Probably 30-40%? And yet, it’ll sell to some overseas investor who simply puts down a deposit and waits five years, but that’s a topic for another day.
I’ve been in this business for almost two decades, and I don’t believe I have ever seen such awful floor plans as I’ve noted thus far in 2022.
Is this by design? It’s too abundant to be a coincidence.
There simply must be some sort of cost benefit to the developers to create such nasty shapes for condo floor plans.
And if recent history is any indication, this is merely the start of a trend; one that seems to have momentum…Back To Top Back To Comments