Hey, Don’t Diss My Condo!!!


#5 – West Harbour City II at 21 Grand Magazine Street


“Grand Magazine” is yet another stupid name I have enjoyed making fun of, and with 10% of all existing units in the building currently available for sale, perhaps residents should get a second job selling magazines just in case their investments plummet like a Greek bank stock…

I’ve never been a fan of this area, since living in between the Gardiner and Lake Shore doesn’t really appeal to me, so I think it’s going to be twice as difficult for the market to absorb all this inventory.  First, you have to find people that actually want to live here!  Second, you have to convince buyers that there’s nothing wrong with the fact that 32 units are for sale in this 325-unit building.

Finally, he writes:

As for the rest – it’s all junk.

It’s all CityPlace junk and I’ll argue this till the day I die, or until Concord Adex has me taken out.

It should come as no surprise that HALF of the condos on this list are in CityPlace or the surrounding area of Fort York (which is still considered CityPlace by some), and it certainly is no coincidence.

Now – for those of you that are reading this and happen to own in one of the twelve buildings listed above, please use the forum below to squish your sour grapes…

Okay, I’ll bite. I have a unit at West Harbour City II. It has a fantastic view of the lake, island airport, and CN Tower. I revel in the view every morning when I wake up. Just seeing the sunlight play off the water uplifts me.

My floorplan is fabulous. For the space (1161 sq ft), I couldn’t ask for a better floorplan. It’s very efficient and it has great flow. After my interior designer did her magic, my condo is drop dead gorgeous (there’ll be no need for “staging” when it comes time to sell!).

I’ve thrown several dinner parties, and everyone drools over my condo. I have no doubt that I will be able to easily sell my unit when the time comes. And that’s an important point: I anticipate selling 5-7 years down the road. Who can say what the market will be like then? Will today’s “glut” go away?

I love living in this area. The moderating influence of the water is terrific during the summer (though winters should be brutal). I love walking along Queen’s Quay. And I’m only half an hour’s walk from Chinatown, which I’ve taken advantage of frequently (great exercise). In other words, this is a great location.

As for the street name, there is an historical significance to it, if you believe Heritage Toronto:

“The Grand Magazine holding Fort York’s gunpowder supply stood at the north end of this street. In the Battle of York, 1813, the retreating British detonated the magazine with devastating impact on the American attack.”

I love the name!

And TTC access is dreamy. Right in front of the building, I can catch either the Bathurst 511 or Union Station 509 streetcars!

Within a couple of years, there will be a Loblaws Superstore across the street. Incredibly convenient.

Since I only paid $369 psf for my unit, no matter what happens in the condo market, I will be largely insulated from financial disaster. Isn’t pre-construction great?!

The condos on your list have a glut of unsold units for different reasons. In the case of the waterfront condos, I have a theory. Neptune, West Harbour City, and Panorama are well south of the railroad tracks, and even south of the Gardiner. The general perception is that they are too remote and disconnected from the downtown core.

This perception is a sad reflection on how lazy people are. West Harbour City is easily within walking distance of the downtown core. I can walk to Queen & Spadina within 20 minutes. I can walk to King & University within 25 minutes. I’ve been walking to the downtown core this lovely summer nearly every day for the past 3 months! How is West Harbour City disconnected from downtown??

Just how lazy is everyone? I am bemused when I see people at Yorkdale driving around for 10 minutes looking for a parking spot close to the front doors. They refuse to park further away and walk for a few minutes. Unbelievably lazy!

No wonder we have a nation of overweight diabetics and heart attack victims waiting to happen. C’mon, the Fort York condo area is not as remote as you think. Just get off your ass and do the walk.

Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment  

The Pre-Construction Paradox

In today’s market, it makes absolutely no sense to buy a pre-construction condo. And yet, the pre-construction condo market remains red hot. What will come of this stupidity? Anyone care to hazard a guess?

Published in: on August 8, 2011 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  

A New Dawn

This is how my new condo makes me feel:

Published in: on August 8, 2011 at 8:17 am  Leave a Comment  

My Feature Wall

I chose Bonaparte Red for the feature (or accent) wall in my condo:

Published in: on August 8, 2011 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  

My Floorplan

I was very fortunate to get a condo unit with what I feel is an ideal floorplan (for me, at least). The floorplan has a nice flow to it. It makes good use of space. The relative positioning of the various rooms is perfect for my needs.

I love the hallway entrance. You walk in and you are immediately greeted by a magnificent floor mirror and a striking painting (called “Rapture”).

The home office is ideally situated right off the living room and close to the master bedroom. The main bath is close to the den/guest bedroom. The kitchen is right off the dining area. Beautiful flow.

Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Home Theatre Setup

I’ve got my home theatre set up just the way I like it…

It consists of the following:

  • the heart is the Nakamichi AV-10 receiver
  • the surround sound speakers are KEF KHT3005SE with KUBE-2 subwoofer
  • the display is the Samsung PN51D6900 plasma
  • I have the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD cable box PVR (Rogers cable service)
  • Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray player
  • Nakamichi MB-10 5-disc CD player
  • Hauppauge HD PVR 1212
  • Apple Mac mini (2011 Sandy Bridge)

The AV-10 is an old AV receiver from 1999. Since it only supports composite and S-Video, it is not suitable for video-switching. But it is a fantastic 5.1 audio receiver and that’s why I kept it.

The KUBE-2 is a great subwoofer for movies, but it is less adept at music. However, for the money the speaker package is the bargain of the century (I paid C$899). These are wonderful speakers!

The KEF speakers are shelf-mounted at the front (left, right, centre) and stand-mounted at the rear (left, right). These egg-shaped beauties fit in perfectly with my interior design.

The Sammy plasma is sexy thin. Its 51-inch screen looks fabulous, and it hasn’t been calibrated yet (scheduled for later this month)!

All video sources are connected to the plasma via HDMI. In the AV-10, two coaxial inputs come from the cable box and Blu-ray player, and two optical inputs come from the plasma and Mac mini. The CD player connects to the AV-10’s stereo inputs.

The cable box connects to the Hauppauge PVR via component video and optical input. This is for archiving HD programs (using my Dell Dimension 9200 PC).

The Mac mini is for sharing music and videos from the Dell PC and for surfing the web through the plasma television. Although the Sammy plasma has Smart TV, it is limited in a number of ways:

  1. for some inexplicable reason, Samsung have chosen not to include a web browser for this particular model
  2. playback controls are severely restricted for shared content
  3. it doesn’t support the full gamut of video formats
  4. the UI is awkward and annoying to use

The Mac mini is also useful for iOS development (which I do from the Dell PC using LogMeIn).

The Mac mini is controlled by the VisionTek CandyBoard Bluetooth wireless keyboard. And the entire home theatre is tied together with the Harmony 700 universal remote.

Published in: on August 3, 2011 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

I’m having an orgasm

Look at this lake view from my condo this morning. You have no idea how happy it makes me! It’s bee-utiful!

(I’m not sure the photo does it justice. All I know is, looking out my window at the lake, I’m having an orgasm.)

Published in: on June 14, 2011 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment