Let’s face it, Toronto is not the only community that needs to deal with and plan for the future of children and families living vertically. The Greenbelt initiative ensures that the green space regions around Toronto are saved, naturalized and that future developments meet the minimum qualifications. Developments like WatervieW Condominium’s are being built all across the GTA in areas where condos were never thought to belong.
Acknowledging the Future
Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America and has been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world consistently. It is one of the best places to study how families are coping with living vertically, as 1 in 3 children now live in mid to high rise buildings. Living vertically is much different than living in a traditional home. This lifestyle has both its vaunted perks and its drawbacks. The study, yet to be completed will look at targeted areas in Toronto to determine how to help these families cope with living vertically.
There are a number of issues at heart, when a family of four live in a condo with two bedrooms and a den or even more likely, just two bedrooms. There are no backyards or recrooms in each living unit. This ultimately creates challenges for families with children.
The study will focus on asking questions about living in these smaller spaces and how families design sleeping arrangements, such as converting dens and hallways into sleeping quarters and how balconies can be used. It will also determine, what are the best amenities for these families in the building development and in the surrounding community. A 2013 study highlighted a number of areas of improvement and this study looks to expand on it.
Does this Matter in the GTA?
You might be asking yourself, does this matter in the Greater Toronto Area? This is usually referred to as the ‘905’ belt that surrounds Toronto from Oshawa in the east to Hamilton in the west. The answer may surprise you.
In 2005 the Province of Ontario adopted the Greenbelt Plan that essentially lays out the parameters of residential expansion in the GTA and Golden Horseshoe area. As one of the fastest growing residential regions in North America its natural and agricultural areas are at great risk of being over-developed for sprawling residential use. The plan governs the NEP area, the Oak Ridges Moraine area and the Parkway Belt West Plan Area.
The largest change to development in this area is referred to as the ‘protected countryside’. Any area outside an established municipality is essentially protected under the Greenbelt plan and any residential or expansion plans into these mainly natural and agricultural areas are subject to the plan. In essence, the plan land locks the boundaries of municipalities and forces them to consider their residential planning with much more consideration to future growth.
How LJM Helps the Vision
LJM Developments, has long understood the value of living vertically and providing residential developments that integrate into the understanding of the Greenbelt plan. WatervieW and Appleby Gardens are just two examples that provide a fully contained community on-site with amenities that meet the needs of families, children as well as retirees. With a roof-top terrace that includes family cooking stations, private cabanas, oversized balconies and larger-than-average square footage suites, LJM projects aim to meet the needs of all its home owners.
Living vertically has many advantages, not only in cost, but in lifestyle. Considering the future of city-living will change dramatically in the next few decades, LJM is starting the road to the future, today.