Wanted: Less Pricey Urban Condos That Welcome Kids

Condos aren’t just for hip singles anymore. As prices of detached houses continue to climb in large cities across the country, more and more families are setting up homes in urban and suburban condos. But there are drawbacks. Kids need space, and condos rarely offer enough.

Fortunately, developers are paying attention: Some new condo developments are being built with junior dwellers in mind. According to a recent story in the National Post, a condo project by Menkes Developments will include a 46.5 sq. m playroom for children, featuring kid-sized beanbag chairs and areas for arts and crafts.

In the same story, another major real estate developer, Tridel, is also considering families in its new projects. A Tridel-developed condo, planned for Toronto’s Bloor and Islington neighbourhood, will have an indoor playroom, an outdoor playground and a splash pad. Tridel’s senior vice-president says the company will also be adding more three-bedroom condo units to downtown T.O. developments.

Currently, three- and even two-bedroom condo units are hard to come by. The average size of a new condo apartment is less than 74 sq. m – not an awful lot of space for two adults, let alone two adults and one or more toddlers.

Having dedicated spaces for kids to play in condo buildings will help, but building affordable condos with more than one bedroom may help even more.

Fortunately, more family-friendly condo-style projects may be in the offing. In Ontario and B.C., the provincial governments have approved building-code changes that may provide alternatives to low-rise housing.