Toronto Condominiums – Ceiling Heights Lowered on some projects

The Sky is Falling – Be Prepared to Duck

How Toronto Condominium Developers are Saving Space

Now we aren’t talking about Chicken Little, but it comes as no surprise to people who have been seeing new Condominium developments over the years that on average,  units are getting smaller.  

RealNet Canada Inc. released its latest stats for new condos in Toronto… and the numbers showed that the average size of a unit has shrunk to about 797 square feet, from closer to 900 square feet five years ago.

However, as noted in a recent Globe and Mail article, there is a new trend that is slowly creeping into new Condominium developments.  The ceiling heights are being lowered.  Toronto Condominium construction

When purchasing a Condominium pre-construction, you often only see two dimensional floor plans which will show you how large the unit will be.  What people often fail to consider, is the height of the ceilings.  Particularly if you are not aware of what a “normal” ceiling height ought to be. 

According to Matthew Slutsky, president of BuzzBuzzHome, “Nine feet is normal, 10 is luxury,” he says. “It’s gone up, eight used to be the norm about a decade ago. Around 2007 to 2008 it started to change to 9 being the standard.”

Why would developers be lowering ceiling heights?

When you think about it, it makes sense.  If a project is approved for a certain height, and they take six inches off per floor over 18 storeys, they can add another floor.  This allows developers to add condominium units, without making them smaller than they already are. 

What does that mean for you?

Nobody likes surprises when it comes to real estate.  If you don’t know to look for ceiling heights in the agreement, you may not turn your mind to the issue. This demonstrates why it is so important to have a real estate lawyer review your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.  

When you purchase a new condominium from a builder you have 10 days to have the document reviewed.  For more information about the 10 day cooling off period, click here.

Make sure you know what you are getting into.  Protect yourself.  


So you just bought a new Condominium?

Purchase of a New Construction Condominium:  

If you’re from the Greater Toronto Area, or the surrounding suburbs, you have no doubt noticed the influx of new condominium projects popping up on every corner. 

Buying a condominium is completely different than buying another type of property.  Buying a new condominium has its own considerations.  If you have decided to purchase a brand new condominium, either for yourself, a family member, or for investments purposes there are a few things you should know. 

10 Day Cooling Off Period

In Ontario, the Condominium Act provides purchasers with some protections.  It also places some obligations on builders.  When you purchase a new condominium in Ontario you have 10 days to rescind or cancel your agreement, if you choose to do so.  This right to rescission is often called the “cooling off period”*.  This can be for any reason, and you do not have to provide your reason to the builder.  Your deposit is returned, and the deal is cancelled.  The clock starts to run from the time you receive a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale or the Disclosure Statement (whichever is later). 

What is a Disclosure Statement?  Blue Print Disclosure Statement

In Short, a Disclosure Statement describes condominium project.  It will tell you whether the condominium is freehold or leasehold.  Whether the project is new, or converted from another use.  Whether there will be any commercial units.  It will describe the amenities. 

The Disclosure Statement will also provide the proposed declaration, bylaws, insurance trust agreements, and financial details including a budget. 

SURPRISE! There are hidden fees and information buried in the fine print

Clauses and provisions are buried in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale and Disclosure Statement for additional levies and fees that are often not fully discussed when you are signing on the dotted line.  These levies and fees can be for various things such as paving the driveway or installing utilities.  The levies and fees vary from one builder to another.  Many purchasers are often surprised when it comes time to close the deal on their condominium, and the price has now increased by several thousand dollars. 

In addition, these documents may have clauses that tell the purchasers that the building is adjacent to a landfill or train tracks.  These can be an unpleasant surprise when you realize that the condominium unit you purchased overlooks a landfill. 

Generally speaking, if the builder has provided you with the information that they are required to provide by law, and you choose to do nothing during the 10, “cooling off” period, litigation will likely be unsuccessful. 

Why it’s important to hire a lawyer to review these documents

If you’re like most buyers, you have never seen these documents before.  It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement associated with a new purchase.  It’s important not to let this excitement overshadow the important steps you take to protect your investment. 

If you are buying a new condominium unit, it is important to have an experienced real estate lawyer review all the documents, so you know exactly what you are purchasing, and to protect your investment. Contact us today.  We can negotiate with the builder, to delete or cap some of the levies and fees. 

 *Note, this “cooling off” period does not apply to resale condominiums. 


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