Toronto builds more condos than any other place in North America, and most use glass, or glazing. These windows are broken down into two types: Window Wall and Curtain Wall. Window wall systems, as I talk about in my book: Investing in Condominiums, are not as good of quality as curtain wall systems. Over time, buildings that have a window wall system will have skyrocketing maintenance fees to maintain and replace the seals protecting the joints from the weather and elements. Glass buildings, according the the CBC piece on throw away buildings, will last only 25 years and some buildings are already experiencing failure after less than 10 years. Where did City Place Condo quality rumors started For example, residents at Matrix, two buildings that were completed in 2002, are suing Concord Adex Developments, PCL, Toddglen Construction Ltd., Page+Steele Incorporated, City of Toronto, Tarion Warranty Corporation and any other party deemed necessary for deficiencies that include problems with glass in the building. This is the building that started the idea that City Place condos are not good quality. Banks are not financing Matrix because of the lawsuits, CBC reports that one bank said the building was “not deemed safe structurally” after a list of deficiencies of the building were made public. What does this mean to the condo owner? Buying a building that has a poor window wall system = lower appreciation potential, and in some cases, huge loss in value due to law suits or rising fees. What do you do?
- Understand you get what you pay for. If you buying a building solely based on price, chances are that it will not have the best of materials and at worse, may be made by a developer that cuts corners. This is where the reputation of the builder is so important to find
- Try buying into a brick building (like Showcase) or a building with a more durable curtain wall system (like Monde)