By Ilan Joseph, Broker, ABR, e-PRO, AMP | © All rights reserved | Follow @TopTorontoAgent
[caption id="attachment_1960" align="alignleft" width="300"] Toronto, looking south at what will eventually be a condo occupying the CityPlace presentation centre.[/caption]
Buying a condo in Toronto? Make sure you're protected.Buying a condo in Toronto has it's perks: easy access to public transit, endless shopping, the walkability to work, no need for a lawn mower or snow shovel and of course, the gorgeous views! The birds-eye view of Toronto’s skyline, Lake Ontario, the C.N. Tower and the breathtaking sunsets are enough to sell just about anyone on a castle in the sky, but what happens when that view is taken away? What if your stunning view that came with your 37 storey condo vanished due to a neighbouring building being built a stone’s throw away? This is the sad reality that many condo buyers in Toronto are constantly facing with the surge in condo development in recent years. A newly planned development neighbouring yours doesn't automatically mean you'll lose your view. You may be high enough to avoid any obstruction or perhaps would only be partially affected. Toronto, Vaughan and other GTA cities have differing separation requirements which they base on density and other area factors. Today’s buyers need to be cautious and should not depend entirely on the developer or their Realtor for zoning information. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Ask the developers about any proposals for nearby sites which may get developed, ask about zoning restrictions and perhaps if they have invested in air rights for neighbouring properties to protect the buildings views.
- Visit Toronto City Hall or Vaughan City Hall to check out the planning office and look up zoning for nearby properties. Check annually, perhaps on the anniversary of your purchase to stay ahead of any proposed changes which can give you a leg up on any future projects which may hinder your view. Toronto’s planning department can be reached at 416-392-3821 or online. Vaughan’s planning department can be reached at 905-832-8585 or online.
- Some municipalities have a notification system which allows you to add your contact information so that you may be updated on any zoning changes or applications for new developments.
- Since you’re already at City Hall, inquire with the planners about how likely it is for existing zoning to change in your particular area.
- Attend hearings on design reviews to give your input on area changes and projects.
- If you’re too busy (or too lazy) to do the leg work on your own, you can pay a land-use lawyer to conduct this due diligence for you.