Trouble Brewing in Luxury Condo Building

December 2021

St. Lawrence Market is rightfully considered one of the most desirable areas to live.  The oldest part of Toronto offers easy access to shopping, transit, entertainment, waterfront, parks and walking trails.  Berczy Park is a popular destination for many.  Nearby a new playground in St. James Park is popular for families.

In the centre of all this lies one high-rise community that has benefited from their location while in quiet turmoil.  Properties sell for more than $1.7 million and rent can exceed $5,000 monthly.  The building is about eight years old and appears to be in pristine condition.

This community offers a glimpse into problems encountered by communities that fail to elect directors capable and willing to do what is necessary to maintain their community.  One tenant maintained a list of problems during their one-year tenancy.

  • A revolving door of condominium managers. Four different managers filled the role during a one-year period.
  • Air conditioning system shut down and repaired because of problems resulting from failure to undertake regular maintenance.
  • Basic repairs taking more than a year as service requests get lost between new condominium managers.
  • Water is a problem. Cold water does not exist.  It can take nearly five minutes before running water turns warm.
  • Garage cleaning cancelled while in process because of high carbon dioxide levels resulting from a problematic ventilation system. Residents were never informed.
  • Garage repairs inexplicably cancelled after residents directed to remove vehicles and obtain alternate paid parking.
  • Locker storage areas subject to high humidity and mould damaging items stored in lockers.

The community has an outdoor terrace with rarely-used barbecues.  Perhaps this is because they are never cleaned, don’t work properly and have virtually inaccessible gas valves.

Community and communication is limited to a Facebook page maintained by a resident.

An exceptional area is unlikely to compensate for a poorly managed building lacking in community and communications.  Their future likely includes dramatically higher condo fees starting between years ten and fifteen as poorly maintained building systems prematurely fail.  Knowledge of these problems will likely increase thus causing buyers and tenants to reconsider paying a premium for living in a poorly managed building.