CityPlace: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (speech prepared for Toastmasters)

CityPlace is Toronto’s largest multi-tower condo community in the Harbourfront District. The 6 building, 1500 unit complex spans across 52 acres of land, including an 8 acre community park.

I’m a real estate agent, and I’ve had a few clients ask me about CityPlace, but I don’t give them sugar coated answers. A real estate purchase is a big deal, for many it will be their largest investment. My clients need to be confident that whether it’s 1 month from now, or 5 years down the road, they will have the same confidence in the purchase that they did on day 1.

So I give my clients all the information they need to make an educated decision when it comes to buying a condo at CityPlace.

Madame Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters and Welcomed Guests,

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Good: Price, Architecture and Amenities

Price: A quick MLS search for 1 bedroom condos under $300,000 in the downtown core (south of Bloor between Dufferin and the DVP) will produce hundreds of listings. 42% of those listings are from City Place.

Architecture: The architecture impacts the Toronto skyline in a positive way. The materials, glass and brick, seem appropriate for a complex that is contemporary but which also inhabits land that comes out of Toronto’s industrial past.

Amenities: The complex does have a community feel to it, and is designed to bring neighbours together. The amenities, which are shared between the buildings, include a 30,000 sqft recreation center with swimming pools, squash courts, a bowling alley, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall, tennis courts, running tracks and full fitness facility.

Bad: Supply and Location

Supply: There are eight condominiums in CityPlace, and around 4,000 units.  If panic selling was to take place, and “only” 10% of the owners at CityPlace were to list their units, there would be 400 units on the market to choose from. This is an extreme example, but you get the idea. It’s not going to be easy to sell if you have so much competition.

Location: It’s right on the Gardiner – and it’s loud. There’s nothing around either, no restaurants, no coffee shops and it’s still a long walk to the subway. Spadina Ave bisects the complex, creating an enormous traffic nightmare for residents especially during rush hours as commuters use the road to get on and off the Gardiner and Lakeshore.

Ugly: Quality

Quality: These buildings went up so fast, I question their quality. Plus with an inordinately high percentage of renters in the complex, the buildings aren’t cared for – I’ve heard of people throwing cat litter down the garbage chute, and letting their dogs litter the hallways. This all directly impacts your maintenance fees. I would say with confidence, that the buildings at CityPlace are mistreated. When the condo corp is forced to spend money on constant repairs and clean-up – it becomes expensive for the condo owners. As the reserve fund, money set aside for maintenance, becomes depleted – maintenance fees go up.


In the end, it all comes down to preference. As long as my client’s have all the information, it’s up to them to decide whether they should buy at CityPlace or not. I have helped a Seller client sell a unit at CityPlace, but I have never helped a Buyer client buy at CityPlace, at least not yet. Perhaps my clients acknowledge the fact that there are many condos out there with higher value than CityPlace Either way, I stand by the mantra: You get what you pay for.


Disclaimer: The preceding commentary is the opinion of Hanna Stecewicz and does not represent the interests or opinions of Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage or the Toronto Real Estate Board. Therefore, Right at Home Realty will not be held responsible and/or liable for any of the opinions herein.

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#1 Hanna in the City on 04.03.12 at 5:00 pm

From the Competent Communicator Guide, Speech 2: Organize Your Speech — Introduces the basic concepts of organizing a speech around a speech outline.

#2 Visitor on 09.04.12 at 1:22 pm

“If panic selling was to take place, and “only” 10% of the owners at CityPlace were to list their units, there would be 400 units on the market to choose from.”
why would panic selling be targetted only at cityplace owners? if it were to occur, 10% of the owners from everywhere would be selling

“Plus with 90% renters in the complex” this is a majorly false statement, as a real estate agent, please give backups to this claim. i did my research and found out the renter numbers for these buildings.

#3 Hanna in the City on 09.04.12 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for taking the time to read my speech and leave a comment.

You’re right in both regards. If a hypothetical panic selling scenario were to take place, it would not be limited to CityPlace alone. The point I was trying to make is that 10% of 5,000 residential units to date at CityPlace would be a very high number (via Wikipedia). The units are fairly similar all in close quarters. It would be tougher for a seller to sell a CityPlace condo than it would be for a seller to sell a condo in a neighbourhood like St. Lawrence Market, for example.

The percentage of renters is different in each building. If you’re looking for exact numbers, then you would need to refer to an up to date status certificate for each building. I no longer have the status certificate which I was referencing. You’re right, it isn’t fair to specify without adding a footnote and therefore I have taken out the percentage.

All the best Matt! Please let me know if there are any topics that interest you – I’m looking for more speech ideas!

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