Saturday, August 30, 2008

The joys of waterfront living

In this hectic world, lakeside living provides a tantalizing lifestyle option, and why not? Being able to gaze at breathtaking water views or stroll along a sandy shore without having to drive to the cottage is an ideal scenario - especially when you live in the city. The idea of living by the lake appeals to people of all ages, which is obvious when you look at the cross-section of purchasers who are snapping up suites in Toronto's many waterfront condominium communities.

Water has a calming effect on most people all year long. Hot summer days bring the refreshing vista of sun shine bouncing off the lake's serene surface and birds riding the wave of soft breezes. Even in the winter or when the wind whips up a storm water fascinates us, and connects us to the earth and our beginnings.

A lakeside location is also paradise for active individuals who love the outdoors. In Toronto, the waterfront is blessed with the Martin Goodman Trail, which invites walking, jogging, bicycling and inline skating along a 22 km pathway that leads through scenic parkland. Marinas and boating opportunities beckon, and some of the city's finest dining, entertainment and cultural amenities are situated within walking distance, adding yet another dimension of resort style living for those who are fortunate enough to live here.

Views are important, of course, and there are many exceptional waterfront views, including those from the Martin Goodman Trail and Etobicoke's waterfront Humber Bay Shores. Purchasers at Monarch's Waterview, for example, tell us that the views they will enjoy from their balconies, terraces and large windows are a major reason for their choice. The shoreline in this area winds west from Toronto and then curves, offering vistas of both the water and the city's skyline, a perfect example of how condominium developers understand the special nature of waterfront land and design buildings to maximize the lakeside locale.

During the past decade Humber Bay Shores has undergone a metamorphosis. A redevelopment plan adopted by the City of Etobicoke in the mid-1990s led to a rejuvenation of this coveted area. The redevelopment plan requires that before large-scale developers can proceed with the creation of condominium neighbourhoods, they have to have designs in place for amenities. Working together, the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation Department and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority have enhanced the natural environment in the area with the introduction of a new waterfront park, the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat, enhanced wetlands and fish habitats, trails and more. Less urban than Toronto's central waterfront, Humber Bay Shores will offer peace and tranquility for its residents.

Once you've explored lakeside living, you'll be hooked. But as the demand for waterfront condominiums in Toronto increases, it's important to remember that there is only so much shoreline to go around. With the central waterfront area pretty well developed and Humber Bay Shores selling quickly, opportunities for an idyllic lakeside lifestyle in Toront will soon come to an end. What a shame.

Linda Mitchell is Vice-President of Marketing, High-Rise for Monarch Developments, a company that offers condominiums at many of Toronto's best locations. In 2003, she received the Riley Brethour Award acknowledging outstanding and consistent professional achievement in residential sales and marketing.

David Pylyp All the reasons to want waterfront condos and enjoy the Mark Goodman trail will become more apparent as the available building sites disappear. (Developed) With the addition of the proposed transit line and business improvements this neighbourhood will do exceedingly well in the long term.

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