Toronto Condo Team

Why Are Toronto Condos Swapping Walls For Sliding Glass Doors?

Thursday Feb 06th, 2020


Caught up in the throes of a severe housing crisis, Toronto is addressing its accommodation challenges in a somewhat unconventional manner; condos seem to be getting smaller each year and doors and walls are being replaced by glass!

I have been sifting through listings recently, and every day, I see a few Toronto condos for rent or sale where glass sliding doors stood where one could expect to see traditional bedroom doors and walls. Seems like this is a ubiquitous configuration in the core, where we even get to see a lot of two-bedroom units sectioned off this way.

Even worst, I recently came across a 400-square-meter one-bedroom apartment, where a glass wall cordoned off the bedroom from the kitchen and living area. Another opaque sliding door opened into the hallway, with no windows and closets in the bedroom! It’s not ideal, we agree, but it’s the most practical solution for many!

According to industry experts, ensuing the sudden surge in condominium prices causing unit shrinkage, glass walls are becoming the new norm for smaller condo units as an alternate to building window-less bedrooms. These narrow and deep units hardly leave room to make a decent bedroom, so the use of glass not only helps skimp on traditional doors and walls, it also creates an illusion of an open corner to make smaller units somewhat breathable and bearable.

On the tight rental market in Toronto, glass doors are a great way to let natural light stream freely into smaller, more pocket-free units. The move stemmed from a recent industry trend to remove walls between dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens to save space. Some people willingly opt for barn-style sliding doors for bedroom and bathroom, since a door that swung into their narrow corridor would take up much more space in a tiny unit than sliding glass doors.

Not surprising, these units are being marketed for roommates, especially students living on a shoestring budget, already pressed for options. One-bedroom condos are being marketed as a two-bedroom shared flat, with the bedroom space separated on two sides by glass partitions, with a gap between glass and ceiling. From an investment point of view, the glass partition makes it look like a separate room.

Even though the lack of windows could be a put off, the glass doors do allow some light in. Not to mention, people having to go through the bedroom to reach the bathroom, but entry into the market and a favorable location often surpasses other desires. Who doesn’t want a bedroom with a window, but it's not a deal breaker anymore. Most people cannot afford to be picky these days.

However, an expert at the Toronto Condo Team believes that this is a red flag signaling an overheated marketplace where tenants and buyers are having to compromise on their privacy and accept inferior housing in an attempt not to break the bank. Who knew a day would come when walls would be a luxury!

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