The GridTO: Is Liberty Village family unfriendly?

Appeared online for The GridTO, Jan. 31, 2012

Edward Keenan’s Nov. 10, 2011 cover story for The Grid posed the question of whether downtown condo complex CityPlace would become Toronto’s next ghetto, noting its high concentration of short-term residents and disengaged foreign ownership and the lack of nearby amenities and large, family-friendly units. In the article, the nearby Liberty Village was cited as a more successful highrise community, given that its mix of boutiques and businesses seem to attract more than just the typically transient twentysomething demographic. However, talk to some local residents these days, and they’ll tell you it’s just the same crowd in different condos. And with seven new towers set for completion by 2015, current housing trends suggest a future without families for Liberty Village, echoing the concerns of CityPlace residents.

“The new people have dogs,” says longtime Liberty Village resident Michael Golland. ”They don’t have babies.”

Francesca Fabry, a representative of the Liberty Village BIA, echoes the sentiment. “The condos that are being built are such small units that I don’t see how it’s possible to live with a family, other than maybe a young toddler, in this neighbourhood.” Instead, Fabry says that residential developments in Liberty Village—a good three-quarters of which were built after 1986—primarily accommodate young professionals without children. The resulting neighbourhood population is primarily between 25 and 44 (57 per cent) and single (54 per cent) according to real-estate website Zoocasa.

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