Condo development–an alternate view

My esteemed colleague, Roy, doesn’t like the proposed condo development at the former Beer Store site. Though I defer to Roy’s considered opinion on many things, about this I disagree; these condos are a fabulous idea.

The black-brick façade might be, ahem, an inspired choice. And three-and-a-half-storey, flat-top buildings are not my first love; they loom. These, though, are primarily aesthetic concerns, and I match plaids, so I’m no judge of beauty. The builder has every incentive to make the buildings attractive, and I trust that they will be nice.

I’m much more in love with the philosophy of the development. First, it’s a brownfield development, the very best kind. Nothing lovely was cut down, torn up, or demolished to make room for it.

Second, townhouses are affordable and create community.

And that is the best part of this new development. The way I see it¹, right now, Weston is two towns². There are the large, often unattractive, generally affordable rental buildings. With many exceptions, people in these buildings are passing through, and often don’t have a strong sense of community.

Then there are the single-family detached houses. They are lovely, old, expensive, and foster an almost cultish community. (I love the cult, to be sure, but nobody would say we are a diverse set of well-adjusted people.)

This new condos could bridge the two groups. The homes will be affordable. The many people who find a $650,000 fixer-upper a little insane³ will able to buy in Weston.

And we want those people. People who own have every incentive to make their community better. And people who own 500-square-foot affordable condos might just be more interesting, entrepreneurial, and—yes—fun than the rest of us.

These condos are the start of a new kind of building in Weston. They might also be the start of a new sort of community.


¹That’s a nice way of saying “I have no data to back this up”

² With a huge number of exceptions.

³ i.e. sane people

Author: Adam Norman

I am raising my two children in Weston.

2 thoughts on “Condo development–an alternate view”

  1. Interesting read. Back in the sixties they started to build those lovely apartment buildings that line Weston Rd, with vision that was the new kind of housing that people wanted. I remember the town council were all giddy with joy.
    Today those lovely buildings along Weston Rd have literally resulted in the overall ugliness of Weston.
    There has already been a bunch of townhouses built along Weston rd, a couple of new apartment buildings and they already look terrible. Its too bad that nothing get done properly in Weston.

    PS. if there is some money to come to the community, lets just hope its not directed to artwork….we all saw that lovely artwork that was built down in Mount Dennis.

  2. While it’s true that home owners have more investment in the neighbourhood, a sense of community develops through ease of access to the people around you: walking, watching children in the park, yard work, snow shovelling, relaxing.
    Weston Rd is not conducive to any of these activities. The townhouse complex already built seems to be populated by commuters and have no visible neighbours.
    Maybe our community needs WestonWeb’s information and community building to be shared with new residents … But maybe just having some posters with the website in the library ( now that it’s no longer blocked off by construction) would help.

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