playground condos top reasons to invest play video

Playground Condos: Top 5 Reasons to Invest – Release Radar 021

In this special episode of the TalkCondo Release Radar, we do a deep dive on all things Playground Condos and look at the top 5 reasons you should consider investing at Playground.

It is the last item we discuss in the video, but the condo investor community is already excited about the pricing (around $900 per square foot) with suites starting in the $300,000’s in Downtown Toronto; something we haven’t see for a little while.

Playground Condos is launching on April 4th and early demand is already very high.  To get on our Priority Access List, simply hit the button below and you will be the first to get floor plans, prices and all the details on how you can Invest at Playground Condos.

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TalkCondo Release Radar 021: Transcript

Roy Bhandari: Welcome to the TalkCondo Release Radar. Today is a special episode where we’re going to be doing a deep dive into Playground Condominiums, which is one of the most exciting new condominium projects in downtown Toronto. So we’re recording this now at the end of March.

Mike Santos: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: We’ve got a launch date now for Playground Condominiums. It is going to be launching on April the 4th, which is the first Wednesday after Easter weekend.

Playground Condos – Launching April 4 – Get Priority Access

Mike Santos: It’s next week.

Roy Bhandari: It’s next week. The reason we’re talking about that now is because timelines are so important. We want to make sure that the people watching this understand the timelines for this so they can get prepared so that when the launch happens we are able to move quickly. We’ve got a week now. We’re going to go through the five top reasons why we think Playground Condominiums is an excellent condominium investment. Between now and next week, if you’re interested, please reach out to one of us by emailing us at and we’ll be more than happy to get you on our priority list.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Reason #1 – The Location

Roy Bhandari: Like I said, we’re going to talk about the five key reasons why we’re excited about Playground Condominiums. The first reason that we love this project is the location.

Amit Bhandari: Absolutely.

Roy Bhandari: So, Mike, give us a quick rundown of where this project is-

Mike Santos: Yep.

Roy Bhandari: … and why we love this area.

Mike Santos: For sure. So the easiest way to explain it would be it’s sort of nestled between King West, Liberty Village and Fort York. Major intersection I suppose would be King and Strachan. Specific intersection’s going to be Ordnance and Strachan, so if you’re not hyper familiar with those streets it’s going to be sort of tucked in between all three of them, which is really nice because we’ll get into more detail about the whole master planned community next but in terms of the actual location itself you have Fort York to the south, you have Liberty Village to the west and King West to the north. So you’re able to tap into all three communities, which all offer distinct lifestyle advantages for all three of them so you’re not just getting one, you’re getting all three, which is why I like this one specifically.

Roy Bhandari: We always like that kind of thing when you’re sandwiched between two neighborhoods you’ve got this neighborhood to the left, this neighborhood to the right, you really do get the best of both worlds.

Mike Santos: Exactly.

Roy Bhandari: In this case, King West is very unique compared to Liberty Village, which has its own unique feel to Fort York. I, myself, lived in this area for a couple of years and there was things that I loved about this neighborhood. One of the things that I loved was the restaurants along King Street West and Queen Street West.

Mike Santos: For sure. Yes.

Roy Bhandari: Liberty Village has its own vibe. It’s got, again, amazing restaurants, BMO-

Mike Santos: Yeah. If you’re into sports, TFC’s right there, exhibition for end of summer, you have Fort York, of course, that’s right there in terms of Garrison Commons so any cyclists or people that love going on walks everything is right there for them. Again, we’ll get into sort of the pedestrian bridge that’s going to connect everything here, but you’re going to have access now to King West, Queen West, the lake, so in terms of location, this is one of the top ones, I think, just slightly outside of core, now kind of becoming a core project because everything that’s sort of trying into it now.

Roy Bhandari: That’s a nice transition to the King Street pilot.

Mike Santos: Yep.

Roy Bhandari: The King Street pilot is something that’s been running for a few months now. Give us a quick run down on what the King Street Pilot is before we talk about the importance.

Mike Santos: Sure. In King West, essentially, we’re seeing just incredible amount of backup of streetcars and traffic and it was very difficult to get into the city along a streetcar line into downtown so essentially the city said, “We’re going to do a one year pilot where we take cars off the road entirely.” And in that time we’ve seen an amazing reaction from the public, from riders, because times have increased for them. You’re dealing a lot less with backups of streetcars which can be really frustrating. I’m sure lots of people can attest to that. So it’s just increased the walkability of the area, the ability to get downtown, so it’s increased efficiency and productivity for people so it’s been really, really popular for residents in that area. It’s opened up King West and Liberty Village, which always felt a little bit more closed off because-

Roy Bhandari: Yes, disconnected.

Mike Santos: Disconnected and now it’s really connected it to the city.

Amit Bhandari: The best thing is what you mentioned the tweet. The most retweeted comment.

Roy Bhandari: One of the most retweeted comments about the King Street pilot was effectively they’ve built a billion, multi billion dollar subway along King Street just by using a few coats of paint and changing a few rules, which is a great way of explaining it. They really created this rapid transit along King Street, which is one of the most important corridors downtown and just [inaudible 00:04:58] speaking, like I mentioned, I did live in this area for a couple times and once or twice I did try and use the subway to get into the city in rush hour-

Amit Bhandari: Streetcar, streetcar.

Roy Bhandari: Sorry, the streetcar, during rush house and I would never do it again.

Mike Santos: What’s the point of taking public transportation if you’re going to be stuck in traffic the entire time?

Roy Bhandari: Exactly. So it would be a nightmare to wait for one, once you’re on it, it takes forever, you’re crawling, takes forever to get across the city and, again, just speaking to friends in the same building, they’ve said it’s a night and day difference. It’s no longer a chore to use a streetcar in those key times. I think it’s been a big success for ridership.

Roy Bhandari: In terms of what this does to the neighborhood, like I said, it’s like building a subway along it. It’s just that-

Mike Santos: You have 100 out of 100 transit score now.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. Which is-

Mike Santos: It always was, but now it’s actually 100 out of 100.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: Beyond that number. And just getting back to the location, you talked about sort of the vibe of King West, the vibe of Queen West, a very distinctive difference but you have everything there possible in this entire, in this little pocket, which is going to be really cool.

Roy Bhandari: So, we’ve heard of this area referred to as the Soho of Toronto. If you’re not familiar with Soho, Soho’s a very popular and trendy neighborhood in New York City. Where it got that moniker from is it’s got that trendy vibe, it’s got the restaurants, it’s got the boutique shops, so that’s where it’s all coming from and that’s where the connection is made.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Reason #2 – The Master Planned Community

Roy Bhandari: So transitioning from the location, number two reason that we’re really excited for the Playground Condominiums is the master planned community. Before we talk specifically about the master plan that they’re doing here, I think it’s important to understand why master plan investing as a strategy works so well and why we’re big believers in it and why it’s a tried and trusted method of investing. So, Mike, give us a quick rundown.

Mike Santos: Well, we talk about this a lot and we talked about it even just a couple of Release Radars ago in terms of [inaudible 00:07:05] condominiums, Yonge Park, we’ve talked about how Pemberton does that a lot, Daniels in Regent Park, so multifaceted phases are good and you want to buy in as soon as you can because developers are going to increase prices in each subsequent phase. They build off of each other. Oftentimes they’ll bring in more retail, more commercial, more office, can be destination type master planned communities and neighborhoods so buying into a master plan, it’s not foolproof. I don’t want to say that, but it give investors a very, very, very good chance of their return on investment’s going to be a lot higher opportunities like that, I think.

Roy Bhandari: We’ve seen it time and time and time again. The buyers who see the vision and buy into the vision, they are the ones who profit big time.

Mike Santos: Yes. Yes.

Roy Bhandari: The buyers who were early in Regent Park, you mentioned Regent Park by Daniels, have seen substantial growth because they bought into the vision before it was anything, and the same thing is going to happen here because there is a lot planned for this parcel of land. Mike, I know, again, you’ve had a really close look at what the plans are for … This is the Garrison Point redevelopment. So why don’t you give us a quick rundown.

Mike Santos: This is the second building in the phase. It’s going to be 35 stories. Beyond the building, though, in terms of amenities and finishes and features, everything’s going to be, everything’s really, I don’t want to say high end but everything now being built is very modernized-

Roy Bhandari: Very high standard. The standards-

Mike Santos: Very high standard. You don’t really need to upgrade very much like you would in the past-

Roy Bhandari: No.

Mike Santos: … so just beyond the building, the thing that really excites me about this project is actually the public spaces there.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: So you have almost half of the development that’s going to be dedicated to a public park. We’re talking almost four acres and you’re going to be having a park and an Olympic size pool in the area and that’s all going to be connected through a pedestrian bridge. This pedestrian bridge is going to be running, it’s going basically connect you … The bridge itself will actually connect from Stanley Park on the north, just south of Queen to all the way to Fort York. You’re going to be essentially connected to the lake, Fort York-

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: … this specific pocket at Garrison, King West-

Amit Bhandari: King West.

Mike Santos: … Liberty Village and Queen West. I don’t know how many neighborhoods can easily be connected to five different spots like that and 50% of the project being public space-

Amit Bhandari: Public space.

Roy Bhandari: Dedicated back to the public.

Mike Santos: … is unheard of.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: So that’s what really excites me about this, from not just an investor point of view, but from an end user point of view as well.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. Absolutely.

Mike Santos: The type of people that are going to be coming to this kind of project are going to be attracted to that and an investor should pay attention to that because there’s a lot to sell to their tenants and resell down the line.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. There’s a couple of ones that I wanted to really touch on here. You mentioned the four acre park. Condos on a park in the downtown setting are a, so rare and b, very much in demand. People love being around the green space, buyers with dogs, tenants with dogs be having that space to go downstairs and have that space for the pets. Being on the park, just in itself, condos on the park is a rarity and, again, I think it’s such an important piece of the puzzle here because a four acre park, pretty significant.

Mike Santos: And not just that one, it’s connecting you to Garrison Common, which is a massive park in Fort York.

Roy Bhandari: In Fort York, yeah.

Mike Santos: Stanley Park, Trinity Bellwoods-

Roy Bhandari: The lake, the lake to the south.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, to the south.

Mike Santos: In terms of parks, you definitely have-

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, you’re covered.

Mike Santos: Yeah, you’re covered.

Roy Bhandari: You’re covered, yeah.

Mike Santos: So, in terms of the master planned community, this has everything you want and more in it.

Roy Bhandari: Excellent. One of the other features that they have that’s pretty unique here is the Olympic size pool.

Mike Santos: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: Why don’t you talk to us a little bit about where that fits into the community?

Mike Santos: It’s kind of, if we have the rendering, it’s basically this sort of a triangular type, 7.6 acre triangular type lot, I suppose you want to call it. The Olympic size pool will fit in right at the tip of that.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Mike Santos: So from the tip to, I guess the first Garrison Point, you have the park in between, you have two pavilions in terms of change rooms and-

Amit Bhandari: Washrooms.

Mike Santos: … washrooms and things like that there and then the Olympic size pool. That’s going to be right at the edge of it. It’s a really nice design.

Roy Bhandari: It’s really nice and unique. It’s not something we see, right?

Amit Bhandari: Imagine the views from the pool.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. They’re going to be right towards downtown.

Amit Bhandari: Downtown. The skyline. Yeah.

Reason #3 – Tech Sector Growth

Roy Bhandari: So, master plan is obviously a major piece of the puzzle here. The number three reason that we’re really excited for Playground is the growth of the tech sector in this neighborhood.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So anybody who’s been following along the tech industry in Toronto is booming.

Amit Bhandari: It’s huge.

Roy Bhandari: Tech companies are moving into the city at a rapid rate and the reason is the talent, the workforce in Toronto now is very much geared toward that technology sector.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: In the last few years especially, big, major tech companies are setting up their headquarters and office spaces-

Amit Bhandari: In King West.

Roy Bhandari: In King West. In this area. The reason is because there’s a beautiful marriage of the kind of jobs that are coming there and the kind of people that live in these neighborhoods.

Amit Bhandari: Live there, the kind of space that exists there.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. So why don’t you give us a rundown of, Amit-

Amit Bhandari: No, I’ve got some figures, actually. King West quick facts. Total population, roughly 440,000. The average household income here is 100,000. Just a touch over 100,000. The financial district average household income is just a little bit more. It’s only 106,000. So the average income here is quite substantial. You mentioned that there’s some big name companies moving here. I’m going to name off a few. StubHub, COBO, Shopify, Uber, eBay, Mozilla, [inaudible 00:13:25] Just to number off some more, there’s over 600 small to medium size businesses in this-

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: … pocket. 100 tech firms. So you’re in essentially a tech hub here.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah.

Amit Bhandari: You’re very much right in the heart of it when it comes to this particular development.

Roy Bhandari: I mean, one of the big ones that was recently announced was Shopify.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: You mentioned Shopify. They’ve taken 260,000 square feet for one of their headquarters that’s going to be in downtown Toronto, just a few minutes from here at King and Portland.

Amit Bhandari: Universal Canada as well.

Roy Bhandari: Moving into Liberty Village.

Amit Bhandari: Liberty Village.

Roy Bhandari: In Atlantic, I believe.

Mike Santos: Yep.

Amit Bhandari: Yep.

Roy Bhandari: Yeah. So what we’re seeing here is that the traditional financial district, these tech companies are not going there because the kind of workers that they’re trying to attract is very much in these up and coming, trendy, and again, that Soho sort of moniker really ties into all of that.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. 100%. Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: That’s a really exciting thing because we’re going to see an increase in salaries because of those kind of jobs.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah. It’s going to just bring more people into the neighborhood, right?

Reason #4 – The Developers

Roy Bhandari: For sure. The next area that we’re really excited about for Playground is the developers. So, Citizen and Fernbrook, two powerhouses in GTA development. I want you to rattle off some of the-

Amit Bhandari: The [crosstalk 00:14:51]?

Roy Bhandari: No, the projects.

Amit Bhandari: Projects.

Roy Bhandari: Let’s start with some of the projects. I think a lot of people who are watching this will know the projects that Citizen and Fernbrook have been involved with.

Amit Bhandari: I think some of the most famous ones, I mean, just go to Mississauga. When you’re on the highway, what do you see? You see the-

Mike Santos: The Marilyn Monroe.

Amit Bhandari: The Marilyn Monroe Towers.

Mike Santos: Absolutes.

Amit Bhandari: And what’s unique about this pairing of developers is the designs that they sort of come up with and go with. Marilyn Monroe Towers-

Mike Santos: That won an international award.

Amit Bhandari: It did. It did. International global award. So they’re world renowned designs. Absolute, obviously, so then we’ve got Pier 27 at the lake.

Roy Bhandari: Downtown Toronto.

Amit Bhandari: Downtown Toronto. And then we also have L-Tower. But I want to speak about, say Fernbrook, one half of the partnership. They’ve not just developed in Toronto, but they’ve developed right across, you’re talking Thornhill, Milton, Oakville. You’ve got East [inaudible 00:15:48], Cambridge, Vaughan. They’re everywhere. They’re literally, literally everywhere. Citizen themselves, they’ve developed across the GTA as well. I named off a couple of their more famous. St. Morris condominiums as well.

Roy Bhandari: 158 Front, yeah.

Amit Bhandari: Yeah, they’re known for. So, these are not small time companies.

Roy Bhandari: No.

Amit Bhandari: Them, as a partnership, is-

Roy Bhandari: Well, together they’ve been, they’ve done projects together.

Amit Bhandari: They’ve been very successful.

Roy Bhandari: Very, very successful.

Amit Bhandari: Very successful.

Reason #5 – The Price

Roy Bhandari: Excellent. The number five reason we’re really excited for this condominium, which I think is going to resonate with a lot of buyers, is the price points.

Mike Santos: Right.

Roy Bhandari: We’ve hit time in Toronto now where new condo launches are 1,000, $1,100 a foot, $1,200 a foot. It’s not unusual now. Added onto that is suite sizes are starting to get larger. So you’re combining a time when price per square foot is getting bigger, at a time when suite sizes are getting bigger, and we’re getting to a price point now that a lot of first time investors, new investors are a little bit afraid of.

Mike Santos: Yeah.

Roy Bhandari: So give us a quick rundown.

Mike Santos: Sure. I talk to a lot, a lot of people. When it comes to prices in Toronto, a lot of people are still a little bit taken aback sometimes if they’re not necessarily a seasoned investor, they’re looking for first time opportunities or first time buyers and, yeah, we kind of have to come to the reality that this is where prices are and $1,000 a square foot now seems to be that-

Amit Bhandari: Even on the resale side, it’s-

Mike Santos: Yeah. It’s everywhere, too. I think people are starting to understand that now, but this project is going to be sub $1,000 per square foot, which we’re just not seeing. So $900 a square foot is a starting point so we’re looking at units in the 300s.

Roy Bhandari: Which, suite prices now in the 300,000s, 400,000s are becoming such a rarity, even in the outskirts.

Mike Santos: Yes.

Roy Bhandari: So to have a project with that kind of price point in the downtown core, so connected, with so many good talking points and exciting points is very, very rare.

Mike Santos: So in terms of the type of buyer that will come here, price point is going to attract everybody, obviously. You’re going to have investors that will already be excited about this, first time buyers that are going to be feeling like they have an opportunity now, families that are looking for larger units that can afford something in this and it’s the kind of community that they’re building there is going to attract all three types of those kind of people so price point is obviously huge. It’s obviously number one for a lot of people and we can say confidently that prices are going to be really, really attractive here.

Roy Bhandari: Very strong. And my favorite line on real estate investing is you don’t make money when you sell real estate. You make money when you buy real estate. We think the pricing here and everything that’s going on makes this such an attractive proposition.

Mike Santos: That ties back to timelines, though.

Roy Bhandari: Timelines. Yes. So in the next week or so, we’ve already been getting bombarded with questions and emails about this project so we do expect a lot of demand on this one. If you’re interested you’ve got a week now to get yourself prepared, reach out to our team-

Mike Santos: Because that launch, that first launch, that first access, those first prices, that’s where it’s super important to make sure you’re in.

Roy Bhandari: So just to hammer home those timelines again, on Tuesday we get the floor plans and prices. So that’s Tuesday after Easter weekend, April the 4th, we get the floor plans and prices. We will have a day or two with that information before we have to get your suite reservation worksheets in and the signing will be that first weekend. So we’re really excited about this one. We think it’s going to do very, very well. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us at and we’re really excited about Playground Condos.