Is it time to embrace coliving in Toronto? Image

Is it time to embrace coliving in Toronto?

By Newinhomes on Jul 05, 2019

It may sound like you’re back in college again, but your next rental in Toronto may be a coliving situation. How do you feel about that? 

Common, a company known for its coliving housing in the United States, has partnered with Dream Unlimited at their Zibi master-plan along the Ottawa River. 

Zibi is a 34-acre community that’s aiming to be one of the most sustainable communities in North America. There will be nearly eight acres of parkland (across four parks), and the five public plazas will have the area’s first zero-carbon district cooling and heating system. When Zibi is complete, it will be home to more than 5,000 people and offer employment opportunities for approximately 6,000. 

Common Zibi will be a 24-storey building with 252 bedrooms. There will be a mix of coliving rental units and traditional apartments. The coliving rentals will start from $1,225 a month for a bedroom in a coliving suite, which is more than 30% below market value for a one-bedroom in the area. The traditional apartments will start around $2,065 a month.   

The building will feature fully furnished shared lounges, shared kitchens, community rooms, in-unit laundry, a roof deck, parking spaces, a gym with yoga studio, and many other amenities, just like a typical condo building. 

Common launched its first coliving building in New York in 2015. Since then they’ve exploded with bedrooms in 27 buildings in six U.S. markets. They receive more than 3,000 applications a week, so clearly the demand for coliving is high in the U.S.

It’s not as common in Canada though. We are definitely interested to see how coliving is received in Ottawa. Recently, the housing strategy for Sidewalk Toronto was released and it also included coliving residential space. 

According to Common, they are in the process of negotiating approximately 500 bedrooms in Toronto. If Sidewalk Toronto manages to take the next steps and Common enters the market, Toronto could have hundreds or maybe even thousands of coliving opportunities. 

As rent continues to climb and vacancy rates remain low, we think something like coliving would be a welcomed addition to the Toronto housing market. Like the laneway suites that are being considered for the entire city, coliving would simply be another option or “piece of the puzzle” that helps create a wider range of housing options.  

"Throughout Canada affordability is one of the biggest issues, and Dream has consistently developed properties to provide residents with affordable alternatives. Common is a great way for people to be able to live affordably in the centre of the most urban cities and neighbourhoods in homes that are fun and exciting," says Michael Cooper, President and Chief Responsible Officer of Dream. "Dream is also creating innovative affordable housing in downtown Toronto at the West Don Lands development. We hope to grow with Common in many of our communities."

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