Not having an oven is the right move for some people Image

Not having an oven is the right move for some people

By Sam Reiss on Jul 17, 2019

When you cook in your condo unit, which appliance do you use the most? A better question may be do you even cook at all? 

I’m going to come right out and say it - this controversy about some new condo units in downtown Toronto having convection microwaves instead of ovens is ridiculous. Condo developers do so much research and consultation when it comes to designing a new residence, and I can tell you that if there wasn’t demand for a leaner appliance package, then there wouldn’t be options like this. 

At Minto Westside, there are 162 units with convection microwaves in lieu of ovens, and all these suites are under 480 square feet. Should I remind people that there are more than 600 units in this development? If you want an oven in your unit, there are options. Minto has more than six decades of experience building in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, and in the U.S. They obviously saw a need for units with fewer appliances. 

And why shouldn’t people have a choice? If you’re a single person or a couple and you don’t use an oven frequently, and there’s a unit that’s slightly more affordable and space efficient because of the lack of an oven, then that’s great. 

I can see investors also being drawn to units like this. The fewer appliances, the less maintenance or chance of something breaking down. And let’s face it, we need investors in the condo market to help boost the rental supply and in some cases to ensure developers can get financing. 

Recent Statistics Canada housing figures found that nearly 40% of condos in Toronto are not owner-occupied. That means they’re likely being rented out. If you take all the investors out of the equation, that leaves a whole lot of units up for grabs, but that doesn’t mean people are going to buy them. 

Not everyone can afford to put down 20% on a new construction condo. Not everyone wants to. Some people would rather rent and invest their savings in something outside of real estate. If investors didn’t buy new condo units, the rental supply would plummet and it would take even longer to build new housing. 

Then there’s the rapid growth of things like Foodora, Uber Eats, and all the other food delivery services. Ordering food has never been easier. There are even new condos, like Line 5 Condos by Reserve Properties and Westdale Properties up at Yonge and Eglinton, that have hot and cold storage in the lobby for your food deliveries. 

Whether it’s good or not that it’s now easier than ever to not cook is a different conversation, but let’s be real - how much did you cook when you were single or dating in your 20s and 30s? I know I wasn’t cooking up a storm three times a day when I was younger. 

As far as I know, Minto Westside is 99% sold. According to Minto’s website, there’s only one suite available, and it’s a 861 square foot two-bedroom+den (comes with an oven). That means all 162 ovenless units sold. This wasn’t a surprise to buyers and investors - they knew the appliance package when they bought pre-construction years ago. 

To those who think not having an oven is unacceptable, I suggest you think again and come to the realization that not everyone has or wants the same lifestyle as you. 


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