We’ve been keeping a close eye on the Minto Westside development in Toronto because construction is moving along smoothly and the north side of the site was rising with the south. Up until this month, the majority of people had no idea what was going on with the north side.
Earlier in May, Minto announced that 39 Niagara would be a rental building with 501 units (bachelor to three-bedroom), 54,700 square feet of retail, and more than 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor amenities.
The amenities include a full-service fitness centre with a yoga studio, a sauna, and a steam room, a media room, a games room, and a party room. There is also an outdoor rooftop swimming pool, a rooftop patio with urban garden, barbecues and fire pits, a 24-hour concierge, and a leash-free dog area.
“39 Niagara offers significant living value in the downtown Toronto market for future residents,” says Rob Pike, President of Minto Capital. “As the investment management arm of The Minto Group, Minto Capital is well positioned to continue to identify investment opportunities that will drive solid returns for our investors.”
News of the rental arrived around the same time that Minto announced it was filing an IPO for Minto Apartment REIT. The REIT will own 22 income-producing multi-residential rental properties; a total of 4,279 suites in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Edmonton.
This big move by Minto comes at the perfect time because the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is lacking in rental supply. The supply issue isn’t just in the GTA, it’s province wide.
The province of Ontario recently announced development charge rebates for rental projects. When a residential development is constructed, fees are paid based on the number and size of units. In order to encourage more developers to build rental buildings, the province is offering rebates for these fees.
The City of Toronto is receiving $60 million to encourage developers to build complete rental communities near transit and other essential services.
What does this all mean for Minto Westside? The 99% sold out condo at 27 Bathurst is now neighbours with a seemingly high-end rental building.
We asked Ben Myers, President of Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc., what he thought of the move, and he said, “As an investor, it isn’t good for your investment because you’re now competing with a purpose-built rental and all those additional units. There is more security of tenure with a rental, as the unit won’t be sold out from under a tenant, so if the units are similar, the prospective renter is likely to choose a full rental building over a leased condo.”
Myers makes a good point, but with rental demand so strong, we can see that apartment filling up pretty quickly. Plus, we think this decision is actually pretty progressive. Every neighbourhood should have a mix of rental, market housing, and affordable housing.
A variety of housing styles at different price points, accommodating thousands of different lifestyles makes for a more balanced and vibrant community. The King West neighbourhood is known for its high-end condo buildings, energetic nightlife, trendy office spaces, and delicious food – and we think a rental building as nice as this is going to fit in just fine!