Auto lovers can soon park their toy in its own condo. This is going to be a luxury item people don’t need, but people are going to want to have this. Metropolitan Commercial Realty is planning to convert a multistorey 1970’s-era industrial warehouse in Etobicoke into a palace for storing cars, appropriately named ToyBx.
But while the plan has a decent chance of finding enough Toronto-area car lovers willing to buy one of the 195 separate units (each capable of holding at least four cars with a car-stacker rig) and 39 penthouse suites, all spread across three floors, some have seen the idea as an extreme example of a land-use system so broken that it’s easier to create apartments for cars than for humans.
They have not released pricing details to the public yet, but buyers could expect rates close to what a parking space costs in downtown Toronto residential condominiums, somewhere between $80,000 to $120,000, and the units start at 565 square feet.
Car storage is not just for the super-rich. People collect them for emotional reasons. A ’67 Camaro is just as important to the owner as the $300,000 Ferrari is to the person who parks it over the winter. In neighbourhoods where houses are historically protected, a lot of times they only have one-car parking and for those who can afford some of the high-end condos, parking is limited.
The company doing this is not insensitive to concerns from housing activists, but the building is smack in the middle of an area zoned for industrial uses by the City of Toronto and they don’t foresee a path to rezoning the land. The building in question was formerly part of a distillery. It was built out of concrete to serve as fireproof storage for aging spirts. As such, it’s practically a bomb shelter, with floors that could manage the weight of thousands of tonnes of liquor. The embodied carbon alone of the 180,000 square-foot structure makes re-using it a greener option than tearing it down.