Soho North

Toronto imports names from the Big Apple

Aug.August 01, 2011 05:52 PM

Rendering of Gramercy Park, Toronto
Homebuyers priced out of Gramercy or Soho may want to look a bit further north. A number of new condominiums in Toronto, Canada, are taking their inspiration from New York City landmarks.

The Gramercy Park, a new condo set to open in downtown Toronto early next year, is built around a private park, much like the Manhattan setting that inspired it. There’s also Soho Lofts in Toronto’s Yonge Eglinton area, the Residences of the World Trade Centre at 10 Yonge Street, and the New Times Square Residences near the city’s waterfront.

Home prices in Canada surged to new highs in May for the sixth straight month, according to the country’s Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index. Toronto’s market showed the strongest performance, with its home price index growing 1.7 percent from the previous month.

Evoking the glitz and glamour of New York City helps get buyers’ attention, according to Peggy Ruttan, a sales representative at Toronto-based Re/Max Condos Plus.

“It gives people the idea that they are buying into a lifestyle,”said Ruttan, who has sold several condos at the New Times Square Residences.

Younger Canadians, in particular, associate New York City with the upscale lifestyle portrayed in television shows like “Sex and the City,”she said.

“A lot of young kids want to buy into an entire package,”Ruttan said.

The matching names go beyond condos. The intersection at Yonge-Dundas Square has been nicknamed Toronto’s “Times Square,”and the city has areas named Morningside Heights, Chinatown, Little Italy, Forest Hill and Midtown.

Many of these names may not make much sense to New Yorkers, however. For example, the Gramercy Park has a line of units nonsensically called “Union Square at Gramercy Park.”

But Toronto residents are just happy to be associated with New York City, real estate professionals said.

“New York has developed a standard for [the] condo market in the Northeast,”said StreetEasy’s Jared Kleinstein, who was born in Toronto. “When you associate yourself with New York, you associate yourself with luxury.”

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