Raising kids in a condo.

There’s an interesting article in the Financial Post about a recent survey of Condo buyers in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal Calgary and Halifax. Amongst other things, the TD Canada Trust survey found that an increasing number of buyers are willing to raise a family in a condo:

The proportion who would consider raising a family in a condominium has increased significantly to 30 per cent from 20 per cent a year ago, TD Canada Trust said in releasing the results Wednesday.

However, it noted that 46 per cent also said too many children in a building would cause them not to buy a condo unit in it, while just five per cent said not enough children would be a reason not to buy.

While the vast majority of potential buyers also said living in an environmentally friendly building is an important factor, the results suggest having parking is even more important.

I think it’s been fairly common for people to raise families in the downtown core here for a while – perhaps those other cities are just catching up? Are you raising a family in a condo? What are some of the pros and cons of living with children in a condo?

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Reduce: Let it go. It's getting weird.

patiently waiting

Does anyone know how possible it is to knock down wall between condo units? As in, 2 500 sqft units becoming on 1000sqft unit. Seems to me that too many tiny units are being built and once the bubble has popped, and people start looking at these as true "living space" and figuring out what to do with all these tiny units.




"In fact the only Western countries with birthrates above replacement level are Canada, US, Oz, and NZ…"Not according to StatsCan or the CIA World Factbook."The total fertility rate is an estimate of the average number of children that women will have during the years they are aged 15 to 49, based on current age-specific birth rates.""The statistics show that the rate in 2004 was unchanged from the 2003 rate of 1.53 children per woman. The record-low fertility rate for Canada was set in 2000, at 1.49 children per woman."


In France, lost of kids grow in condos. The birth rate is very highReally? Then why do they have all those billboards in France urging people to have more kids.In fact the only Western countries with birthrates above replacement level are Canada, US, Oz, and NZ, and just maybe that may have something to do with SFH being the norm for families.At any rate, why isn't there a third question? "Why not rent a SFH for the same (or lower) monthly cost than buying a condo?". Because "real estate only goes up" and you have to "buy now or be priced out of everything"?.

seawall commuter

My wife and I live in Yaletown with our two kids, ages 1 and 2. We moved into a 3 bdrm townhome last year.The Vancouver homes we can afford come with postage stamp lots and tenants in the basement. We prefer our newer townhome, with its large patio and great location. We don't want to commute.The kids regularly enjoy: nearby parks, beaches waterparks and outdoor pools Aquarium cycling/stroller on the seawall Aquabus rides GranvilleIsland common area swimming pool community centre activities Starbucks too!Cons:Outdoor play must be supervised. I'm not sure when this becomes a problem for the kids. Maybe around age 6? Elevators and underground parking are a nag when carrying heavy bags and sleeping children. We couldn't find a suitable townhome with an attached garage.Daycares are conveniently located, but daycare spaces are extremely limited.


We have a five year old and an 18 month old downtown, and I love walking everywhere, and not having all the family time lost in commute.I wouldn't mind buying condo, if and when the time comes, but it would have to be larger than the apartments I've seen – 950 sqft for 3 bedrooms? We're in too little space right now – waiting for a 3 bedroom to open up in our complex – but we'll be leaving if something doesn't open up soon.


bearette, if I may be so bold:"I don't know anyone personally who desires to raise kids in condos."Who do you know personally that was raised in a condo?"But it makes me furious that this bubble market is forcing people…"Are the words 'furious' and 'forcing' used under poetic licence?You'll have to excuse me if I don't break down at the thought of an employable family not being able to afford a parcel of land in area x. Especially when affordable options are available to them to have a similar parcel in area y, wherever that may be. If you don't like it, move. This is not communist China.If you really are furious, I really hope you know how lucky you are. With all the shit that happens around us, all the pain and suffering that exists, if housing prices really make… Read more »


reducimat: to repost:"Just want to clarify my distain was for the slippery way the article/poll was phrased,not for people who make this choice work for them."If it works for you, great. I'm not here to critique your choices. Not my place. They are your choices. In fact, I was trying to head off just that interpretation with my second post.But it makes me furious that this bubble market is forcing people who don't want to raise kids in condos to raise kids in condos (or not have them until they can afford to go elsewhere … possibly missing the fertility boat). (Or commute 4 hours a day two and from Abbotsford …oops that's too expensive now for the average Van wage earner too.) And then its packaged in these polls as a cool new lifestyle choice … not a frustrating… Read more »


wow. thanks everyone for your thoughts on this. i'm about to marry and we are planning on having children very soon so we're currently looking for a place to rent that will let us grow a little. we want to make due with only 1 car so being within walking distance to everything is important. we've narrowed our search to downtown (where i live/ work now) or newport village in port moody (close to where by finace works, i can take the train). neither are ideal because of space/ cost/ commuting issues but seem the best options. i really appreciate everyone's insights & experiences with this… i've read a few things here that i wouldn't have considered and will need to think about further so thanks!PS: satv your novelty has worn off for me… i skip reading your posts. perhaps… Read more »

happy renter

Is the question down town/suburbs or SFH versus condo?I want to comment on SFH/condo. In France, lost of kids grow in condos. The birth rate is very high. However, condos are designed for families: large living room, 3 to 4 bedrooms. Bedrooms on opposite side of the living. It is frequent to see families renting a condo in expansive Paris and owing an affordable getaway in the country side.Little kids do not need much space: just walk them to the playground down the building. Vancouver condos feel too small when your kids reach the age of 10. They need SPACE, intimacy, independence. Then living in a Vancouver condo becomes really stressful. Pro: If you have neighbours with kids, you can help each other (baby sitting, shopping, play dates, exchange clothes) and teenagers can safely visit their friends.Of all the many… Read more »


I used to live in Yaletown but left before having kids because I couldn't imagine the life. I do see the benefits, as in reductimat's list.But to me it does seem that it would be structured and confining. I can tell my 2 little kids to go outside and play in the backyard while I make dinner. They love it and find a million things to do. But I can't see telling a 3 and 1 year old to take the elevator down 27 floors and go play in the park across the street. Just doesn't work. So play has to be indoors or supervised. Not the worst thing in the world, but not my ideal.As you might guess, I grew up in a rural area, so my biases were set long ago.But I can't argue with the idea of… Read more »


Vineland, three things:I am someone who has a child over four years old, and I listed my cons.Secondly, concrete towers (at least the ones we've lived in) don't suffer from the same ill-effects you witnessed.Finally, yes, there are clusters in the burbs where you are able to walk to a fraction of the things I listed above. However, I am puzzled with your statement that this is how all of Vancouver is set up. We have friends who live throughout Vancouver, and very few have the walkable amenities we have.Can you tell me what children get in the suburbs that they can't get in an urban environment?


P.S. Folhaseca said: Children have lived indense urban areas for a long time inplaces like London, NYC, or Tokyo.Have you checked out the birthrate for Japan? the LOWEST in the world – well below replacement levels. In a generation or two, everyone will be able to live on their own plot of land if this trend continues. Funny that during the eighties (pre-handover) all those apartment raised families in Hong Kong desired a real house in Vancouver (wonder why? concrete sky boxes are 'it', who would want something firmly planted on the ground?). New York is cool, but an apartment is what, a million bucks? if your that rich, you can have a place in Martha's Vineyard too. In London, families don't actually enjoy the cramped quarters, do they? but London is the only major centre in the whole country.… Read more »


I lived in a condo when my first was a baby and houses since that time (oldtimer in Van and a 70s in the burbs). I think the most important thing with babies and young toddlers is to have time with them. I put my kids to bed at 7:30 at that age and would not have wanted only a few short hours a workday with them. That said, the condo we were in had little to no sound barrier, and not just smells but the people below us would have these parties where the smoke would pour through our fuse box from the condo below (non-smoking building, of course)! We rented, and the strata manager would get all upset if my stroller trekked in mud and leaves and leave me nasty letters about this. (concrete floor, no mat at… Read more »


"No one in their right mind could preserve their sanity with a teething baby in a 2-bedroom sh-t-box in the sky."bearette, so if I get the gist of your message, one should stuff their teething baby in the basement of their SFH?I'll one up you, our first had colic, all the while we lived in our shit-box-in-the-sky, and I still wouldn't trade anything for it.How long have you lived in a shit-box-in-the-sky?@canadidan:Fantastic post. It all comes down to confirmation bias.@realestute:I'm not a psychologist, but I do play one on TV… If living where you are is stressfull, why don't you high-tail it out of there? I don't see the busy-ness, the stress or the confines on which you speak, but if I had to guess, I would say it's more a state of mind.As for my state: Regardless of where… Read more »


rebytes: I owe you a beer.


satv….go away


bearette said… PS. VCI when are you going to block SATV? These computer-generated inanities are really starting to grate. 3/29/07 7:10 PM Hey bearette I was long gone before but blog adminstrator brought me back if you don't like to read truth I can disappear again but 1 vote not enough I need one more no vote and to cut that I need 2 yes vote.So anybody wants me to stayany body wants me to disappearpromise and resignation handysatv.


Dog you were never a child nor you had cry you just grown up directly straight away 18 year no body ever heard you cry.children could be in to reside but you have to find a special place for your self and you must know why is that.hint user name

Real estute

I think a good environment is one that has few confines. I think downtown condo living is all about confines. Less densified areas ie. suburbs, have far fewer confines and are a less stressful environment. All those parks and amenities that are walking distance for those raising kids downtown is surely a plus. I don't think it adequately compensates for the negative aspects of young children being raised in a busy downtown environment. Again, just my humble opinion as a parent living in a condo in a busy downtown area.

patiently waiting

For a time, as a child, I lived in a townhouse complex. It was significantly better than the SFH suburb we lived in after that.To this day, I'm left with the impression that the in-between density of townhouses with lots of other families around is probably closest to ideal. Lots of other children to play with, many child-centered activities, and a general family atmosphere. And more space than in an apartment.


I think that your ideal when searching for a place to raise a family is largely dependant on where you were raised. If you had a wonderful childhood where you lived (city, suburbs, farm/rural) then you will likely want that for your kids. Likewise if you had a miserable childhood you will look for a different setting in which to raise your children. Every parent wants to provide the best life for their children and in the end the location matters little. IMHO loving parents, close friends, and a sense of adventure (whether it is expressed exploring the wilds of the city or the mountains) are what makes for a positive childhood. What I am trying to say is that likely most of the people who care enough to express an opinion, about where they think it is best to… Read more »


Just want to clarify my distain was for the slippery way the article/poll was phrased, not for people who make this choice work for them.


PS. VCI when are you going to block SATV? These computer-generated inanities are really starting to grate.