Real Estate

With marijuana legalisation around the corner, will smoke-free condos be the next big thing for the Toronto housing market?







Photo: James Bombales

This month, non-profit developer Options for Homes announced that its latest development, The Humber, would be completely tobacco and marijuana smoke-free. With marijuana legalisation about to become a reality, will smoke-free buildings be a common occurrence in the GTA housing market?

“I think developers will start to consider this option moving forward,” Property.ca Leslieville partner Ara Mamourian tells BuzzBuzzNews. “More and more families are left with the option of living in a condo from a budget standpoint, and you certainly don’t want your children exposed to secondhand smoke.”

By law, smoking is banned in the common areas of condos, but it is up to condo boards to restrict smoking in individual units and balconies. Ahead of legalisation, more and more condo boards are moving to pass bylaws banning marijuana smoking in units.

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“I’ve been speaking with condo boards that are passing bylaws that would preemptively prevent people from consuming marijuana in their units,” Zoocasa managing editor Penelope Graham tells BuzzBuzzNews. “The feedback they’re getting is that it’s better to do it before it’s legalized, so that they don’t have to retroactively change the rules.”

But an entirely smoke-free building is something that Graham has yet to hear of.

“Certainly when it comes to completely banning both tobacco and marijuana, I think that is unique,” she says. “I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing more of that moving forward, because you’d see a lot more pushback if it was tobacco use as well.”

Both Graham and Mamourian agree that developers who choose to create smoke-free buildings would have an edge when appealing to family buyers.

“I think that if they were openly marketing themselves as a smoke-free building, there would be market appeal for sure,” says Mamourian.

But Graham isn’t convinced that entirely smoke-free buildings will become a trend anytime soon. Instead, she sees it as a tactic that a few developments may choose to adopt in order to attract certain buyers.

“I do think this is more of a boutique choice, that won’t necessarily be chosen by many developers moving forward,” she says.




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