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Get a Jetsons-like condo in Toronto

- August 12th, 2014

When George Jetson would come home after a long day button-pushing at work, he would come home, relax in his favourite chair and drink a martini while the apartment catered to his every whim, whether it’s watching TV, getting food at the press of a button, or just conveyor belts to shuttle him around when he was too lazy to walk.

And while no housing project is quite this high-tech, Canderel Residential’s new development YC Condos is a step in that direction. A smart home condominium development, YC Condos is 66-storey complex, with more than 600 units, at Yonge and College in Toronto, which includes an outdoor patio, bar, pool and steam room facilities.

And while the units don’t have conveyor belts or a robot maid named Rosie that throws sass at you while it cleans, they have smart technology integrated into the unit to make your living experience more connected. The project is a joint venture between Canderel, Samsung and True Marque, the global distributor for Samsung SDS.


Vice-president of sales and marketing, residential group  Rizwan Dhanji said The Canderel Digital Home development is trying to cater to the College Park neighbourhood with its upwardly mobile 25-45 year old residents who are looking for a smart home solution.

“When people come in, they purchase their penthouse, they’ll be able to do their finishes and they’ll be able to choose the type of technology they want in there… Which is the first of its kind,” Dhanji said. “Usually, you just pick your finishes, you go in and then you figure out what you’re going to do in the future. Now your smart home is going to be incorporated as part of that.”

The goal was scalability.

“On the condo side, when you have smaller units, people really can’t afford to put that kind of money into it,” Dhanji explained. “So they’ll be able to, in our penthouses, you know you’re spending a million dollars on a penthouse, you want to get this (smart) solution in there, most of it’s already included, you can upgrade to additional…but it’s really going to cost you less than $10,000 to do that. Which is significant savings and allows to scale to make it whatever you want it to be.”

YC Condos penthouse interior

Artist’s conception of the living room in a three-bedroom-plus-den penthouse suite. (Supplied)

And what are those features? Well, the basic smart home setup is built around security – namely a smart door lock.

All the units will come with a smart door lock which can be accessed in numerous ways, via a pass code, a key fob, or remotely with a smartphone app specifically for Samsung phones. And it runs on its own batteries (good for 20,000 uses) so you don’t have to worry about trying to get into your condo during a blackout.

But if it does run low on power, there is a low-tech solution to open the door.

“A lot of people ask the question what if I go away on vacation, I come back and my batteries are dead in my door lock, how do I get in?” Jason Abbott, managing partner of True Marque explained. “Can’t use my mobile device. Can’t touch the screen. So there is a master key under here.”

smartdoorlock

Samsung Smart door lock. (Supplied)

The smart door lock can hold up to 20 codes so Abbott said you can give a code to a babysitter or dog walker and then delete it when it’s no longer needed. And as an extra layer of security, True Marque has added a bit of randomness to the door code.

“If (the door lock code) is  1-3-1-3, you walk down the hall and you see all these smudge marks in those areas,” Abbot said. “You could go 1-3-1-3 and 1-3-3-1, you know, 1-3-3-3, you could try to guess it right?”

But with the Samsung Smart door lock, two numbers randomly appear on the screen when you touch it and you have to press them first before you enter your code. This makes it more difficult to guess through trial and error.

In addition to the smart door lock, penthouses will also include a camera to monitor people coming to the condo door and  a wall pad that lets you control said camera and door lock. It also lets you control other upgrades you make to your condo, such as Samsung entertainment systems, lights, blinds controls, thermostat and motion sensors. (You would also be able to control these devices from a Samsung tablet or smartphone.)

Penthouse Interior

Artist’s conception of a bedroom in a three-bedroom penthouse suite. (Supplied)

Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. senior vice president of enterprise and mobile solutions Paul Brannen said current upgrades are based around Samsung entertainment products, such as televisions, audio docks and Shape wireless speakers. But “the possibilities are endless.”

“Over the course of time, you start to think about home appliances,” Brannen added. “So I can take my oven and actually connect my oven into my smart home so that when I’m 15-20 minutes away from home, I can turn on the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees… so that when I get home, the oven’s ready for me to put whatever I want in it.”

Similarly, you could control your washer and dryer.

“I don’t know how many times I go out of my house and we leave stuff in the dryer,” he said.  “So I want to freshen it up to fold it when I get home, I can start that 15 minutes away from home, using my smartphone, my Galaxy S5.”

Penthouse Interiors

Artist’s conception of a bathroom in a two-bedroom-plus-den penthouse suite.  (Supplied)

Brannen said because of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you can hook up almost anything to the Samsung Smart Station, such as cameras you can move around to act one day as a baby monitor and another to make sure the contractor you left in your home does his job and doesn’t go snooping.

Abbott points to South Korea as an example of where this interconnectivity is going. There, Samsung has introduced LED lighting that can alert you to messages on your phone. And it’s colour-coded to the individual.

“We have this running where say husband and wife, son and daughter- son and daughter can have red and green, and it will notify you when you get an SMS text,” he explained. “So this will blink green to tell me that my daughter just got an SMS text. Or if my phone’s not with me, I’m blue, it…can be used as a notification device.”

Abbott said that country also has mirrors that tell you the weather and parking spots that tell you when they are cars parked in them.

From the sounds of it, maybe Rosie, the maid isn’t too far away either.

The YC Condos development will be completed in October 2017. The 30 penthouse units run from the 59th to 63rd floors of the 66-storey building.

They are available in six configurations, ranging from 1,025 square feet for two-bedroom to 1,289 square feet for a three-bedroom-plus-den. They all come with 10-foot ceilings, a gas fireplace, multiple bathrooms, a balcony (which is included in the quoted floorspace) with gas barbecue hookups and quartz countertops in the kitchen.

The penthouse units start at $932,900 and go upwards of $3.5 million. The regular units start at $262,900 for a studio condo and go up to a starting price of $621,900 for the three-bedroom units.

For more information, check out YCCondos.com.

YC Condos artist's conception

YC Condos artist’s conception. (Supplied)

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