The Upside of High-Rise Living

June 28th, 2016

Though I have described some of the downsides of high-rise living in another post, there are many upsides, and in particular, no more:

  • Shoveling snow (the condo does it)
  • Doing a lot of gardening (plant just as many pots as will fit on your balcony)
  • Taking out the blue, brown and green boxes to the curb every week (walk a few feet down the hallway to the garbage chutes)
  • Listening to a neigbor’s very noisy air conditioning unit rattling away.
  • Dealing with neighboring renovations involving a lot of stone work with dust all over the driveway and a shrieking stone saw.
  • Putting up with traffic noise. (Our house was on a curving street that climbed up a hill. We knew when spring had arrived because many motorcycles with clearly inadequate mufflers enjoyed climbing the hill as fast as they could.)

These irritations are no longer part of our lives now that we living in a high rise.

When we sold our house, we rented a high-rise condo for 18 months as a practical experiment to determine what was most important to us in choosing a permanent residence. Here’s what we determined we wanted going forward (your results may vary):

  • Easy access to a salt water pool and a well-equipped gym.
  • Convenient, indoor parking.
  • A concierge who controls access to the building 24 hours per day.
  • One phone call to the property manager to make needed repairs.
  • Two bills to pay each month (cable/internet and water/electricity) instead of multiple bills.

However, the most important upside of condo living for us is the ability to lock the front door and to travel for as long as we like. No need to have the lawns cut, the garden watered, the sidewalk shovelled or the house checked every few days for insurance purposes.


Another curious example is the terrace on the condo we are renting. We are on the ninth floor looking up the Humber River valley. The view is completely charming and sitting on the terrace is one of the joys of living here. The down side is that it can be very windy and sitting on the terrace can be like sitting on the side of a mountain in a gale. There have been reports of umbrellas and garden chairs blowing off balconies down into the streets below.

Clearly high-rise living has pros and cons that need to be understood when picking a location and a specific unit.