People aren’t 'happy' with Pharrell Williams’ new condos in Midtown

By: Zandile Chiwanza on November 6, 2019

Grammy-award winning artist Pharrell Williams, aka Pharrell, is launching a new condo project in Toronto, but amid record rent prices and problems like renovictions, some people aren’t “happy”.

Pharrell worked alongside Reserve Properties, Westdale Properties, IBI Group, and U31 to help design the condo, his first ever in Toronto. The two-tower project called untitled will be located at 110 Broadway Ave., in Midtown and will incorporate one of his songs into the architectural design. 

Pharell made the announcement in a brief video message at a press conference in Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square, where an image of his was cast on a giant screen in the square.

"It's untitled because we wanted to leave space for you," Pharell said.

In a sign of the housing climate in Toronto though, Williams was immediately hit with questions about whether the project would do anything to alleviate the city’s housing problems.

For example, one user on Twitter asked “wondering what the price point is on these? We still *really* need more affordable housing options in #Toronto. 

Housing affordability concerns in the GTA

Pharrell isn’t the only one facing heat about the lack of affordable housing. Development posters informing neighbourhoods of new condo projects in Toronto are routinely defaced and advertising boards promoting new condos have been found dumped in the city’s ravines

"The opportunity to apply my ideas and viewpoint to the new medium of physical structures has been amazing," added Pharrell in a press release detailing his involvement in the project.

"Everyone at the table had a collective willingness to be open, to be pushed, to be prodded and poked, to get to that uncomfortable place of question mark, and to find out what was on the other side. The result is untitled and I'm very grateful and appreciative to have been a part of the process."

Earlier this year we reported average home prices in Canada would need to drop by $223,000 in order for a millennial with an average salary to find it affordable. It's no surprise that in a housing market like Toronto's the news of a celebrity condo project is not being met with much enthusiasm. 

On top of affordability concerns, homebuyers have a lot more to consider when buying pre-construction based on how many condo projects have been cancelled in the GTA this year alone. 

No word on whether the project will feature affordable units but the design team promised to deliver a “new vision for residential living”. Sales for untitled are set to launch in early 2020.