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Future-proofing condos: Waterfront communities ahead of the tech curb

With "fibre to the suite" tech, the sky is the limit for bandwidth.

Toronto is at the forefront of the world’s smartest cities with developments like Menkes Waterfront Innovation Centre and Daniels’ Waterfront City of The Arts.

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Toronto is at the forefront of the world’s smartest cities with developments like Menkes Waterfront Innovation Centre and Daniels’ Waterfront City of The Arts.

Forward-looking planners, architects and designers know that broadband and information technology have a transformative effect economically and socially on our urban communities. 

Recent major condo communities like Daniels’ Waterfront City of The Arts, and Menkes Waterfront Innovation Centre puts Toronto at the forefront of the world’s smartest cities.

These knowledge-based, live-work communities are geared specifically to the creative and technology industries, relying on a robust Internet infrastructure to enable all manner of commercial, educational and community services. Every condominium unit and commercial building on the waterfront will be connected to a gigabit Internet network from Day 1.

In a world dominated by bandwidth-hungry games and apps, and the popularity of 4K television, with up to four times the resolution of a Blu-ray disc, the future of condos requires an infrastructure that’s able to keep up.

In Toronto, companies like Beanfield Metroconnect and Bell Canada are actively installing “fibre to the suite,” a new trend in which every condo unit gets a single strand of glass fibre that brings all your services into the home.

With this type of technology, the sky is the limit for bandwidth, future-proofing condo buildings for whatever the latest killer apps may be down the road. And developers are now offering condo wiring packages as an option, including built-in cabling for in-wall speakers, video and computer networking, and outlets in every room.

So what could possibly eat up this much bandwidth? A typical family of four may be watching TV simultaneously, recording shows in the background, downloading Internet tunes and surfing the web, all from the same household.

The future of television is moving toward streaming Internet delivery of content, a trend made popular by Netflix, with their on-demand, downloadable movie service. The industry is moving away from cable TV, satellite dishes and DVDs. With services like YouTube, Hulu, Crackle and Zazeen, soon you’ll be getting all your TV from the Internet.

For those who want to deck out their suites with the latest audio-visual technology, there are many options tailored for small-space environments. The most popular components for condos this year include Ultra High Definition 4K televisions, and wireless streaming sound systems that solve the problem of limited cabling options in condos.

Smart-home technology is becoming standard for condos, with software systems that remotely monitor and control all the devices in your home. 

With the evolution of the Internet of Things, über-smart, network-connected appliances will be found in every condo.