This is the era of smart homes, where controlling all of your home appliances and systems simultaneously from one remote device is a reality. Your thermostat, lights, doorbell, window blinds, entertainment system, cooking devices, locks, and even certain flower pots, can all be connected to your smart phone. This state of the art technology has led to a growing number of households embracing smarter lifestyle choices right here in Toronto.
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Canada’s largest urban metropolis has embraced the future with an increasing number of micro-unit condos built, smart home exhibitions held and product demonstrations had. In fact, a recent study commissioned by TELUS shows that over one-third of Canadians already own at least one smart device and that number is expected to double within a few years.
A testament to the rising popularity reveals 43% of Canadians would be willing to pay more for a home outfitted with the latest smart technology1 .
According to a study by Urbanation, the number of condos with micro-size units in the Toronto market has risen to 11% up from just 5% one year previous2 . As the living spaces shrink in size, they expand in intelligence. Smart devices and multi-functional furniture transform space in an instant.
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Smart House Condos
The Smart House is Toronto’s first official micro condo building. The sold-out 25-story building, currently under construction, will feature all the luxury of downtown living in a tiny size format with 196 residences of varying sizes from 300 sq. ft. and up. A custom mobile app will give residents convenient controls.
- Energy-efficient windows and appliances
- Remotely control your lighting, interior temperature and ventilation, blinds, in-suite alarm and music system
- Smart furniture with transformable multi-functional features
- Pre-furnished by II BY IV DESIGN
- Bicycle parking
Located: 227 Queen St W, Toronto
This 66-story construction is a pairing of cutting edge automation with luxury residences to create a truly digital home. The developer, Canderel Residential, is teaming up with Samsung Electronics to make roughly 25 penthouse units with built-in smart-home services and smart-service upgrades available for the remaining units3 .
- Front-door lock
- Surveillance camera
- Temperature control
- Lighting control
- Additional items may include connection to entertainment system, blinds, and home appliances
Located: 717 Bay St, Toronto
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Stores and retail
The most common smart home devices owned by Canadians are smart TVs (65%) and thermostats (36%) but it doesn’t end there4 . The leading home electronics retailer, Best Buy, has scores of products available in their Smart Home section, including smart locks, lights, watches, ovens, sensors, cameras, security systems, and much more.
If you want to see smart tech in action check out the TELUS Connected Experience Store at the Eaton Centre, where you can try out the latest gadgets. With experts on-hand to show the upwards of 1000 curated products from Nest, Phillips, August, and more5 .
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Living smart is not only about new technologies, it’s also about intelligent design. While the downtown core of Toronto is growing upwards with stacked and packed micro units, spacing becomes an organizational challenge.
A store with two locations in Toronto, named NEAT, tackles this brilliantly by selling a host of multi-functional products to organize your tight living space with style.
The future is now
The City of Toronto has become a global epicentre of technological innovation. The popular ridesharing app, Uber, announced it’s opening an artificial intelligence research lab in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District to experiment with self-driving cars6 .
A recent proposal by Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation division of Alphabet Inc., seeks to develop a 12-acre zone that would incorporate all elements of high-tech smart living that could revitalize downtown Toronto’s waterfront district7 .
Toronto is also home to some of the world’s leading AI researchers and foreign investors who are increasingly buying up local AI startups8 . Big names like Google, GE, Apple, Microsoft, Uber, and Elon Musk’s non-profit OpenAI initiative are getting involved.
Image courtesy of Danieletdaniel.ca
People want to live greener and safer lives. They yearn for the peace of mind that comes with autonomous technology. The contentment in the idea that you can run your home without physically being there. Toronto is the place to live for those smart urban technology-inclined residents.
For those already living in the Greater Toronto Area, know you’re in the right city. Now is the time to get smart tech for your home, and at Signature Electric we are here to help with any upgrades and/or installations you might be considering.
Stay tuned to The Electric Blog for all the latest smart lifestyles and urban innovations.