May 7 | Posted by Barry Cohen

While it’s still true that the top criteria for real estate remains “location-location-location” the new generation of dwellings in the GTA will have an added feature that was unheard of – even 2 years ago – built-in unlimited, affordable ultra-high speed internet service.

Beanfield Metroconnect is the mastermind small local business behind the 500 megabit-per-second unlimited, symmetrical Internet where downloading and uploading are equally fast and the fibre-optic network that will hook up residents to neighbourhood-wide Wi-Fi, IPTV and a community portal. Even as this network is being installed, it’s already winning accolades, and last year earned the City of Toronto the title of the “World’s No 1 Intelligent Community of the Year” as chosen by the Intelligent Community Forum in New York.  Part of winning this multi-million dollar contract stated that Beanfield has a mandate to ensure that Waterfront Toronto remains an IT powerhouse and must keep Toronto within the top seven intelligent communities in the world for the duration of the 10 year contract.

The network is already in place at River City Tower and at the Pan Am Games Athletes Village, which will be converted to 810 condo units after the Games.  It is scheduled to be a feature at the new 44 storey Monde condo adjacent to Sherbourne Common Park in East Bayfront, as well as Tridel’s Aqualina and Aquavista at Bayside.  New waterfront developments like East Bayfront and West Don Lands will also feature this Internet package at a cost of only $60 a month guaranteed for the next 10 years.

Besides being dubbed as an “intelligent community” and the first of its kind in Canada these new condo projects also conform to the location criteria being close to the harbour, downtown, the Distillery District and Corktown Common the trailhead to the Evergreen Brickworks and the Don Valley trail system.  Talk about having it all.

As more and more people switch from landlines to mobile phones and replace cable TV with Internet based media this type of extensive network will become more and more appealing. It also works in nicely with the growing trend of people working from home that depend on large volumes of data being delivered quickly and reliably and this network with no data cap or restrictions on how much bandwidth you can use will provide precisely that.  Needless to say, it will also be a utopia for gamers.

I guess it’s no wonder that developers are using this network as a marketing feature, but in reality it is only one of the many reasons Toronto’s new waterfront neighbourhoods are attracting so much attention.