Toronto's urban sprawl tells a story about how we used to live: detached house, full yard, and space as paramount.  But with micro condos—condos of 500 square feet or less—making up 11% of the new condos coming onstream in the GTA this year, the shift from car culture to transit-friendly, neighbourhood-centred, community culture is in full swing, as Toronto buyers and renters are embrace the advantages of a clean, compact lifestyle.

Here are four ways choosing condo-sized living can change your day-to-day routines—for the better.

 1) Say goodbye to high heating and utility bills.

Most condo corporations don't meter out heating, water, and hydro costs on top of your monthly rent: They combine those costs, along with your share of any major capital repairs, into a fixed monthly charge called condo fees, which are set by the condo board.  The budgeting benefits are part of what's attracted buyers and renters of all ages to condominium living.  The next big cold snap won't wreck your budget once the heating bill comes in, and fluctuating hydro rates are absorbed and evened out over the year.

On top of that, your share of your building's condo fees is allocated based on the square footage of your unit—anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar per square foot, depending on the age of the building, how many amenities it contains, and how many units are there to share the load.  So a smaller unit means a lighter load when it comes to condo fees—and your entire utilities and heating bill, letting condo owners keep their costs down and condo renters, more often than not, see their entire utilities bill included as part of their monthly rent.

[caption id="attachment_108" align="alignnone" width="700"] Image of small space living[/caption] You love the look, you love the location—but you're not sure about the size. With micro condos—condos under 500 square feet—making up five percent of new Toronto condos for 2014 and minimalist living so trendy whole apartment blogs are devoted to it, renters...