Lifestyle clashes are inevitable when people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds live on top of each other in a forced community. When different priorities collide, a siege mentality can set in. In the years since Pantoliano’s case, Toronto has sprouted tens of thousands of new condo units in every shape and size. Retired empty nesters live below boisterous hipsters. People who work night shifts are trying to sleep while parents are getting their toddlers off to daycare. Families with rowdy kids take up residence across the hall from quiet professional couples. And they all unrealistically expect the same degree of freedom and privacy as they’d have in a detached home. Instead, they’re keeping each other up at night, squabbling in hallways, sparring in elevators and petitioning condo boards. The shimmering vertical city has become a breeding ground for lawsuits, bullies and brawlers.
I’ve (generally) been blessed with good condo neighbours above, below, and around me for the entirety of my life. But having spoken to people in my own building who are living beside those who party all the time, cram 6+ people into three bedroom units, and drink and fight in the halls, I know that I’ve just been very fortunate.