05/07/2014 03:14 EDT | Updated 05/07/2014 03:59 EDT

Toronto's Smart House Micro-Condo Wins Design Awards

Smart House Toronto

The age of micro-condos is dawning on Toronto, and the city’s developer community likes what it sees.

Smart House Toronto, the city’s first development to feature micro-condos, won two prizes at last weekend's BILD Awards for the real estate industry, including best design under 750 square feet.

With suites starting at 300 square feet, the units seem preposterously small at first blush, but developers Malibu Investments and Urban Capital used innovative design solutions to make the space work.

Suites feature multipurpose furniture like desks that convert into beds, and retractable countertops.

Check out what happens to this “smart kitchen” when you close all the drawers and cabinets:

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Photo gallery Smart House See Gallery

Smart House’s developers make it clear who they’re targeting with this development: The young (and presumably childless) urban crowd.

A life of no clutter. No excess. A place to live for all those who love a clean and streamlined life and the notion of small but well thought-out space. People like you — the committed city lover, the weekday city dweller, the corporate drop-in — who want to move in and start living from the get-go.

And even if you aren’t necessarily a “committed city lover,” with Toronto housing prices persistently growing faster than wages and inflation, you may still find yourself living in a micro-condo.

The price of a stand-alone home in the city of Toronto exceeded $1 million last month, according to data from Realnet. Data from the real estate board earlier this week didn’t have it quite hitting the million-dollar mark, but did show a whopping 13-per-cent increase in single-family home prices.

Condo prices are also rising, but with large amounts of new units coming online around Toronto, condos haven’t been spiking in price like single-family homes. All the same, the average condo in Toronto will now run you more than $384,000.

In that context, the $229,000 starting price on a Smart House micro-condo seems like a bargain. And perhaps that’s what all that talk about “city living” is meant to obscure: That these tiny condos are basically all many homebuyers can afford anymore.