01/28/2015 19:15 EST | Updated 03/30/2015 05:59 EDT

Liberty Village condo project cancelled, buyers frustrated

Close to 200 would-be condo owners recently learned their future home in Liberty Village has been cancelled and will instead, apparently, be turned into rental units. 

This site was way behind schedule — there's still no actual building — but people who'd paid deposits for the pre-construction condo units say they never suspected the project would be cancelled.

John Wilk paid a $40,000 deposit in 2011. He even got three friends to buy at the same building. Now he has a termination agreement from the developer, Urbancorp. It guarantees his money back and $1,085 in interest.

"I wanted to invest in the booming Toronto condo market and they wasted three years of my life," Wilk told CBC News. "It's a horrible feeling." 

Wilk says he turned down Urbancorp's offer of a spot in another development on Queen Street West.

Urbancorp didn't respond to an interview request.

The site is the second Toronto-area condo project in recent weeks to convert to rentals.

Condo developer Brad Lamb says it's a new trend. 

"For me as a developer, to have to sell 250 apartments before I can put a shovel in the ground, it's a struggle," Lamb told CBC News. 

"I have to find 250 people who want to buy, wait for four years and move in, and that's not easy … it's a lot less stress for a developer to find one buyer who can buy all of them."