Original condos were developed as a cheaper form of housing. Instead of having to buy the land and the building, people could own their buildin/unit and share the land cost.
It then makes private ownership possible in areas where land values would ordinarily make this too expensive i.e. living downtown Toronto.
Today, people buy condos as much for 'Lifestyle' as they do for price. Downtown you can buy condos for over one million dollars quite easily.
Condo ownership also eliminates some of the problems of upkeep and maintenance often associated with home ownership, since the cost of maintenance is shared and is usually the responsibility of the Condo Corporation through its property management (Lifestyle). For older people, condos represent an attractive ownerhip alternative when they spend extended periods away from their property.