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21 02, 2019

3 Packing Mistakes to Avoid


You’ve chosen your moving company and booked the movers, but there’s one thing that still needs to be done before the big day: packing up your belongings. Before you get too excited and begin stuffing your boxes with all your stuff, make sure that you’re setting yourself up for a smooth and efficient move. Mindless packing can end up taking a lot of otherwise unnecessary time and energy to fix—a combination that could cost you, as you’re most likely paying for the movers by the hour. “Sometimes people will complain and not tip the guys because it took so long,” says Cezar Iordan, owner of Moovers Chicago, “They don’t realize that it took so long because of the simple mistakes they made.”

Red brick wall with a stack of moving boxes on a hand cart being pulled.

So what are these mistakes? Here, Iordan reveals the three most-common packing blunders he sees, as well as the quick fixes to make your moving day as painless as possible.

Packing Books in Large Boxes

Why it’s a problem: We understand—you want to keep your beloved book collection in just one or two boxes. But Iordan says that this strategy slows the process down as huge, heavy boxes are incredibly difficult for movers to lift and carry—not even their trusty moving straps make it easier.

What’s more, Iordan says people often don’t tape these hefty boxes properly—they’ll usually put only one line of tape on the bottom of the box. “They have 100-pound boxes they want us to move and have them in perfect shape when they’re dropped off,” he says. “When you have a huge, large box full of books, the bottom of it will collapse and everything will fall out.”

The fix: Pack books in small boxes and reinforce with multiple strips of tape. While you may have more boxes, it’s easier for the movers, who can carry several smaller boxes with their moving straps.

Not Labeling Your Boxes Clearly or Correctly

Why it’s a problem: Reusing those old boxes from your last move? That’s fine, but make sure that any and all labels from previous moves be removed or covered—multiple labels make it difficult to know exactly in which room it should be placed. “Imagine you’re holding the box and asking a client where they want the box to go, but they don’t know what’s inside so they have to open it up and see what’s inside,” he says. “It will drag the duration of the move out.”

The fix: Cover or cross out all previous labels and put one very clear label on the side of the box, not the top. “Since we use dollies or straps, we carry four or five boxes at a time which makes it impossible to see the top of every box,” Iordan says.

Not Packing Your Fragile Items Properly

Why it’s a problem: “People will put all of their fragile items in a box without any kind of bubble wrap, paper, or peanuts, and expect the items to be in perfect condition after the move,” Ioran says. “That’s just impossible.” The good news? Many professional moving companies (like Moovers) will refuse to move the precious cargo until it’s properly wrapped (but this adds a lot of time onto the actual move).

The fix: Wrap your fragile items with care while packing. “Always, always, always wrap anything made of glass in bubble wrap to ensure that nothing gets damaged,” he says. You’ll thank yourself for putting in the extra time when moving day comes, and the movers will thank you, too.


source: apartment therapy

3 Packing Mistakes to Avoid2019-02-11T16:17:08+00:00
12 02, 2019

JUST SOLD! 51 Cranberry Lane – Aurora


51 Cranberry Lane is located within the prestigious Highland Gate development in Aurora on a premium lot with 65′ frontage. Congratulations to our buyer clients on the purchase of their new home overlooking the park! The south facing backyard oasis offers ultimate privacy with a stunning Gunite pool by Todd Pools and hot tub with waterfall surrounded by a stone deck and patio. The basement retreat features custom oak wainscotting, a wet bar, fireplace (1 of 3!) and unique lighting. Overall, a beautiful home loaded with charm and character, they’re sure to love it for years.

51 Cranberry Lane, Aurora just sold by Thurston Olsen Real Estate Team Toronto

JUST SOLD! 51 Cranberry Lane – Aurora2019-02-12T12:00:05+00:00
29 01, 2019

Thurston Olsen Toronto Real Estate Update Jan-Dec 2018


We hope you’re keeping warm and safe this winter! In an effort to keep you up to date and informed, we have prepared your Toronto Real Estate Update for 2018. Below you will find Toronto sales information for January – December, 2018 compared to 2017.

Do you want the stats for your neighbourhood, or have a question about a specific sale on your street? Reach out and we’ll gladly give you all of the info! info@thurstonolsen.com

Are you curious to know what your home is worth? Give us call at 416.465.7850 and we will be happy to provide you with an opinion of value.

Toronto real estate update 2018 Thurston Olsen Real Estate Team
  • 29,863 homes sold throughout Toronto in 2018
    • 26.5% were detached homes
    • 8.6% were semi-detached homes
    • 54.6% were condos
    • 10.4% were other home types
  • The average price of a detached home decreased 7.1% from 2017 to 2018
  • The average price of a semi-detached home increased 1.0% from 2017 to 2018
  • The average price of a condo increased 8.7% from 2017 to 2018
  • Homes were on the market an average of 20 days in 2018. This increased from 16 in 2017.

Click here to view our Toronto Real Estate Update from Q3 2018.

Thurston Olsen Toronto Real Estate Update Jan-Dec 20182019-02-01T15:59:12+00:00
21 01, 2019

7 things about Airbnb that no one tells you


With rent continuing to rise in Toronto, it’s never been a better time to fill that basement apartment. For those of us who don’t have separate units, there is still opportunity to make a little extra cash by renting out your place while you’re away, or even a spare room or couch through Airbnb. Here’s 7 tips that no one ever tells you about being an Airbnb host from Apartment Therapy:

A living room with a wooden coffee table in the foreground with a stack of books on top. Sofa with throw pillows in the background with a side table and illuminated table lamp.

1. You will have to “neutralize” your pad.

This means clearing out all of the personal items and then some, says Mariana Leung-Weinstein, who has been hosting guests for over a year at Wicked Finch Farm, a property she and her husband inherited in Pawling, New York.

“Most people think they can just open up any home and make it into a rental, but it took more time than I ever imagined,” she says. “You want it to have some personality but not enough to be off-putting or for guests to feel like they are crashing at a stranger’s home.”

For Leung-Weinstein, this meant sweeping the house for anything that could be deemed “creepy.” “Weirdly, that meant surveying any decor items, figurines, or artwork that looked like they had big eyes or strange faces,” she says. “This was one thing I never anticipated.”

2. Plan for tons of paperwork and price wars

This includes scheduling, check-in logistics, shopping for the best homeowners insurance, and organizing your taxes, says Lindsey Smith, who has been a host at this Pittsburgh property since 2014.

“A lot of people don’t want to talk about money when it comes to hosting, but it’s super important,” she says. “It’s pretty frustrating when other hosts drop their prices super-low to be competitive or when people try to haggle a price.”

Prices can—and should fluctuate—but Smith says that many times, it feels like the market devalues how much time and money it costs to operate an Airbnb.

3. Expect for odd things to go missing

“This still surprises me,” Smith says of the sheets, lamps, and games that have disappeared from her Airbnb over the years. “I usually assume it’s because an accident happened and the person is afraid to say anything, but honestly, I’d rather know than to find out later that an item is gone.”

It’s not always intentional. “Forks and spoons disappear the most probably because people take them for snacks,” says Felipe Cabrera, who manages seven properties on Airbnb (four in Peru and three in San Francisco).

This ends up meaning that Cabrera buys a new set of six forks and spoons every three to four months per apartment. But sometimes it’s not just the cheap stuff that get taken: “We also had a nice set of steak knives disappear and learned our lesson not to provide anything fancy in that category,” he says.

4. Prepare to become a repeat towel shopper

Cabrera provides three large towels and three small towels per registered guest.

“This prevents us from getting requests for more towels,” he says. “We use nice cushy towels, the ones that make you feel good in the morning.”

Still, those get worn out very fast since they have to be washed after every guest. Since there are many days when guests check out at 11 a.m. and new guests arrive at 3 p.m., that leaves no time for laundry, so Cabrera needs more available as back-up. On average, Cabrera says he buys three new towels every month for his bigger property (which sleeps eight) and three new towels every two to three months for the small apartments.

“This is the only way we can manage this at scale,” he says.

5. Prepare to paint—and repaint.

If you’re planning on opening a family-friendly Airbnb property, take note of Karen Akpan’s experiences when she rents out her L.A. home.

“We have a big home and our goal is to accommodate families,” says Akpan, who blogs at The Mom Trotter. “This means lots of kids and me constantly painting the walls, especially due to the lingering fingerprints!”

6. Consider toiletry purchasing to be a balancing act

Determining the right amount of toiletries to offer guests has been something of an experiment, says Leung-Weinstein.

“I want to make sure that guests have enough amenities to enjoy throughout their stay, but not leave the bulk of supplies for guests to raid and take home,” she says. “In addition to items like shampoo, conditioner and soap, I like to also supply sheet masks and makeup remover as lots of girlfriend getaways get booked at our property. It has been interesting trying to figure out how many items to offer.”

7. You may have to deal with partiers

Cabrera says he used to have guests using his properties for parties at least once a month—until one very bad guest experience.

“We weren’t around to check on the place and it turned out that this person hosted a birthday party with 50-plus people at our house, much to the chagrin of our neighbors,” he says. “They tried to clean up afterwards but still left the biggest mess we’ve ever seen. Their guests went into private areas of the house, snooped around in our garage and stole a few expensive bottles of alcohol from the cellar.”

Because of this, he had to update his house rules and welcome messages to make it very clear that parties and larger gatherings aren’t permitted.


Still thinking about jumping in? If you live in a condo, be sure to check out the rules and regulations on short term rentals. Owning a freehold property will provide you with more flexibility, but do you due diligence to ensure you’re thoroughly covered and know what you’re getting into.

7 things about Airbnb that no one tells you2019-02-01T16:00:09+00:00
5 01, 2019

How To Furnish Your First Home On A Tight Budget


You’ve just bought your first home, or you’re planning to purchase in the near future. You’re likely on a tight budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit on milk crates or sleep on a mattress on the floor. It just means you have to get creative about where to shop for your fashionable finds. Here are seven great places to find fab furniture on the cheap, leaving some money in the bank for those mortgage payments.

SOURCE: blog.remax.ca

How To Furnish Your First Home On A Tight Budget2019-02-01T16:02:05+00:00
28 12, 2018

10 Of The Best Outdoor Skating Rinks In Toronto


Lace up everyone, it’s time to skate.

This winter, there will be 53 outdoor skating rinks open in the Greater Toronto Area, so regardless of where you live, there’s a rink (or two) nearby.

A number of rinks are already open with more opening their gates soon, offering Torontonians plenty of spots to get their glide on.

Here are 10 of the best outdoor skating rinks to check out this winter:

Nathan Phillips Square
Skating at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto is a quintessential winter activity for anyone who lives or is visiting the city. The crowd, the view of city hall, and the fact it’s located in the heart of the city are just a few of the reasons this rink is one of our favourites. Throw in change rooms, washrooms, a snack shop, and skate rentals and you’ve got everything you need for the perfect winter afternoon.

Status: Now open
Where: 100 Queen Street West

Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink
Queen’s Quay is easily one of the most beautiful parts of the city, and skating with a view of the lake and the city skyline is a great way to spend a winter day. Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink offers DJ Skate Nights on Saturdays, and admission is free.

Status: Now open
Where: 235 Queens Quay West

Greenwood Park
For those interested in playing a game of shinny, look no further than Greenwood Park. This large rink is actually the city’s first covered outdoor ice rink. There is also an ice skating trail located beside the ice for those who want to skate at their own pace.

Status: Now open
Where: 150 Greenwood Park

High Park Skating Rink
Nestled into the heart of High Park, this rink offers a skating experience that feels deeply Canadian. Scrimmage under the sky, surrounded by tall evergreens and snow-covered branches of big maple trees.

Status: Now open
Where: 1873 Bloor Street West

Trinity Bellwoods Park
Toronto’s favourite park is still a hotspot, even during the winter months. The park’s outdoor rink is great for a game of pick-up puck or for those looking to unwind with an evening skate. Just make sure to check the rink’s info page to see what days feature public skating or hockey.

Status: Now open
Where: 790 Queen Street West

Hodgson Public School Grounds
There are two skating pads at this spot; one for shinny and one for leisurely skating. A neighbourhood favourite, this is a winter-hub for the community.

Status: Now open
Where: 276 Davisville Avenue

Regent Park South
This Corktown rink is equipped with great overhead lights for those looking to end their day with an evening skate. There’s both public skating and pickup for all skill levels with skate times available for beginners, youth, and adults.

Status: Now open
Where: 480 Shuter Street

Mel Lastman Square
For those living in the North York area who don’t want to trek all the way downtown to get their skate on, Mel Lastman Square is the perfect outdoor alternative. Keep in mind that the rink is unsupervised so skaters will need to bring their own skates.

Status: Now open
Where: 5100 Yonge Street

Ryerson Community Rink
The outdoor Ryerson Rink is tucked away from the hustle of the city and is the perfect place to play a late night game of shinny or go for a leisure skate with friends. Note that the rink is unsupervised so you’ll be skating at your own risk.

Status: Set to open December 1
Where: 50 Gould Street

Ontario Place Skating Rink
Ontario Place is home to a synthetic skating rink. Just imagine getting to skate along the iconic Cinesphere as you take in the picturesque lake and city skyline views.

Status: Now open
Where: 955 Lake Shore Blvd West

SOURCE: DailyHive.com

10 Of The Best Outdoor Skating Rinks In Toronto2018-12-28T12:09:14+00:00
13 12, 2018

Winter Colour Inspiration


Sherwin-Williams Paint Palette

Greys and cool whites continue to predominate in our palette for Winter 2018, but sparked with accents of deep, rich hues like gold, teal and darkest blue. Try using these confident, sophisticated colours leavened with lots of white or grey, as we did with our Lush Velvet Quilt in Golden Oaks mixed with a white jacquard duvet, grey channel-tufted headboard and barely-grey Reflection on walls. Craving a bolder pop of colour? Try Real Red or Goldfinch as an accent colour on the back of bookshelves, highlighting a front door, or in a smaller or lesser-used room like a foyer, powder room, dining room or library. Not dying to go that deep? We’re loving Mellow Coral as a flattering, slightly peachier update of millennial pink.



Tips for choosing colours like a pro:

  • Use different shades of the same colour to create depth. Instead of standard white, try painting trim a deeper shade of the wall colour, or use the same hue in a high-gloss finish.
  • Try a satin finish on walls instead of the typical flat finish paint. It gives darker or richer colours more depth, looks more polished, and— bonus points—is easier to clean.
  • In a small, dark room, don’t assume you have to go with white or light colours. A darker hue can visually enlarge the space because it makes corners disappear and furnishings pop.

SOURCE: westelm.ca

Winter Colour Inspiration2018-12-13T09:11:08+00:00
23 11, 2018

JUST SOLD! 55 Austin Avenue


Congratulations to our clients who just sold their wonderful Victorian rowhouse in Leslieville. For more information on this property, please visit www.55Austin.com or give us a call!

JUST SOLD! 55 Austin Avenue2018-11-23T10:39:55+00:00
23 11, 2018

Hearn Generating Station Just Sold For 16 Million


It was only two summers ago that Toronto’s long-abandoned R.L. Hearn Generating Station burst back into life for the 10th anniversary of Luminato.

Thousands flocked to the decommissioned power plant, which was shut down in 1983, for 10 days of wild art installations and performances in a specially built 1,200-seat shipping container theatre.

Those lucky enough to score tickets got to dine in the generator’s old control room, which had been transformed into one of the coolest French restaurants Toronto had ever seen for the occasion.

Simply stepping into the massive, hollowed out heritage building — an iconic fixture along the skyline Toronto’s eastern waterfront — was enough to thrill most people, and for good reason.

The Hearn is spectacular, inside and out, and many in the city had hoped to see more huge-scale, public events staged there (you know, after the building was brought up to meet the safety standards of Toronto Fire Services).

No dice.

The provincially-owned Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced this week that has sold sold the entire site, which produced electricity from 1951 to 1983, to Studios of America Corporation for $16 million.

Studios of America, which had been leasing the property from OPG since 2002, maintains the Unwin Avenue property as an “enclosed feature film and TV production complex.”

Mayor John Tory and Toronto city councillor Paula Fletcher both told The Star on Thursday that they were not consulted on the sale, or even aware that it was happening.

“This is a sad day for the waterfront,” said Fletcher, who had hoped to redevelop the site for public use.

“This is an iconic landmark building that should remain in public hands and be part of our new waterfront, and, instead, it has been sold for a song.”

So why the fire-sale price?

If you ask OPG, it’s at least in part due to the former coal-burning site’s status as a heavily contaminated industrial brownfield (though other, more nefarious theories are floating about).

OPG pokesperson Neal Kelly told the star that conditions of the sale included Studios of America not being able put residential or other “sensitive uses” on the site within 15 years. The company is also forbidden from reselling the Hearn within three years.

Disappointed as the city may be, its possible that Studios of America will still rent the space out for special occasions.

“The studio lot is located on a strategic 27.6-acre parcel of Toronto waterfront land with direct multi-modal road, rail and water access,” reads President Paul Vaughan’s Linkedin profile in a description of the company.

“Accommodations originally intended for film production have become popular for staging indoor and outdoor special events.”
Source: BlogTO
Lead Photo: Hector Vasquez
Additional Photos: Ford Thurston

Hearn Generating Station Just Sold For 16 Million2018-11-23T10:36:33+00:00
14 11, 2018

JUST LISTED! 55 Austin Avenue


Built in 1895, this Victorian home has so much to offer. The original brick front exterior and nicely landscaped front yard offer fantastic curb appeal. The indoor front porch is filled with natural light and is a great place to enjoy your morning coffee.

The main floor is spacious with an open concept floor plan, new flooring, new fixtures, pot lights and large windows. The kitchen features a centre island and plenty of cabinetry as well as two skylights and a layout that’s perfect for entertaining. There is also a walk out to the large back deck and yard – ideal for Summer barbeques.

The second level features two spacious bedrooms both with hardwood floors, pot lights, new fixtures and large windows.

The third level is a wonderful space featuring another large bedroom with a skylight, a walk in closet and even enough room for a home office or sitting area.

The lower level has been recently updated with a modern floating staircase, new flooring and a newly renovated washroom. There is also a laundry area and a separate room for storage.

The impressive backyard is fully fenced in and features a large deck as well as a lovely garden. There is also potential for the convenience of parking off the laneway by removing or repositioning the back fence.

This home is ideally situated on a quiet one-way street in the sought after neighbourhood of Leslieville. A short walk gets you down to all of the fantastic shops, patios and restaurants along Queen Street East. You can also head up to Gerrard Street East and enjoy all of the wonderful new bars and restaurants that have opened up in recent years.

For more info, please visit www.55Austin.com or give us a call at 416.465.7850

JUST LISTED! 55 Austin Avenue2018-11-14T17:31:49+00:00