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!
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!
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).
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.”
Lead Photo: Hector Vasquez
Additional Photos: Ford Thurston
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
The housing market in Toronto has been stabilizing over the course of the third quarter, following a sharp drop in the first two quarters after the implementation of various government regulations. Gradual improvements in prices since the second quarter with increased sales activities in suburbs, fall in Toronto and inventory increase in both areas. The housing market is becoming TIGHTER as the number of NEW (not re-list) listings across the GTA dropped in September, while home sale prices climbed compared with a year ago.
The annual rate of sales growth has outpaced the annual rate of NEW listings growth, creating a market that was tighter than the previous year 3rd quarter with less than 3 months of inventory in the GTA and less than 2 months of available supply in Toronto.
The average selling price across all housing types, from detached homes to condos, went up 2.9% to $796,786. The average detached dwelling price is at $1.34 million in the city of Toronto, a decline of 1.4%. Condo prices continued to rise, up 10% in the GTA and an 11% gain in the average selling price inside Toronto’s boundaries.
Overall the City of Toronto maintained a healthy growth of 5.2% in the third quarter while almost every suburb region with the exception of Mississauga, had price declines compared to 4 the same period last year.
One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated. When selecting paint colours, keep in mind that light neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get rollin’!
The power of curb appeal is real. Keep your lawn looking good with regular mowing and clean-cut edging. Low-maintenance landscaping saves you money now and adds value when you sell. It’s no question that shrubs and colourful plants will add curb appeal to any home, but when shopping at your local garden center, make sure that you “think green.” Purchase plants that are native to our region or plants that are drought-tolerant; these require less water and maintenance, which means more savings to you and more green in your wallet.
Kitchen and washroom renovations can easily cost thousands, so focus on the smaller, more manageable projects. Consider painting your old cabinetry to instantly brighten the space. Replacing the hardware will also make your cabinets look newer and more modern. The backsplash is another design feature that resonates with buyers. When choosing tile, stick with neutral tones and an unfussy design — white subway tile is classic for a reason.
Nothing kills a mood faster than bad lighting, and if you want to show your home in the best light you will have to do exactly that! A quick and affordable fix is to install light-control dimmers on switches. Not only does this add drama and ambiance in areas such as the dining room and bedrooms, it is also good for energy efficiency. Lighting is particularly important in the bathroom, where it should be warm and bright. Keep lighting even around mirrors to prevent unwanted shadows when you are shaving or applying makeup.
It seems obvious, but one of the most important things you can do to boost the value of your home is to clean it up. Remember that potential buyers want to see a blank canvas and picture themselves in it. Do a hardcore decluttering session and divide everything you truly don’t need or use into “donate,” “toss” and “sell” piles. With your “sell” items, throw a yard sale or post items on Kijiji to make some extra cash to fund your home improvement projects.
Homegrown marijuana may seem like a good idea with legalization throughout Canada happening on October 17, 2018. Yes, it will be legal, but this doesn’t come without risk. Read on to see what the Globe and Mail has to say.
The national organization representing home appraisers is warning that growing cannabis at home will soon be legal, but it still comes with a risk.
The new law legalizing cannabis includes allowing Canadians to grow a maximum of four plants in their homes. Keith Lancastle, chief executive of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC), is calling on the federal government to help educate homeowners on what he calls the dangers of growing at home.
“The challenge with cultivation of homegrown marijuana, is the ability of the plants themselves to get so large given the right amount of light and moisture,” Mr. Lancastle said. The impact of four cannabis plants is more akin to setting up a greenhouse for hothouse tomatoes, he says, than simply having four sizable houseplants. “Humidity is a byproduct of normal growth and it could well become an issue for the property. You either deal with moisture damage or potentially mould. If you had mould that ran amok … you hear the horror stories of people having to take houses right down to the studs and starting over again [for remediation] – although that would be an extreme case.”
Realtors, insurers, rental property owners and even some provinces have sounded off on the risks of homegrown marijuana in a residential spaces. Some have pressed for outright bans on the practice.
Alberta’s Boardwalk Communities, one of the province’s largest corporate landlords, recently banned not just growing but also smoking and even eating cannabis products in its apartments. The provinces of Manitoba and Quebec have included in their cannabis legislation provincial offences that would fine anyone who attempts to grow at home. The federal Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould, has said the Liberal government would not take those provinces to court over their home-growing regulations, but said she couldn’t do anything about a private citizen choosing to contest those laws.
In Ontario, the cannabis bill introduced by the Progressive Conservative government focused on privatizing cannabis retailers, but it left aside the issue of homegrown marijuana.
“Our point of view is, let’s hit the pause button on legalizing grow-at-home operations until we have some foundational elements in place,” said Tim Hudak, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association and a former leader of the Ontario PC Party. Under Mr. Hudak, OREA has been lobbying hard to urge different levels of government to slow down the expansion of home cultivation until things such as home-inspector retraining and municipal registries for illegal grow operations can be increased.
He was unable to persuade the federal government to block tenants or owners in multi-residential buildings from home cultivation, but he hopes the Ontario government will join Manitoba and Quebec in an outright ban.
“There’s still a lack of clarity around how mortgages and insurance are going to work if you choose to grow marijuana in your home,” Mr. Hudak said. “And you can bet your bottom dollar that one of the first questions home buyers are going to ask, going forward, is if marijuana was grown in the home.”
Mr. Hudak also pointed to polling data from Nanos Research, which in a September, 2017, survey of 500 Ontarians found 60 per cent of respondents were “concerned” with the potential for property damage related to home-grown cannabis.
Mr. Lancastle says appraisers will have to tread a fine line in dealing with homes where cannabis is in cultivation. Appraisers are barred from sharing personal information about a homeowner discovered during a home inspection.
“The mere presence of marijuana could be considered private information and, therefore, should not be disclosed,” Mr. Lancastle said, citing directives the AIC has received from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. There is one exception: “If there’s a detrimental condition – mould, water damage, so on and so forth – that is attributable to marijuana, it is acceptable to take a picture.”
One analogue for the kinds of personal or sensitive conditions appraisers would be able to report on might be a room with stripper poles or other acrobatic equipment.
“We’ve had situations where people have gone in and had trapezes and harnesses in the room and all sorts of toys,” said Mr. Lancastle. “If there’s a trapeze hanging from a joist and it’s clear it has caused buckling in the roof, that becomes something that’s a measurable adverse impact on the value, because there’s a cost associated with returning it to marketable condition.”
source: globe and mail
Welcome to 80 Hastings Avenue in Leslieville, Toronto.
The fantastic curb appeal is truly enhanced by the covered porch which features modern glass railings, pot lights and classic black and grey trims.
Upon entering 80 Hastings Avenue, you immediately connect with the open concept living space and how perfect it is for entertaining guests. Large windows with beautiful California shutters allow abundant natural light and the expanse of stylish engineered hardwood flooring creates a wonderful flow throughout the home.
There is a custom built workspace and wine rack as well as a walkout to the back deck and yard – ideal for summer barbeques. And not to be missed is the convenience of a nicely appointed powder room.
The same impressive engineered hardwood continues throughout this level as do the California shutters. Two of the bedrooms share the convenience of having access to a delightful and spacious 4 piece bath.
The master bedroom is beautiful with his and her closets, a large bay window and a stunning master ensuite appointed with a double sink vanity, stylish cabinetry and a large shower with a glass enclosure.
There is also plenty of space for the kids to play. Down the hall is another room which could be used as a home office or a guest bedroom to suit your needs.
The backyard is gorgeous with trendy horizontal fencing, a generous deck and professionally landscaped gardens with impressive stonework. There is also 2 car parking with easy access off the laneway.
80 Hastings Avenue is just steps from fantastic schools, parks, shops, restaurants and public transit, there is so much to love about this wonderful family neighbourhood.
Move in and enjoy everything that this home and neighbourhood have to offer!
list price: $1,249,000
MLS #: E4265867
Not everyone has the foresight to start saving for a down payment from the time you’re handed your very first pay cheque. Nor does everyone have parents who are able to, or willing to help out with the lofty sum required to purchase your first home in Toronto. This is when co-ownership in Toronto starts to look like a great idea – and it can be! If you’re thinking about buying a home, have a look at our home buying guidelines. Here’s what The Globe and Mail has to say about two friends who purchased a home together in Niagara Falls:
But they aren’t quite roommates: Ms. Beattie is co-owning the home with a long-time friend and renting out their basement. Thanks to the living situation, she ends up paying $500 a month and gets much more space than her one-bedroom apartment in Toronto, which cost five times as much.
Co-owning is an idea that is starting to catch on as housing prices get further out of reach for new home buyers. Real estate agents and mortgage lenders say they’re seeing more people interested in the idea of splitting a mortgage among two or more people – but they do say that the living arrangement doesn’t work for everybody.
For Ms. Beattie, 34, and co-owner Dawn Vanier, 35, the idea came up while the two were thinking of the best way to buy a home in Niagara Falls, which is itself having a price uptick.
“What you can afford on your own is not a lot,” said Ms. Beattie, who added that Ms. Vanier was looking at moving from a massive 3,500-square-foot house down to a little townhome after a recent separation from her partner.
“We were talking about it over wine one night, and I said ‘what if we bought something together?’”
Today, the two have their own separate mortgages on the house, meaning that if one decides to sell, they can do so without financially penalizing the other. They live almost exactly like roommates, except that the house is large enough that the two always have their own space when they need it.
“We are roommates – when I refer to her, I say ‘oh my roommate said this or my roommate does that,’” Ms. Beattie said. “All it is, is you have to have much more serious conversations at times.”
Those serious conversations that helped develop their current living situation were aided by the fact that there were already mortgage sellers with experience in co-owning around them.
Meridian Credit Union Ltd., a financial organization that operates in Ontario, even has a mortgage option specifically tailored to co-owning. The company always offered creative mortgages, but they only started branding it as a co-owning mortgage in 2017 when they started seeing increased demand for it.
Jason Davenport, a branch manager at Meridian’s Greektown location in Toronto, said hardly a month goes by where he’s not organizing some sort of creative mortgage for clients. The unique living situations go on and on: two four-person families living together, parents helping their son or daughter buy a home, or just two friends going in on a house together. Sometimes the co-owners split a mortgage evenly, while other times co-owners allocate a part of the house to each owner and set the value of each section.
“This kind of living situation is not uncommon at all now,” said Mr. Davenport, who added that some clients have even asked if more than four people can split a home.
“Ultimately, in a high housing economy, we have to be creative to get access to these spaces.”
He’s been setting up co-owning mortgages for three years, and hasn’t seen any go sour yet. But he does say that a good co-owning situation needs to be preceded by probing conversations that can sometimes be uncomfortable.
“When you put it out, you say ‘this is going to be an awkward conversation for a second,’” said Mr. Davenport, who adds that co-owners need to share a lot: their personal financial information, their thoughts on the value of each part of the home, their plans for the future and what will happen when one person decides to sell.
“For a lack of a better term, it’s a prenuptial on what’s going to happen.”
That’s what Lesli Gaynor, a real estate agent who specifically caters to co-owners, says.
“The one thing that’s true for anything shared is a notion of being able to be a little more fluid and little more flexible,” said Ms. Gaynor, who has co-owned a home with a friend in the past.
“You have to be able to say, ‘we’ve got a difficult conversation to have, but we’re invested in having it.’”
The payoff is immense when people find the right fit and have those fundamental conversations, she says. She’s seen seniors who are able to share a caregiver and have a better quality of life with more people around. She’s also helped two single mothers who were able to split daily errands such as picking up the kids from school.
Today, she runs a series of “speed-dating” co-owning events in Toronto where people come out and meet others who are looking for a similar shared living situation. It’s more of a lighthearted exercise aimed at helping people realize their own expectations in a co-owning situation, and Ms. Gaynor says more than 50 people showed up to the first event.
Ms. Gaynor says she’s seen a noticeable increase in interest to co-own, and adds that more people are coming to her with realistic plans in place.
Back in Niagara Falls though, Ms Beattie and Ms. Vanier are the only co-owners that they know of. It wasn’t until their story about co-owning was published in a local newspaper that people in their neighbourhood warmed up to them.
“People thought we were real strange when we told them what we were going to do,” Ms. Beattie says with a laugh.
“The neighbours when we moved in – you know two women, a third in the basement … they probably were like, what is going on here,” said Ms. Beattie, who said that the article helped clear things up.
“They’ve all come up to us after the article and said, ‘oh! So this is the situation.’”
There were some sacrifices that Ms. Beattie had to make as well. The hardest part is that she still works in Toronto a couple days a week, and the commute is not the greatest. But over all, the money saved means that they were able to renovate their home and reap the benefits of a large beautiful house. And because their monthly mortgage payment is so low, they’re able to enjoy everything about living in the Niagara region.
“We both drive around in Mercedes’, we go to wineries every weekend, we go out, it’s a nice life,” Ms. Beattie said.
“It’s kind of laughable that people want to interview me about something so simple. It works for us – it might not work for everyone, but I think you’ll see more of it in the future.”
source: globe and mail
If you’ve been waiting to buy a home, hoping for a Toronto house price crash, you could be waiting forever. We’re here to help navigate this tricky market, reach out! Here’s what a recent Huffington Post article has to say:
The modest price gains seen in Toronto and Vancouver in August are a “sign of things to come,” RBC senior economist Robert Hogue wrote in a client note.
After year-on-year declines for much of 2018, home sales in Toronto started rising again this summer. They were up 8.5 per cent in August, compared to the same month a year earlier, according to statistics released last week by the Toronto Real Estate Board.
After some downward pressure, prices appear to have stabilized. The average selling price for all housing types in Greater Toronto sat at $765,270 in August, up 4.7 per cent in a year.
“In fact, several of them came to that realization earlier this summer (in light of steady month-to-month increases over the spring) and jumped back into the market.”
While that may be welcome news to homeowners worrying that the growth in the value of their homes has come to a standstill, it’s a disappointment to the half of Toronto residents who — in a recent Angus Reid poll — said they’d like to see house prices fall.
More than a quarter said they’d like to see an outright price crash, of 30 per cent or more. A majority of renters said they are considering leaving the citybecause of housing costs. That’s a sign of the frustration potential homebuyers are feeling in a market where house prices have long grown faster than incomes.
But though they hope for a correction, few poll respondents hold out hope it will actually happen. Sixty-two per cent agreed that government policy will not be able to make Toronto housing affordable “no matter what.”
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported a surprise decline in the number of new homes starting construction in August. The annualized rate of construction fell to just under 201,000 housing units, down from nearly 206,000 in July, according to data released Tuesday. Economists had been predicting a pick-up to around 210,000.
The largest pull-back was in Ontario, while British Columbia has seen a mild rebound, though construction is still below the frenzied pace of 2016 or 2017.
Economists expressed mixed views on the construction slowdown, with some saying the pace of construction is just returning to more sustainable levels from excessive heights.
“Despite two monthly declines, robust levels of residential construction continue in Canada, with a 27-year high for population growth supporting the strength,” Bank of Montreal senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in a client note.
“While not all regions of the country have experienced the same price pressures as Toronto and Vancouver, many are seeing heightened building activity.”
But CIBC economist Royce Mendes suggested we can expect to see a somewhat slower housing market ahead.
“A more sluggish pace to homebuilding is in line with our expectation that higher interest rates and tighter lending standards turn this former stalwart of growth into a drag on the economy,” Mendes wrote in a client note Tuesday.
keep reading: toronto housing market has stabilized
source: huffington post