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28 12, 2018

10 Of The Best Outdoor Skating Rinks In Toronto

2018-12-28T12:09:14-04:00

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 Toronto2018-12-28T12:09:14-04:00
13 12, 2018

Winter Colour Inspiration

2018-12-13T09:11:08-04:00

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 Inspiration2018-12-13T09:11:08-04:00
23 11, 2018

JUST SOLD! 55 Austin Avenue

2018-11-23T10:39:55-04:00

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 Avenue2018-11-23T10:39:55-04:00
23 11, 2018

Hearn Generating Station Just Sold For 16 Million

2018-11-23T10:36:33-04:00

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 Million2018-11-23T10:36:33-04:00
14 11, 2018

JUST LISTED! 55 Austin Avenue

2018-11-14T17:31:49-04:00

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 Avenue2018-11-14T17:31:49-04:00
8 11, 2018

THE HALLMARK REPORT – 2018 Q3 – TORONTO RESIDENTIAL HOUSING MARKET

2018-11-08T09:43:04-04:00

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.

THE HALLMARK REPORT – 2018 Q3 – TORONTO RESIDENTIAL HOUSING MARKET2018-11-08T09:43:04-04:00
19 10, 2018

5 Things you can do today to increase your home’s value

2018-10-19T10:07:55-04:00

Paint Supplies in a paint tray. 5 ways to increase your homes value

Start Rollin’

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’!

Get Dirty

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.

Garden tools leaning against a wall. 5 ways to increase your homes value
kitchen back splash being updated with white subway tiles. 5 ways to increase your homes value

Swap ‘em Out

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.

Set the Mood

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.

dimmer light switch. 5 ways to increase your homes value

Clean Up, Aisle 5

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.

5 Things you can do today to increase your home’s value2018-10-19T10:07:55-04:00
10 10, 2018

Homegrown marijuana may have a real estate cost

2018-10-10T15:38:18-04:00

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.

Homegrown Marijuana Plant Toronto

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

Homegrown marijuana may have a real estate cost2018-10-10T15:38:18-04:00
3 10, 2018

JUST LISTED! 80 Hastings Avenue – Leslieville

2018-10-03T10:38:44-04:00

Welcome to 80 Hastings Avenue in Leslieville, Toronto.

This stunning detached home is situated on one of the nicest streets in Leslieville.

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.

The kitchen is absolutely incredible with sleek white cabinetry, fabulous stainless hardware, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and a centre island.

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 second floor of 80 Hastings Avenue includes 3 bedrooms and 2 more bathrooms.

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.

The lower level of 80 Hastings Avenue features a large well finished rec room, ideal for relaxing with popcorn and a great movie or sporting event.

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!

further photos & info: 80hastings.com video

list price: $1,249,000

MLS #: E4265867

JUST LISTED! 80 Hastings Avenue – Leslieville2018-10-03T10:38:44-04:00