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Yonge + Rich

Yonge + Rich

In one of Toronto’s most exciting locations, Great Gulf offers a unique and multi-faceted opportunity to live close to an amazing array of amenities. Named the 2014 “Project of the Year – High-Rise” by BILD, Great Gulf’s Yonge + Rich community at Yonge and Richmond Streets is steps from Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre, shops, restaurants, Toronto Eaton Centre, Dundas Square, St. Lawrence Market, TIFF Bell Lightbox, access to the PATH System … I could go on and on.

You just have to see the architecture that will set these condominiums apart as something special in the city. Created by acclaimed architect Peter Clewes of architectsAlliance, the exterior has wraparound balconies that are staggered in an almost Aztec pattern in some areas, and on the south side of the community, a pair of four-storey red-brick 19th-century heritage buildings will be restored and incorporated. This marriage of the old and new is incredible. Residents will enter through a breathtaking double-height lobby, and the numerous amenities extend to Movement Haus, a programmed full-service fitness/health and wellness centre.

The Presentation Centre is open for Yonge + Rich, the first of the two distinct condominiums that will inhabit this same location. Yonge + Rich offers chic suites on floors 2 through 33, priced from $280,990. Coming soon, 20 Lombard will feature 150 private residences from the 34th floor up. The layouts of these suites are truly gorgeous, and there is something for everyone.

The selection of suites is great, too, and the prices are fantastic. Remember that suites in the podium often offer more space for better prices, because as you go up in floors, you pay a premium. To check out the beautiful possibilities, visit www.yongeandrich.com or www.baker-re.com.

Twenty-five years ago, who would have thought that Canadian home-buyers would someday be receiving mortgage rates under 3, and even 2 per cent? For those of us who purchased when rates were into the double digits, it’s incredible. I mean, those are the kinds of rates our parents and grandparents had when they bought homes. What’s even more unbelievable is that many experts predict these low rates will be a reality for a long time to come.

I say Bravo to Canada for upholding stringent banking fundamentals that require mortgage insurance if the principal amount of the mortgage results in a loan-to-value ratio greater than 80 per cent. Our Canadian lenders typically keep mortgages on their books rather than selling them, and our conservative underwriting standards have set the bar for half of the world. We are so fortunate to live in a country that avoided the sub-prime debacle our friends south of the border experienced.

Whether you are a first-time buyer, move-up buyer, right-sizing empty-nester or investor, if there was ever a great time to buy a new home or condo, it’s now!

Library District Condos

Totem Condominium

If you are looking for a boutique condominium in Toronto, have you considered Totem Condominium on Dundonald Street? Worsley Urban Partners offers this stunning residence in an ideal location close to Yonge, and just blocks from Bloor-Yorkville, College Park, Queen’s Park, hospital row, U of T and Ryerson University. The condo includes direct access to at the Yonge/Wellesley subway. Imagine being able to catch the subway from your home’s lobby without having to brave the elements! This feature, which is rare in the city, is definitely a big calling card for purchasers.

And that is only part of the charm of this incredible new condominium. This wonderful 18-storey building’s bold exterior by RAW Design is unlike anything Toronto has ever seen before. Taking the concept of a glass tower to a whole new modern level, the architecture involves a series of stacked boxes in the contemporary cubist style. What a head-turner this will be!

Interiors by UNION 31 include gorgeous amenities such as a lounge, bar, private dining room, large outdoor landscaped barbecue terrace, equipped fitness area, plus a rooftop oasis with a dining area, barbecues, loungers and incredible views. The suite selection is outstanding, with many one-of-a-kind designs available. All have luxurious appointments. Act now, while there is still a spectacular selection of suites available. You can find out more at www.TotemCondos.com.

The name Leaside carries a certain cachet in Toronto. One of the city’s most popular districts, Leaside is also one of its most elite, with many wealthy families making this area their home. In addition to plentiful green space and parkland, this well-established neighbourhood is home to excellent schools, easy access to public transportation, amazing recreational opportunities, beautiful parks and fabulous shopping – making it a wonderful place to raise children.

I cannot say enough about the spectacular shopping and restaurants along Bayview Avenue in this area. Among the shops and boutiques, you can find outstanding antiques, as well as a lot of stores that carry children’s items. At Eglinton, the Sunybrook Plaza is a favourite with locals, and Leaside Centre at Laird Drive and Eglinton offers large national retailers. There are also numerous small shops and services on the side streets in the area.

Upper House

Upper House

In addition to recreational facilities, area residents can stay active and fit at several parks. Sunnybrook Park has sports fields, horseback riding stables, picnic spots and more. The Leaside Tennis Club is located in Trace Manes Park, which also features a baseball diamond and children’s playground. Baseball is also a popular pastime at Howard Talbot Park, which has two diamonds. From Leaside, it’s only a 10-minute drive to downtown Toronto.

Within coveted Leaside, Knghtstone Capital Management Inc. has launched sales at The Upper House, an elite boutique residence at 2 Laird Drive. This mid-rise condominium offers luxurious suites with generous terraces, as well as a selection of townhomes. Purchasers range from professional couples to families and empty-nesters, all of whom recognize the many benefits of living in sumptuous surroundings in this prime urban location. You can find out more about the company and The Upper House at K-Cap.com.

Upper House

The Upper House

Realize the luxury of living in a convenient condominium in the midst of Leaside, one of Toronto’s most gorgeous established residential neighbourhoods, at the Upper House. Knightstone Capital Management Inc. has launched sales at this elite boutique residence at 2 Laird Drive. Living up to the prestige of this coveted area, the condo will feature spacious terraces, as well as townhomes.

A rare offering in the city, The Upper House is a terraced mid-rise building that will be graced with wonderful Restoration Hardware furnishings in the lobby and other amenities. To honour its surroundings even further, Knightstone is bringing many “house” elements into the residence. Even the condominium’s advertising program, which is anchored by a birdhouse, is fresh and new with a nod to the concept of “home” and to empty-nesters whose grown children have left the nest. At the well-attended pre-registrant event in the spring, attendees received a birdhouse as a memento of the day.

Knightstone is a privately-owned Toronto-based boutique real estate investment, asset management and development company with an extensive portfolio of real estate properties throughout Ontario. You can find out more about the company and The Upper House at K-Cap.com.

A little searching on the web uncovers a world of micro condo suites and apartments that make our smallest suites in the GTA seem huge.

Last year, Global News Toronto reported on Canada’s smallest condominium suite measuring 297 square feet in Surrey, BC. It was being marketed at the time for $109,000, targeting lower income-earners who wanted to own a home. Forbes.com also had a feature on micro-apartments, stressing the need to pare down possessions and include built-ins in order to make a 250 square-foot space livable.

On the Reality Drama blog online, you will find photos of condos as small as 89 square feet in New York, and 182 square feet in Seattle, Washington. And on another blog by Matt Heafy, I found photos of a 60.5 square foot flat in the Knightsbridge area of west London. Can you believe it?

And don’t you just love the web? Do a search on smallest condominiums in the world, and see for yourself how efficient design and clever storage solutions make these suites live larger than their square footage. Remember, smaller translates to affordability, whether you are a first-time buyer, an empty-nester or an investor. The trend right now, especially with young people, is to minimize possessions. For them, living in an urban environment with public transportation and a wealth of amenities at their doorstep is well worth making the most of whatever square footage they have!

A recent Toronto Life article, “Stuck in Condoland” documents the experiences of several young couples who are raising young children in their condominium suites. This interesting article is based on the “baby boom” in downtown Toronto, with the number of children under the age of 5 rising at record rates. At Baker Real Estate, we are seeing more of this all the time, as immigrant families who are used to apartment-style living choose Toronto as their residential destination.

Toronto is ahead of the rest of the world in so many ways, yet we are relative latecomers to this phenomenon. Raising children in metropolitan centres is the norm in other major cities around the world. The fact that the City of Toronto, local service providers and our condo developers are rising to the challenge to make it easier is a tribute to our ability to adapt to changing demographics. To read the entire article, visit www.torontolife.com/informer/toronto‑real‑estate/2014/06/11/stuck‑in‑condoland/

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