Once again, the City of Toronto is racking up impressive world rankings in a number of areas. Recently, Toronto was chosen by KISI (https://bit.ly/2M6R6RH) as one of the top 40 cities in the world for Best Work-Life Balance 2019. The parameters of the study included Work Intensity, Society and Institutions, and City Livability. Toronto came in 13th out of the 40 cities considered.
KISI is a mobile access technology company of keyless security experts.
To conduct this study, they began by choosing in-demand metropolitan areas
around the globe with “sufficient, reliable, and relevant datasets.” The
ranking was based on an assessment of how much time people dedicate to their
job, including commuting and working hours, along with several other considerations
such as equal treatment, health and welfare programs, overall happiness, safety
and access to leisure activities.
It is easy to understand why Toronto ranked high. Our city is a magnet
for immigrants because of the quality of life we enjoy. The purpose of KISI’s
study is to make municipalities and countries aware of how they can enhance the
happiness and productivity of their residents. I agree – they can all take a
lesson from Toronto!
Great news on the new home front! According to the Altus Group statistics
released by BILD in September, a strong new home market in the GTA continued
with total new home sales up 73 per cent from last September, and 6 per cent
above the 10-year average. Condominium sales rose 39 per cent from last
September and were also 6 per cent above the 10-year average. The benchmark (typical
condo) price was up 6.5 per cent over the last 12 months.
This is in keeping with the national trend occurring in home sales across
Canada. The Canadian Real Estate Association reports that in September, sales
in our large metropolitan areas increased 15.5 per cent from one year ago. The
national average price for homes sold in September was up 5.3 per cent from
September 2018. In addition, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s
recently released annual forecast increased its housing starts estimate to
204,300 (4 per cent higher) for 2020 and predicts Toronto home prices will rise
as much as 5 per cent next year.
Overall, the news is good, so if you are on
the fence about purchasing a new condominium, it is time to take the jump and
add a suite (or two or more) to your financial and/or lifestyle portfolios.
Well, 2019 is turning out to be another banner year for Toronto, with
more accolades piling up. The Economist Intelligent Unit’s 2019 Safe Cities
Index recently ranked Toronto as the 6th Safest City in the World. Sponsored
by NEC Corporation and subtitled “Urban security and resilience in an
interconnected world,” the index ranks 60 cities across 57 indicators that
cover security in the categories of digital, health, infrastructure and
personal. Toronto was the only Canadian city, and one of only two North American
cities ranked in the top 10.
The Economist team conducts in-depth research to compile this list each
year. By “urban resilience,” the report measures the ability of cities to
handle and bounce back from disasters and other shocks. The genesis of this
thinking is that as of now, 56 per cent of the earth’s population live in
cities, and that by 2050, that number will rise to 68 per cent. The result is
that urban management plays, and will continue to play, a key role in the
quality of life of most of our population.
Certainly, Toronto’s relative safety compared to the rest of the world
attracts immigrants who appreciate the already high quality of life we enjoy. Many,
if not most, of these newcomers choose new condominiums for their homes of
choice. To find out more about The Economist survey, visit https://safecities.economist.com/safe-cities-index-2019/
The 2016 Census showed that 17 per
cent of all recent immigrants to Canada live in Toronto, and that if that trend
continues, we would see nearly 170,000 immigrants moving into the city by 2020.
According to the Canadian Government, Toronto has the highest per capita
immigration rate in the world, and 43 per cent of all new immigrants to Canada
settle in the Greater Toronto Area. The World Population Review posted that
Toronto has the second-highest percentage of foreign-born residents of all
world cities after Miami. The result is that immigration is at its highest peak
in a generation, and Toronto’s population is inching up toward 3 million,
making it the largest city in Canada by population. As I continually say,
newcomers have to live somewhere.
People who immigrate to Toronto and
the GTA appreciate the high standard of living we enjoy, especially considering
the conditions in some of the other countries in the world. They are also used
to living in, and raising their families in, high-rise apartments. Condominiums
are a natural choice for many newcomers. Add to that the fact that across Toronto
and the GTA, condos represent the most attainable price points in the new home
market, and between immigrants, first-time buyers and investors, are always in
At Baker Real Estate Incorporated,
we know that right out of the gate, our first sales are to investors who know
that buying early in the process gets them the best prices and the most choice
of suites, floors, etc. Of course, not everyone’s life falls in line with a
five-year construction timetable – and the good news is that for those with an
immediate need, there is plenty going on with new construction that is built
and toward the end of the selling phase, as well as resale condos. The upshot
is that there are condos out there for everyone at every stage of life. GO
≈ Comments Off on 1 PHILLIPS SQUARE A REMARKABLE OPPORTUNITY IN MONTREAL
We have stupendous news! In the heart of downtown Montreal, 1 Phillips
Square (1 Square Phillips) will soon be introduced by well-respected developer
Brivia Group. Sales at this highly anticipated residential condominium will
launch later this fall, and we are excited to represent this incredible ownership
opportunity on Sainte Catherine Street, only a block away from McGill
To say this location is a sensation is an understatement! Sainte
Catherine is undergoing an exciting redevelopment with larger sidewalks, WiFi and
smart LED lights. Shopping, dining, entertainment, the business district and
Place des Festivals all lie within walking distance. The nearby McGill Metro
station is part of the massive infrastructure project called REM going on in
Montreal to connect all feeder lines with a light rail-type system. Eaton
Centre is also steps away, and it will soon include a Time Out Market, the massive
Lisbon food and drink hall that will offer versions of some of Montreal’s most
gourmet restaurants. Montreal is one of the few cities in the world where this
Market is being replicated.
At 61 storeys, 1 Phillips Square will be the tallest residential tower in
the city. Its stunning three-phase design is by Menkès Shooner Dagenais
Letourneax (MSDL) Architects in collaboration with Hill West Architects New
York. This 6-corner design means more corner units, and its fabulous exterior
will contribute to the revitalization of the area. Landscaping is by Claude
Cormier et Associés.
With residential suites beginning on the 22nd floor, residents
will have unprecedented views of the mountains, river and cityscape. Luxurious
interiors are by the MSDL team and innédesign, which is well known for
delivering a superior brand. Among the fabulous building amenities will be a
10,000 square-foot indoor/outdoor terrace space at the 50th floor
(the top level of one of the phases). There will also be a scotch lounge, a
juice/smoothie bar, gym, pool, spa, yoga studio, lounge and an automated parcel
Purchasers will be able to select from studios, one- and two-bedroom and
three-bedroom units, penthouses and super penthouses, with the top size being
2,988 square feet. Each suite, even the most compact studio at 380 square feet,
will come with heated bathroom floors and an automated iPad home automation
system. Innovative appointments also include a swing door to integrated closets
in the bedroom, eliminating the need to purchase a dresser – especially nice in
the smaller layouts.
Elegantly modern is a
wonderful way to describe 250 Lawrence at Avenue Road, Graywood Developments’
new residential condominium coming to Toronto’s exclusive Bedford Park area.
Luxury is paramount in this sophisticated neighbourhood that was previously out
of the financial reach of even elite buyers. With prices beginning from
$599,900, 250 Lawrence is now the only obtainable way to own a new condominium
suite with a premier Bedford Park address.
Toronto’s ravine network, 250 Lawrence will sit on a 1.46-acre property and
will include just 178 suites – unheard of in Toronto. The area’s tree-lined
streets create a private natural setting, while the condominium is also mere
moments from shopping and restaurants along Avenue Road and the boutiques on
Yonge. Subway access is nearby as well. The condominium is also close to the
finest schools in the city, including Havergal College and Lawrence Park
exterior designed by renowned Quadrangle Architects will complement the
residence’s surroundings, which will include views over the Douglas Greenbelt.
Choices include one-, two-,
and three-bedroom suite layouts, all with chic appointments. Suites range in
size from 501 to 1,524 square feet, with prices from $599,900 to $2,189,900 – incredible!
If living in the coveted Bedford Park
neighbourhood is your idea of a dream, make it come true! Register NOW at https://250lawrence.com/
≈ Comments Off on U OF T PLACES 18th IN THE WORLD IN TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION RANKING
is great news for Toronto this month on the international education front! The
University of Toronto placed 18th in the Times Higher Education 2020
World University Rankings. Considering the fact that the ranking examines
approximately 1,400 institutions each year, this is incredibly impressive. The
ranking is three points higher than U of T earned last year. It is the highest
ranked in Canada and one of the highest public universities in the world in
several international rankings.
of T and the other universities in Toronto have a lot to do with the ongoing
immigration to our city, as well as the ongoing demand for new condominiums. We
enjoy such a high quality of life, with world-class education, recreational,
cultural, shopping and sports venues in our boundaries, what who can blame
other people in the world wanting to live here?
≈ Comments Off on DISCOVER PRESTIGE PLUS AT 11 | YV
Coming soon from the visionary team of Metropia, RioCan and Capital
Developments, 11 Yorkville Residences will offer the ultimate in luxury living
at a prestigious Toronto address. This 62-storey condominium gets high marks
for everything from world-renowned architecture by award-winning Sweeney &
Co to its amazing location. In fact, 11 Yorkville rates a 100 per cent WalkScore®
and a 97 per cent Transit Score. From this iconic building, you can be at
University of Toronto in eight minutes, Ryerson University in 10, and Union
Station in 14.
This pinnacle residence is surrounded by a new community park and some of
Toronto’s most elite retail venues. From studios to three-bedroom layouts,
purchasers will find exquisite suite designs enhanced by elegant features and finishes.
When Miele appliances are standard in the kitchen, you know you can look
forward to sophisticated living. Kitchen appointments also include a marble
hood enclosure, a marble island with waterfall and integrated dining table, and
custom wine and stemware storage. With ceiling heights at 9’, 9’6” and 10’, the
effect of these beautiful designs will be stunning.
Add to that the impressive roster of building amenities, and you have an
irresistible package for the discerning purchaser. Among these are the Wine Tasting/Piano Lounge, Bordeaux Lounge, Theater,
Business Centre, Kids Recreation Centre, Pet Spa, Outdoor
Zen water feature, Outdoor lounge area with BBQ, indoor-outdoor infinity pool
and hot tub surrounded by a fireplace and black
marble, Fitness Studio, Men’s and Women’s Spa
with steam rooms, and a TV Lounge/Chef’s
are being taken for private appointments to tour the fabulous presentation
centre and model suite. Visit https://bit.ly/2kO5TVv
Life in the vertical community we call a condominium involves meeting
neighbours on a regular basis in hallways, elevators and amenity spaces. In
order to keep things humming along on a positive note, following the “golden
rule” is paramount. Check the code of conduct your board of directors sets out
and abide by the guidelines. These exist to protect
your, and everyone’s health, safety, privacy, comfort and enjoyment. These may
cover restrictions on pets, what you can place on your balcony, conduct
when using the building amenities, etc.
Disagreements can escalate if not addressed, and communicating with
members of the board is critical. They are approachable and can mediate any
negative situations that arise. After decades in the new condominium industry,
I can tell you that it amazes me how well things run in these residences.
Living in a condo can be a lot of fun – and so can serving on the board of
directors. Board members often become friends, even though they typically hail
from a variety of backgrounds including sales, law, administration, landscaping
and the like.
Remember that your happiness and enjoyment in a condominium is really up to you. To find out more about the rights and responsibilities of condominium owners, check out Consumer Protection Ontario’s website on “Owning a Condo” at www.ontario.ca/page/owning-a-condo. And make the “golden rule” your day-to-day rule.
At Baker Real Estate Incorporated, we are
excited about representing Options for Homes’ new condominium, The Humber,
where developer Options for Homes offers the most powerful homeownership
program in Toronto – a Down Payment Loan Program that is payment free until
buyers sell or move!
Options for Homes will boost a down
payment of 5 per cent by 10 or 15 per cent of the purchase price of a new condo
at The Humber to help qualified buyers secure a conventional mortgage.
Purchasers can own homes sooner than expected, and take advantage of lower
monthly carrying costs. They will also enjoy some of the lowest maintenance fees
in Toronto. The loan is available to anyone who has a 5 per cent down payment,
who qualifies for and secures a mortgage from a primary lender, and who plans
to live in their Options home. First-time buyers may be eligible for an
additional $60,000 to boost their down payments!
The opportunity is outstanding. Located at
10 Wilby Crescent in the up-and-coming Weston Village neighbourhood on the
banks of the Humber River, The Humber boasts an idyllic setting with 13 km of
trails and parks at the door, and with local conveniences and restaurants just
a walk away. These include access to GO Transit, UP Express and the future
Crosstown LRT. UP Express gets residents to Union Station in 15 minutes, and
Pearson International Airport in 12.
This pet-friendly modern building features
a social lounge and party room with a kitchen, rooftop terrace and social
lounge on the 7th floor, outdoor barbecue patio, indoor bicycle
storage, plus numerous green features for environmental sustainability
including five electric vehicle spots. The Humber is also Toronto’s first
smoke-less condo, limiting smoking in private suites to vaporizer or
How can Options for Homes do it? The
organization develops high-quality condominiums with building partners, takes
what would typically be the developer’s profit and offers it as down payment
support. Once Options buyers move, sell or pay off their primary mortgage, the
loan is paid back with some appreciation – money that is rolled into Options’ next
development project. Talk about paying it forward!
Baker is proud to be associated with this
mission-driven social-enterprise organization that has operated for 25 years
without government funding! Register for The Humber at https://www.optionsforhomes.ca/the_humber/