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 United Building by Davpart Inc. ushers in a whole new
lifestyle at University Avenue and Dundas Street West in Toronto. This
mixed-use re-envisioning of the historic Maclean Publishing/Maclean Hunter
building now includes a new collection of suites, plus a hot new incentive
program – 10 per cent down and a three-year leaseback program.
What a spectacular opportunity for anyone considering
living in this new landmark on Toronto’s cityscape! ERA Architects and B+H
Architects have created a striking exterior featuring the restored heritage
structure housing office and retail at the base, with a new contemporary
residential tower rising above it (rising to 54 storeys in total).
Talk about location! The building will include direct
access to the St. Patrick’s TTC station, and the 505 streetcar stops at the
door. Even more convenient, there are numerous amenities within walking
distance. Skating at Nathan Phillips Square, taking in
an exhibition at the AGO, taking a course at Ryerson University or University of
Toronto, and shopping at Eaton Centre are all just a stroll away.
Right in the building, residents will enjoy the exclusive use of a
party room, fitness facilities, 4-season reflecting pool, sauna and rain room,
among other amenities. Suite choices range from studios to three-bedroom + den
The Presentation Centre is located at 481 University Avenue, at the
corner of Dundas, on the main floor. For more information, call 416-849-7700 or
register at www.theunitedbldg.com
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/
We hear so much
about new home affordability eroding in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area,
and how difficult it is for first-time buyers to realize homeownership – but I
wonder how many consumers realize that the fees imposed by our governments
contribute significantly to the cost. Recently, BILD commissioned a report by
Altus Group to examine government fees, taxes and charges on new homes in the
GTA, and it turns out they are among the highest in North America.
For the average
new single-family home, these charges add $222,000 to the cost, which on a
per-unit basis is nearly double those in other Canadian urban areas, and three
times higher than on average in six U.S. metropolitan areas. Government-related
fees in the GTA add around $124,000 to the cost of an average high-rise condo
suite, which is approximately 30 per cent higher than in other Canadian urban
areas, and one-and-a-half times those in six U.S. metropolitan areas. To say
the charges here are disproportionate is an understatement.
When it comes
to government, transparency is important. Canadians have the right to know
exactly what we are paying in the way of government-imposed fees, and why. All
three levels of government have the responsibility to help hard-working
Canadians, yet the existing new home scenario is counterproductive. At least in
the U.S., the government does not impose sales tax on new homes, whereas here
in Canada, that figure ranges from 5 to almost 15 per cent before applying
rebates. Even worse, our charges here continually increase as new fees and
development charges are imposed, making this scenario difficult to resolve.
extreme charges, the new home market in Toronto and the GTA has been, and
remains robust. Unless our governments at all levels take a more realistic look
at charges on new homes, there is no telling how long this can last. To read
BILD’s news release, visit https://bit.ly/2lX8RY5
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/
If your pet is part of your family and you are shopping for a condo, think ahead and do your research before signing on the dotted line. First, of course, ask whether pets will be allowed and if there might be restrictions on size, breed or other aspects. With condominium residents living so close to each other and passing neighbours in the hallways and elevators, having a well-behaved pet is a must. You definitely want to find out the conditions ahead of time, rather than end up in an awkward situation. In addition, take a good look at the condominium’s surroundings. Are there parks close by where you can take your furry friend for walks?
The great news is that many of today’s new condominiums not only allow pets, but also provide pet grooming areas and spas with washing stations conveniently located on the ground floor. This saves a lot of wear and tear on the flooring throughout the building and in your suite.
When you live in a condo, lifestyle is key – even for your pet! Make sure that he or she is going into an environment that will be welcoming and fun.
I read with interest the recent article by Kata Dmitrieva and Jeremy Van Loon in Bloomberg Business, in which Canada is referred to as the “new Switzerland.” In it, the authors mention our country’s reputation for safe living and banking as a driving force in Toronto’s vibrant housing market. I couldn’t agree more.
I also appreciate City of Toronto planner Jennifer Keesmaat downplaying the doom-and-gloomers who predict a housing bust with the fact that our buildings are in demand, and the completed ones are mostly occupied. In fact, according to Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer David McKay, our supply of high-rise homes may not even meet demand.
Toronto welcomes about a quarter of the 250,000 immigrants who come to Canada every year, many of whom buy or rent condominium suites. With Geneva-based World Economic Forum ranking Canada’s banks the world’s soundest for seven years in a row, foreign investors also feel confident spending their money here.
The new Switzerland when it comes to housing? I like it. Now, let’s work on our chocolate!
Architecture and design trade publication Metropolis Magazine has named Toronto the most liveable city in the world! This accolade comes hot on the heels of The Economist ranking Toronto the world’s best city to live in earlier this year, along with several other distinctions from a variety of sources.
Metropolis Magazine arrived at the decision to name Toronto first, Tokyo second and Helsinki, Finland third by examining quality of life in numerous categories such as urban planning, architecture, amenities, walkability, housing and preservation. Of particular interest was Toronto’s Tower Renewal initiative, which promotes the rejuvenation of our high-rise buildings constructed in the post-war boom where possible, rather than destroying them. In this respect, the magazine’s editorial director, Paul Makovsky, praised Toronto as a role model among cities around the world.
Once again, congratulations, Toronto. We really do live in the best place in the world!