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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Condo of the week: 16 Balmy Avenue

The Beaches isn't exactly flush with condos, but a townhouse just a few minutes walk from the waterfront sounds like a pretty intriguing prospect. 

16 Balmy AvenueNot everyone needs a yard, and the idea of maintaining a traditional home can sometimes become a total drag. With a condo like this, the buyer gets a residence that feels much like a house, but has the ease of care that comes with a condo. 

16 Balmy AvenueThere's maintenance fees, of course, but they're not completely out of control. It's never fun shelling out monthly fees, but neither is replacing a furnace or a roof.

16 Balmy AvenueThe thing that's ultimately going to sell this place, however, is the location. With bustling Queen East basically right outside the door and Balmy Beach a two minutes stroll to the south, it's hard to imagine a better place to spend summers.

16 Balmy AvenueDesign-wise, the interior is a bit conservative, but the space itself looks malleable enough to transform with different decor. Meanwhile, the two outdoor spaces are cute for adults who prefer to relax on a patio rather than run around a yard.

16 Balmy AvenueSpecs
16 Balmy AvenueGood For

A couple without kids who still needs some extra space for an office and a guest room. The three-floor layout isn't so friendly for a young family, but it's an efficient use of space.

16 Balmy AvenueMove On If

Two scenarios: you prefer an open concept condo or you'd rather spend over a million on a house. Both would be significantly different than what's on offer here.

16 Balmy Avenue16 Balmy Avenue16 Balmy Avenue16 Balmy Avenue16 Balmy Avenue16 Balmy Avenue16 Balmy Avenue

Thanks to Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage for sponsoring our condo of the week. All editorial written and selected by blogTO.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

Small business owners finally catch a break in Toronto

You could forgive small business owners along Yonge St. for feeling like they were under attack. As condo creep progressively defines what was once Toronto's most vibrant street, many longstanding shops have thrown in the towel on the heels of major property tax increases

Places like House of Lords and Eliot's Bookshop announced their closures this month, citing the financial hardship tied to recent property tax assessments, though they're only the most visible of the causalities.

Today, however, there's some good news. After considerable pressure from the media, local business owners, and even Mayor John Tory, the Municipal Property Tax Assessment Corporation today announced that it will cooling its heels regarding an initial reassessment of property value on Canada's most famous stretch. 

The newly revised assessment has scaled back on property tax increases in light of the fact that the area in question is a Heritage Conservation District, which limits the ability of building owners to redevelop their land. 

Small business owners on Yonge can breathe a small sigh of relief, though the future of this stretch of the street is still very much up in the air.

by Lisa Power via blogTO

Labour Day weekend events in Toronto for 2017

Love it or hate it, the Air Show is happening this Labour Day weekend in Toronto as part of the CNE. The big noise-y birds will take over west side skies with flights Saturday to Monday. There's also Electric Island, a huge ribfest, an Ontario Place festival and the continued invasion of Fan Expo. 

Events you might want to check out:

CNE 2017 (August 18 - September 4 @ Canadian National Exhibition)
The final weekend at the CNE is a big one, featuring the Air Show, non-stop concerts, rides, food vendors, a Mustang car show, and an explosive set from A Tribe Called Red.
Fan Expo 2017 (August 31 - September 3 @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
The annual Fan Expo celebrates all things related to comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, sci-fi and fantasy to cosplay, horror, to gaming, toys, movies, and television. So many costumes, celebrities, and geeks in one place!
Downsview Park Ribfest (September 1-4 @ Downsview Park)
The massive Ribfest returns for the second year with an endless walkway of rib vendors. There'll also be music and entertainment stages.
Sunnyside Labour Day Long Weekend (September 2 @ Sunnyside Pavilion & Cafe)
Chus & Cabellos, the massive house music DJ duo from Spain, are celebrating the long weekend with a daytime dance party next to the lake. Joee Cons and Sean Collier open up the day, which runs from 4-11 p.m.
Electric Island (September 3 @ Hanlan's Point Stadium)
Electric Island finally heads back to the Island for their final weekend of the summer. Major international DJs fill the stages each day with sounds and lights on the easy breezy grass of the island.
Active Ontario Festival (September 1-4 @ Ontario Place)
A festival of technology, art, food, music, market and events to keep you moving. It's a family-friendly weekend, but also a great spot to relax and enjoy the unmatchable view of Lake Ontario.
Toronto International BuskerFest (September 1-4 @ Woodbine Park)
This annual celebration of street performance is a weekend of comedy, spontaneity and a dash of the unbelievable with clowns, musicians, magicians, fire jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, daredevils and more. A donation to epilepsy gets you in the park.
Toronto Wolfpack Home Playoff Game (September 2 @ Lamport Stadium)
Catch our very own unbeaten international rugby team in their second playoff game of the season as they tackle the UK's Whitehaven RLFC.
Grease The Musical (September 2 @ Winter Garden Theatre)
Catch the Josh Prince-choreographed and directed stage version of your fave summer movie complete with all the songs you love. The cast for this show was assembled by legendary Glee casting director Robert Ulric.
Canadian International Air Show (September 2-4 @ CNE)
The Canadian International Air Show is the country's largest and longest-running (not to mention noisiest) aviation display. Whether you're already at the CNE or walking around the western waterfront, you'll see this big birds
Drone Light Show (September 2 @ Ontario Place)
Head to the waterside park to cap off the Active Ontario fest at 11 p.m. with a drone light show in the sky. 30 drones, each with their own LED colours, fly and dance overhead for this unique light show.
Hot & Spicy Food Festival (September 1-4 @ Harbourfront Centre)
This waterside festival showcases Canadian celebrity chefs, a curated food market of food to challenge your tolerance levels, a cooking competition and lots of blues bands.
Le Burger Week (September 1-7 @ Multiple Venues)
This annual week-long burger festival takes place in various restaurants across the city. Each spot creates their own unique burger at a special burger price and you get to vote for your favourite.
Canada's Wonderland Food Truck Festival (September 2 @ Canada's Wonderland)
15 local food trucks from the GTA park their wheels inside the park to serve you a lunch or dinner you'll have to try very hard to keep down after all those rides.
Lechon Festival 2017 (September 2 @ Wychwood Barns Community Association)
This is a food fest that promotes Filipino cuisine and culinary heritage through food vendors, demonstrations, and sampling.
Richmond Hill Food Truck Festival (September 2 @ Richmond Green Park)
Trucks will be lined up at this Richmond Hill park all weekend long to serve something new. There'll also be drinks, entertainment, and lots of parking.
Zac Brown Band (September 1 @ Budweiser Stage)
Summer winds down with the Southern rock sounds of the Zac Brown Band.
Indie Fridays (September 1 @ Yonge-Dundas Square)
Canada's high-priest of reggae brings sounds of the summer to the square.
Bernice (September 1 @ Roy Thomson Hall )
This live night of music is Arts & Crafts music label night featuring the smooth pop sounds of Bernice.
The Cybertronic Spree (September 2 @ The Rec Room)
Nerd Noise Night is the only Fan Expo afterparty celebrating and showcasing nerdy musical talent across multiple genres. This night's big name performer are super musical robots The Cybertronic Spree.
Deep Purple & Alice Cooper (September 2 @ Budweiser Stage)
Dads and classic rock lovers of Toronto rejoice! Deep Purple & Alice Cooper with special guest The Edgar Winter Band are taking over this outdoor arena for a loud night of fist pumping hits.
Depeche Mode (September 3 @ Air Canada Centre)
The British new wave rockers have been pushing electronic music to its limits since the early 1980's and continue to pack stadiums with their massive sound and light show.
Blood Honey (September 1-8 @ Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas )
Blood Honey tells the story of a woman who after a decade returns to her family’s fly-in hunting lodge .... which turns into a nightmare. This is the Canadian premiere.
Alien 1979 (September 1-7 @ Imagine Cinemas Carlton)
The classic monster movie is playing for only $6 at the Carlton all week at both 6:40 and 9:15 p.m.
Degrassi School's Out 25th Anniversary (September 3 @ The Royal Cinema)
Joey Jeremiah and Stacey Mistysyn will be in attendance at this screening of the 25th anniversary of one of the most watched Canadian TV movies of all time. Be sure to get tickets in advance.
Nite Comfort 48 (September 3 @ Handlebar)
Elusive The One's JSG hits the Handlebar stage for an unforgettable night of electronic and 3D visuals along with opener Carolyn Ellen.
Big Primpin - Step Fresh (September 1 @ Miss Thing's)
A hip hop party for LGBTQ people and their guests. DJs Karim Olen Ash and Sikh Knowledge spin their finest as Bday boy Junior Sealy makes a grand return to Toronto to host.
Prince and Michael Jackson All Night (September 2 @ The Steady)
Dance your butt off to the king and queen of pop with Jules Bangsworth. All the hits you know on one sweaty little west side dance floor.
With It 60s Mod Soul Reggae Record Dance Party (September 2 @ The Piston)
CIUT 89.5FM's DJ Nico spins with Ottawa's DJ Magnificent for a night of soul to make you do crazy things on the dancefloor.
Pachanga Parti Labour Day Long Weekend Edition (September 2 @ Glad Day Bookshop)
A dance party for Toronto's Latinx queer community with DJ Alex. Expect salsa, bachata, and world beats at this party inside a book store.
Beam Me Up Lakeside (September 3 @ The Slip)
Beam Me Up sojourns to the lakeside for a day of disco. Let residents The Patchouli Bros and Cyclist serve you a waterfront soundtrack of underrated and obscure disco.
Tapette French disco edition (September 3 @ Bunda Lounge)
Toronto's only all-French dance party takes over this house music venue for one long-weekend night only with special guests The Patchouli Brothers! It's a night of French disco.
Depeche Mode After Party (September 3 @ Velvet Underground)
Depeche Mode is in town, but you know you're going to want to dance to all that new wave goodness afterward, rights? This is the afterparty, which is also a video dance party, which is also perfect.
Break For Love (September 3 @ Nest)
A Labour Day-long weekend Sunday dance party filled classic house from Montreal's Jojo Flores and Toronto's own Dave Campbell and Yogi.

by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO

The Toronto real estate bubble might have finally popped

Economists are in a tizzy right now over Toronto's housing market as home sales continue to slump and the word "bubble" repopulates our RSS feeds.

Only recently, though, have we started seeing headlines that use the words "popped" or "burst" to describe the state of Toronto's real estate market.

Could it finally have happened? Is the real estate bubble gone? If so, it seems to have popped pretty quietly (unless you count Facebook chatter as noise.)

"This is a late bubble. Bereft of life, it rests in peace," wrote BMO chief economist Doug Porter last week in a note to clients, blaming the death largely on new rules implemented by the Ontario government in April.

Porter also told CBC's Metro Morning on Friday that we've definitely popped the bubble.

"By any traditional definition, we were in the grips of a full-on bubble earlier this year," he explained. "I didn't expect prices to drop 13 per cent in four months, which is what we've seen."

We learned earlier this week that detached homes in Toronto had finally fallen below the $1 million mark, and BNN reports that home prices could drop up to 10% more in the next few months.

So, will the bubble deflate even further? Can it pop again? I'm not really certain, but the buzz around this topic seems well worth paying attention to. 

toronto housing bubble

BuzzBuzzHome writes that "this chart shows how out of control Toronto’s housing market really was," referring to earlier this year before the bubble was thought to have burst.

As the chart above, published today on BuzzBuzzHome's blog shows, Seattle could certainly benefit from watching what happens in Canada as it considers a foreign homebuyers tax of its own.

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

This is what a $35 million house looks like in Toronto

Toronto's luxury condo market might be all the rage right now, but it's always intriguing to get a peek inside the houses of the super rich, complete with sprawling grounds, tennis courts, and marble floors.

68 the bridle path

68 The Bridle Path is the highest priced home in Toronto right now (though it still trails the penthouse condo at the Four Seasons by a million bucks). This opulent mansion can be yours for just $35 million.

68 bridle path

Built in the early 1980s during the financial boom that spawned Wolf of Wall Street levels of personal wealth for Robert Campeau, the home sits on a gated four acre plot with the house itself spanning around 40,000 square feet and a master bedroom the size of a luxury downtown condo.

68 bridle pathIts design is inspired the 17th century chateaus of France, and the carefully manicured gardens are meant to evoke the natural beauty of the countryside that's still surrounds the city.

68 bridle pathThe house, unfortunately, has only 10 bedrooms and 40 parking spaces, not nearly enough for the average Toronto family. The kitchen, however, makes up for this by boasting "multiple dishwashers" for everyone to enjoy.

68 bridle pathElegance, majesty, symmetry, authenticity, eccentricity and neuroplasticity are all words that have been used to describe the home.

68 bridle path

It may boast a pool with a floor that converts into a ballroom, but that hardly holds a candle to the solid gold bathroom faucets.
68 bridle pathBack in 2014 it was listed for $25 million, but it's up by $10 million now. Will it sell at that price? Probably not, but maybe Drake will eventually tire of his Bridle Path pad and look to add to his holdings.

68 bridle path

by Lisa Power via blogTO

Rental of the week: 50 Bartlett Avenue

Toronto's luxury apartment rentals are increasingly clustered in condo buildings throughout the core of the city, which is why this laneway townhouse apartment in Bloorcourt is such a refreshing listing to fawn over.

50 Bartlett AvenueOffered as both a short and long term rental, this two bedroom unit is a whopping 1,700 square feet and features soaring ceilings as well as an oversized warehouse-style window that lights both the first and second floor. 

50 Bartlett AvenueThere's an obvious industrial vibe in the living room, but despite the white walls and high ceilings, the presence of the fireplace and all the natural light really warm it up. Personally, I love the design of the master bedroom, which feels like a loft but is actually closed off by a glass wall.

50 Bartlett AvenueNot too many people can afford to blow $6,000 on rent each month, but for those high rollers who can, this is surely one of the nicer options on offer that isn't in a condo tower. 

50 Bartlett AvenueSpecs
  • Address: #7 - 50 Bartlett Ave.
  • Apartment type: Townhouse
  • Rent: $6,200
  • Utilities: Included
  • Air conditioning? Yes
  • Bedrooms: 2
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • Parking: Yes
  • Laundry? In-suite
  • Outdoor space? Deck
  • Pet friendly? Unspecified
50 Bartlett AvenueGood For

Ex-pat workers with rent subsidies. There's only two bedrooms here, but you could get away with housing a small family in this apartment so long as the kids shared a room.

50 Bartlett AvenueMove On If

You want more sleeping space and a yard. At this price point, there are plenty of traditional three or four bedroom homes within reach.

50 Bartlett Avenue50 bartlett avenue

50 Bartlett Avenue

50 Bartlett Avenue

by Derek Flack via blogTO