All stories by Monika Warzecha

The Informer

Real Estate

2 Comments

The Chase: after house hunting in Davisville, Wychwood and Little Italy, a couple settles on Bloor West Village

The Chase: a couple who knew exactly what they wanted in a house—just not where they wanted it

The buyers: Valérie Roy, a 30-year-old exhibitor relations manager at the One of a Kind Show, and Graham Fillier, the 46-year-old president of Centre Stage, an AV rental company.

The story: After a year of long-distance dating—she lived at Yonge and Davisville and worked in Summerhill, he lived in Brampton and worked near Dundas and Highway 427—Roy and Fillier decided to buy a place together. They knew exactly what they wanted: a move-in-ready three-bedroom house with space for an office or music room (they both play in bands), an extra bedroom for Fillier’s daughter from a previous marriage, a driveway and a big yard, all for less than $650,000. They just couldn’t decide where they wanted it. They drove their realtor nuts looking far and wide: Davisville, Bloor West Village, Wychwood, Little Italy and Little Portugal. After eight months of nonstop searching, they finally found The One.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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The Chase: an avowed west-ender takes a chance on a Regent Park condo

The Chase: a devout west-ender takes a chance on Regent Park

The buyer: Abeer Islam, a 29-year-old music producer and owner of Ivory and Hammer Music House.

The story: Two years ago, Islam bought his first home, a 600-square-foot one-bedroom loft at Bathurst and Queens Quay. It was a bargain at $260,000, but the layout was highly impractical: there was no separation between his living space and his home studio. When friends came over, they’d often end up sitting on his expensive recording equipment. Last year, he decided it was time to upgrade. He hoped to find a two-bedroom place, preferably in a west end neighbourhood with good resale potential, for less than $350,000. His six-month search took him all over the city and ended in a place he never expected.

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The Informer

Real Estate

4 Comments

The Chase: two consultants brave a blind bid process for a home in Kensington Market

The Chase: a couple of consultants find their first home together in Kensington MarketThe buyer: Diana Wong and Avnish Babla, both 30-year-old management consultants.

The story: Wong and Babla first met at Western in 2009. They were in the same MBA program, but they almost never talked on campus. They kept running into each other in Toronto, where they both moved after graduating, and soon enough they were dating. When they got engaged in December 2011, they decided to buy a house together. They wanted three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a yard—and, at first, were adamant about staying downtown (or at least within spitting distance of downtown and on a transit line). But their $500,000 budget made that nearly impossible. They were willing to expand their search zone and to do some renovating (Babla worked in construction throughout university, so he wasn’t afraid to do the work himself). What they didn’t predict was how much more money they would have to spend to get what they wanted.

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The Informer

Real Estate

5 Comments

Condo of the Week: $1 million for a hip townhouse next to the National Ballet School

ADDRESS: 277 Mutual Street

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Church-Yonge Corridor

AGENTS: Diane Speer and Jayna Tyne, Royal LePage Urban Realty

PRICE: $995,000

THE PLACE: A three-bedroom brick townhouse in Radio City, a residential development built next to the National Ballet School during the institution’s massive overhaul in the 2000s.

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The Informer

Real Estate

10 Comments

Condomonium: $7,200 a month for a furnished two-bedroom in the Shangri-La

ADDRESS: 180 University Avenue, Unit 2305

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Bay Street Corridor

AGENTS: Dylan Donovan and Robbyn Hayden, Bayshore Realty Inc.

PRICE: $7,200/month

THE PLACE: A two-bedroom corner suite on the 23rd floor of the Shangri-La, the luxury hotel and condo tower that opened at University and Adelaide in September.

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The Informer

Real Estate

2 Comments

Condomonium: $640,000 for a corner suite in a mixed-use building at Richmond at Spadina

ADDRESS: 477 Richmond Street West, Unit 709

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Waterfront Communities-The Island

AGENT: Kevin Yu, Coldwell Banker Terrequity Realty

PRICE: $639,900

THE PLACE: A one-bedroom corner unit in the Soho Lofts at the Starwood Centre, a former office building that’s now home to a mix of condos and commercial space.

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The Informer

Real Estate

2 Comments

Condomonium: $2 million for two levels, three bedrooms and a private elevator on The Esplanade

ADDRESS: 1 Scott Street, Unit 403

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Church-Yonge Corridor

AGENT: Heather Rovet, Sage Real Estate Ltd.

PRICE: $1,975,000

THE PLACE: The owner combined three pre-construction units to create this expansive condo in London on the Esplanade, a two-tower development near Yonge and Front. 

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The Informer

Real Estate

10 Comments

Condomonium: $3.5 million for a Yorkville suite with a wonderfully excessive decor scheme

ADDRESS: 80 Yorkville Avenue, unit 1401

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Yorkville

AGENT: Janice Fox, Hazelton Real Estate Inc., Brokerage

PRICE: $3,450,000

THE PLACE: An opulent two-bedroom suite in 80 Yorkville, a full-service building with valet parking, a concierge service, a gym and a yoga centre.

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The Informer

Real Estate

6 Comments

Condomonium: $1.65 million for a parkside penthouse in developer Brad Lamb’s King West building

ADDRESS: 25 Stafford Street, Penthouse 906

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Niagara

AGENT: Brad Lamb, Brad J. Lamb Realty Inc.

PRICE: $1,654,000

THE PLACE: This two-level penthouse in the new Parc Lofts building faces Stanley Park, where the King West crowd often congregates for baseball games and puppy watching.

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The Informer

Real Estate

1 Comment

Condomonium: $1.5 million for a Little Italy suite with three separate outdoor areas

ADDRESS: 200 Clinton Street, Unit 1

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Palmerston-Little Italy

AGENT: Christopher Bibby, Sutton Group Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage

PRICE: $1,495,000

THE PLACE: The largest of 13 units in the Button Factory Lofts, a uniform factory-turned-condo whose moniker stems from tales that, in old times, neighbourhood kids got a penny for every button they picked up off the factory floor.

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The Informer

Real Estate

4 Comments

The Chase: a first-time buyer finds her dream downtown condo in under a week

The Chase: a first-time condo buyer finds that doing her homework really pays offThe buyer: Natalie Pastuszak, a 28-year-old marketing associate.

The story: Pastuszak was sharing a home with her mother in Etobicoke and suffering an hour-long commute to and from the Financial District. “I was just going from one underground parking lot to another,” she says. “I wasn’t even going outside.” Two years ago, she finally decided to move downtown. She’d watched rents skyrocket and figured owning wouldn’t be much more expensive, so she started poring over MLS listings and researching condos online. By last summer, her finances were in order and she was ready to begin looking in earnest. Her dream place was a sunny one-bedroom suite with a terrace and an on-site gym for no more than $300,000—and it had to be within walking distance of work. (She was especially drawn to the eating and drinking scene on King West.) Thanks to her homework, it took only five days of condo hunting before she got exactly what she wanted.

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The Informer

Real Estate

3 Comments

Condomonium: $3.6 million for a 4,400-square-foot unit overlooking a Hoggs Hollow ravine

ADDRESS: 3600 Yonge Street, Unit 929

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills

AGENT: Barbara Banks, Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

PRICE: $3,599,000

THE PLACE: A giant corner suite in one of the Governor’s Hill condos, a mid-rise building set among the hills and valleys of Hoggs Hollow.

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The Informer

Real Estate

23 Comments

Condomonium: $4.2 million for a four-bedroom penthouse in an amenity-laden building

ADDRESS: 10 Bellair Street, Lower Penthouse 4

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Yorkville

AGENT: James Benson, Keller Williams Realty

PRICE: $4,200,000

THE PLACE: A nearly 4,000-square-foot lower penthouse in the No. 10 Bellair Residences, an upscale Yorkville building with valet parking, a sky garden, a spa and fresh floral arrangements in the lobby every week.

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The Informer

Real Estate

12 Comments

Condomonium: $1.2 million for a suite in a former Sunday school near Dovercourt and Bloor

ADDRESS: 110 Hepbourne Street, Unit 103

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Dufferin Grove

AGENT: Christopher Dunlop, Royal LePage Estate Realty

PRICE: $1,150,000

THE PLACE: A two-level suite in Hepbourne Hall, an extension to the Dovercourt–St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church that was converted into 21 lofts in 1992. The building wasn’t just used for Sunday school classes—the 1940s Maple Leafs used the gym for off-season training. 

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The Informer

Real Estate

11 Comments

Condomonium: $1.6 million for a penthouse with a hot tub on the wraparound terrace

ADDRESS: 138 Princess Street, Penthouse 5

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Moss Park

AGENT: Rizwan Malik, Homelife/Realty One Ltd.

PRICE: $1,599,900

THE PLACE: A two-level corner suite in the East Lofts, a mid-rise building on the edge of the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. Soft lofts occupy the building’s upper levels, and its ground floor space is devoted to tenants both storied (Waddington’s Auction House) and convenient (Urban Barn).

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