Toronto Life - The Informer

Insider intel on the politics and personalities shaping the city. Sign up for Preview newsletter for weekly updates

The Informer

Sponsored Content

1 Comment

6 Things You Need To Know About Toronto’s Version Of The Hamptons

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

2 Comments

Here’s what Streetcar Developments wants to do to Jilly’s strip club

new-broadview-hotel

What it is: A total revamp of the New Broadview Hotel, a 124-year-old Romanesque building at Queen and Broadview best known as the former home of Jilly’s strip club. The renovation plans were first released last year, but this new rendering offers a much clearer view of what’s in store.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

Comments

Condo of the Week: $470,000 for a three-bedroom townhouse where mermaids used to swim

toronto-condo-of-the-week-27-valhalla-inn-road-intro

Address: 27 Valhalla Inn Road, Unit 64
Neighbourhood: Islington
Agent: Ana Santos, Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
Price: $469,000

The Place: A family-friendly townhouse just off Highway 427 in Etobicoke.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Cost of Living

28 Comments

“I’m one of the only people I know who owns a house”: how a digital marketing manager lives on $68,500 a year

(Image: Holly Blair)

(Image: Holly Blair)

Who: Christina Dong, 29

What she does: A manager at a boutique advertising firm, where she handles accounts and helps clients with marketing strategies.

What she makes: $68,500 a year, pre-tax and before her bonus.

Some of how she spends it: Mortgage payments on a three-bedroom bungalow near Birchmount and Danforth: $286 weekly. (“I am one of the only people I know my age who owns a house.”) Property taxes: $2,300 a year. Debt repayment on credit cards and family loans: $300 a month. Insurance: $265 a month. RRSP contribution: $300 a month. (“I got a raise in July, and I said, ‘Just put it in my RRSP so I don’t see it.'”)

What she bought in one week: Lunch at Mengrai Gourmet Thai: $22. (“I don’t eat out very often. I would say I go out for brunch once a month.”) Rabbit food: $15. (“Adopting a rabbit at the humane society is probably about as difficult as adopting a child.”) Polo helmet and lesson: $500. (“At a $100 a lesson, I don’t see that as a huge barrier to entry. I decided to invest in my own helmet. I’ve been saving up for it for months.”) Downtown parking fees: $65. Gas: $33. Groceries: $81.

The Informer

Real Estate

8 Comments

House of the Week: $1.6 million for a 19th-century Parkdale home with a turret

toronto-house-of-the-week-38-elm-grove-avenue-intro

Address: 78 Elm Grove Ave
Neighbourhood: Parkdale
Agent: Gigi von Anrep, Sutton Group Associates Realty Inc.
Price: $1,599,900

The Place: A fully renovated, 1870s home in Parkdale with a two-bedroom basement apartment.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

1 Comment

Cottage of the Week: $2.4 million for a luxury cottage near an exclusive golf club

toronto-cottage-of-the-week-15-cassidy-lake-road-intro

Address: 15 Cassidy Lake Road
Neighbourhood: Muskoka Lakes
Agent: Jim and Iris Gardiner, Chestnut Park Realty, Muskoka
Price: $2,469,000

The Place: A sprawling cottage compound on the grounds of the exclusive golf club Oviinbyrd, on the shore of Muskoka’s Cassidy Lake.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Best Bets

Comments

Go to a massive beach party, explore forbidden buildings and six other things to do this week

(Images, clockwise from top left: Tame Impala; painting by Johnathan Ball, courtesy of Liss Gallery; Burning Star, by Alex Brenner; Diana Krall)

(Images, clockwise from top left: Tame Impala; painting by Johnathan Ball, courtesy of Liss Gallery; Burning Star, by Alex Brenner; Diana Krall)

Get a sneak preview of the album of the summer
It’s been almost three years since Aussie psychedelicists Tame Impala released their sophomore stunner, Lonerism, but it feels like they never really went away. Lead single “Elephant” stomped its way through episodes of Girls and The Vampire Diaries—not to mention an inescapable Blackberry commercial—and we’re willing to bet Indie 88 is playing the album’s swooning centerpiece track, “Feel Like We Only Go Backwards,” yet again as you read this. As such, Tame Impala’s upcoming third album, Currents (out July 17), is one of the most hotly anticipated rock albums of 2015. And while early evidence suggests the band has retired its formative guitar roar for synth-washed electro-R&B, the signature trippiness remains. Fortunately, Massey Hall has the cavernous backdrop to accommodate one hell of a light show. Tuesday, May 19. $39.50-$59.50. 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

4 Comments

Sale of the Week: the $910,000 Church-Wellesley semi that proves a dated design is no deterrent

toronto-sale-of-the-week-30-mcgill-street-intro

Address: 30 McGill Street
Neighbourhood: Church-Wellesley Village
Agent: Michelle Read, Sutton Group Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage and Cathy Mei, Homelife Landmark Realty Inc., Brokerage

The Property: This Church-Wellesley semi resides on a quiet cul-de-sac sandwiched between the Ryerson University campus to the south and condos to the north. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, cathedral ceilings and walls of exposed brick.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

Comments

Condo of the Week: $850,000 to live in a former brewery in Corktown

toronto-condo-of-the-week-31-old-brewery-lane-intro

Address: 31 Old Brewery Lane
Neighbourhood: Corktown
Agent: Rob Ackerley and Barbara Renee Funt, MrLoft.ca
Price: $849,900

The Place: A light-filled laneway row house with a rooftop deck.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Columns

4 Comments

Memoir: I went from ultra-Orthodox yeshiva boy to millionaire poker champion

ari-engel-memoir-house-of-cards

The ancient rabbis had a saying about gamblers. “What crime do dice-players commit?” they asked in the Mishnah. “They do not occupy themselves with the welfare of the world.” It was part of my education at the Orthodox Jewish theological school I attended near Chicago, where I spent 14 hours every day poring over the sacred texts. Every so often, I’d encounter yet another screed against gambling: that it was akin to robbery, that it was a form of usury, and that people who made it their profession were disqualified as witnesses at trial.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

2 Comments

The Sell: a savvy couple use social media to sell their Parkdale investment property

the-sell-savvy-couple-social-media

the-sell-tyler-and-jeremyThe sellers: Jeremy Stewart, a 36-year-old designer and real estate investor, and Tyler Clark Burke, a 41-year-old artist and designer.

The place: A row house near Queen and Dufferin, divided into two units, both of which Burke and Stewart had been renting out since 2010.

The story: After bouncing between rentals for years, Burke bought the house in 2006, a year before she and Stewart started dating. When the pair decided to move in together in 2008, house prices were relatively low. Instead of selling Burke’s property, they borrowed against it to buy a larger home nearby where they could raise their kids: daughter Rooksby, who’s now 3, and son Hugo, 18 months. ­Earlier this year, with interest rates dropping and home prices soaring, they figured it was time to sell the rental property.

The prep: Aside from hanging a few mirrors, Burke, Stewart and their agent, Alice Kent of Bosley, did little staging. Instead, Burke appealed to friends on Facebook, posting a personal note about the property and expressing the hope that someone in her social network would end up buying the place.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Columns

4 Comments

Dear Urban Diplomat: should we keep our kid away from his unvaccinated cousin?

(Image: NIAID/Flickr)

(Image: NIAID/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,

My wife’s sister is a hard-core anti-vaxxer. We’re expecting in three weeks, and we don’t want her 18-month-old petri dish of a daughter to come over once our son (yes, we found out the sex) arrives. In fact, we’re not so keen on having him play with her, ever. How should we break the news?
—Vax Populi, Riverside

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

4 Comments

House of the Week: $1.4 million for a Corso Italia home with a long-term tenant

toronto-house-of-the-week-40-lauder-avenue-intro

Address: 40 Lauder Avenue
Neighbourhood: Corso Italia
Agent: Todd Colter, Royal LePage West Realty
Price: $1,439,000

The Place: A brick and stucco Arts and Crafts–style home just north of Davenport, near Dufferin.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

People

Comments

Ten things Sarah Gadon can’t live without

She’s the new face of Giorgio Armani Beauty, and her upcoming thriller, The 9th Life of Louis Drax, hits screens later this year. Here, the 10 things she can’t live without

(Image: Getty Images)

(Image: Getty Images)

1
My new Volkswagen Golf
It’s my first car, and I love it. It’s perfect for city driving and also really easy to park—which is great because I’m not the best driver.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

1 Comment

Cottage of the Week: $3.3 million for a Parry Sound home with a whole lot of windows

toronto-cottage-of-the-week-9-felsman-lane-intro

Address: 9 Felsman Lane
Neighbourhood: Parry Sound
Agent: Judy Parks, Paul Heenan and Linda Heenan, Royal Lepage Lakes of Muskoka; and Mike Timmins, Royal LePage Team Advantage Realty, Brokerage
Price: $3,295,000

The Place: A sprawling, 5,700-square-foot cottage with a guest bunkie, located on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Read the rest of this entry »