The Place: A two-bedroom loft in a recently converted building near Queen and Broadview.
The Property: This 14,000-square-foot home has its own gym and squash courts, home theatre, indoor pool and wine room. Its ornate design distinguishes it from neighbouring cookie-cutter mansions, and—Clue fans take note—it even has secret rooms and passageways that connect otherwise inaccessible parts of the house.
The Place: A large one-bedroom condo on the second floor of a boutique building in the Brockton Village section of Little Portugal. There’s a den off the kitchen, a balcony for barbequing, an underground parking spot and a five-piece washroom.
The Property: This loft, on the second storey of a converted industrial building, has 13-foot ceilings with exposed ductwork, plus two bedrooms and a private terrace on the building’s roof, not accessible from within the unit.
The Place: A 1,566-square-foot condo located just a short distance away from St. Lawrence Market, in a building with a Second Cup and several other businesses as street-level tenants. A recent renovation left the unit with better floors and a luxurious master bathroom.
It seems like every 30-something couple has an embarrassing financial secret: their boomer parents are covering their mortgages, child-care costs and other expenses
rica met Gavin on JDate in 2007. They were married two years later and had a daughter two years after that. Gavin owned a one-bedroom condo in Liberty Village, which his parents helped him buy with a $10,000 contribution to his down payment. He sold it, and he and Erica moved into a temporary rental apartment at St. Clair and Bathurst while they looked for a house. Three years later, they were still living in the rental—the $100,000 Gavin made selling his condo, their down payment, shrinking every day as the market continued to skyrocket.
Erica and Gavin aren’t their real names. They’re embarrassed by their financial situation and only agreed to speak to me on the condition of anonymity. They take pride in being career-focused young professionals. She’s 34 and works in the non-profit sector; he’s 40 with a job at a media company, and they have a combined income that fluctuates from the high five to low six figures. The endless house hunting made them feel desperate. Many of their friends had bought homes in the early 2000s and were already trading up to bigger houses in nicer areas, like Little Italy and High Park. The money from Gavin’s condo sale wasn’t enough to buy into those neighbourhoods without pushing them into extreme debt. “Our budget started at $500,000 and quickly went up to $600,000,” Erica says. “Our down payment was going to leave us with a huge mortgage and massive payments.”
The Property: This contemporary mansion in Etobicoke has a layout that ensures the privacy of its occupants. The master bedroom features a six-piece en suite washroom and its own private deck—plus, it’s separated from the other three bedrooms by a hallway, for extra solitude. The other two levels (including the lower level) also have their own decks with sound systems and entertainment spaces. Out back, a European-style saltwater lap pool is built next to a dramatic drop-off into the adjacent ravine.
The Place: A gargantuan, marble-lined suite with nearly 7,500 feet of living space. In addition to an open-concept living room, dining room and kitchen, there are six bedrooms, six parking spaces, an office and a den. Luxury extras include Brian Gluckstein–designed kitchen cabinetry and a humidor in the master bedroom.
The buyers: Chris Barran, a 44-year-old recent MBA graduate, and Danielle Barran, a 40-year-old VP of marketing at the J. M. Smucker Co.
The story: In 2012, Danielle, an executive at Smucker’s Markham office, was promoted to a job at the corporate headquarters in Ohio. She and her husband, Chris, packed up their belongings and their French bulldog, Remington, and moved into a ranch-style house on a golf course in Akron. The Barrans also kept their one-bedroom, 650-square-foot pied-à-terre in Deer Park for holidays and occasional weekends. The back-and-f0rth lifestyle worked fine until they got a second bulldog named Maui last Thanksgiving (their building had a one-dog policy). They enlisted agent Elli Davis to find a few options in the same neighbourhood, send them photos and videos, and handle the transaction in their stead.
The Property: An elevator opens directly into the den of this hard loft, which features original exposed beam-and-brick walls throughout, as well as 10-foot ceilings. It occupies the entire south side of the Monarch Building’s third floor, granting it views to the south, east and west.
The Place: A 1,248 square foot penthouse in one of Yorkville’s smaller condo buildings. There are two bedrooms, a balcony, two parking spaces and an open-concept living and dining area.