The Property: This custom-built luxury home has a whackload of windows, plenty of mirrors, hardwood floors, a large covered patio accessible from the second level and a circular staircase in the middle of it all. The home is landscaped and soundproofed for privacy, sealing it off from the neighbourhood’s bustle (and the adjacent gas station).
Sale of the Week: the $1.85-million Lansing luxury home that proves even ’80s design can stand the test of time
The Place: A compact one-bedroom on the 35th floor of the L Tower, a massive skyscraper that’s just a few hot dog carts away from Union Station.
What it is: Four proposed waterfront towers east of Lower Jarvis Street, the tallest of which would top out at 48 storeys. (This is where the Guvernment nightclub complex used to be before it held its last party in January.) The first phase of the development—called “Daniels Waterfront: City of the Arts,” a name that reads like it was written by George Lucas—would consist of two smaller towers with offices, retail and a “creative hub” with space for arts and cultural organizations. The first commercial units are supposed to be ready in 2018. The second phase would include more than 900 condos, as well as space for a school like OCAD University to use.
Sale of the Week: the $640,000 unit that proves condo living in St. James Town isn’t only for the young
The Property: This modern corner-suite condo has an open concept design with new hardwood floors and an upgraded kitchen. A television and custom fireplace are built into a feature wall in the living room.
Trawl through enough real estate listings and you’ll notice it: the interiors of a lot of different homes on the market all look pretty similar. (For anyone who has endured an endless condo hunt, these knockoff Eames chairs are probably a PTSD trigger.) Often, it’s more than just a similarity; the reason so many sale homes look identically furnished is that, sometimes, they are. Real estate agents often engage the services of professional stagers—interior-design pros who maintain vast libraries of attractive, lightweight furniture for temporary use in properties that need a little help appealing to potential buyers. That furniture is constantly in motion, flitting from condo tower to condo tower, sometimes alighting at storage facilities between jobs.
Brian Stirling and his wife, Joan, run Stirling Home Studio, a staging company with enough furniture in an Adelaide Street storage facility to outfit 30 properties at a time. Here’s how they approached a particularly challenging job: decorating the interior of an empty 1,700-square-foot, $950,000 unit at the Candy Factory Lofts.
The Property: This contemporary Stonegate family home has wood finishes and hardwood flooring across all its levels, including the finished basement. Many large windows add to its appeal.
The Property: A renovated condo in the Renaissance Plaza building. At 1,755 square feet, it’s large enough to accommodate both downsizing empty nesters and couples looking to upgrade from a single bedroom.
The Place: A southeast-facing penthouse atop one of North America’s tallest residential buildings.
Big Selling Point: The unit has ultra-luxurious finishes, including Italian-marble counters, heated bathroom floors, a chic limestone fireplace and expensive appliances. There are also snazzy amenities, like a fifth-floor garden and an 18-seat screening room. The Madonna-owned Hard Candy gym is located in the building’s podium.
The sellers: Shanna Landolt, the 43-year-old founder and president of executive search company the Landolt Group, and Paul Landolt, a 49-year-old software developer for RBC.
The property: A detached four-bedroom Edwardian in Riverdale, which the couple bought for $1.285 million in 2013, and lived in for just under a year with their three young kids.
The story: As Paul’s 50th birthday loomed closer, he and Shanna started daydreaming about a simpler life outside the city. Shanna grew up in Brockville, and the couple figured they could buy a house there—for a third of what it would cost them in Toronto—work remotely, and have enough extra cash to rent a pied-à-terre in the city and take regular family trips to the Caribbean. After mulling it over for a bit, they resolved to list the house just before Christmas to see what offers they could attract.
The prep: The Landolts’ agent, Suzanne Lewis of Keller-Williams, initially advised the couple to have the house professionally staged. Then, she reconsidered: two homes in the area had sold after receiving 20-plus offers, and some of those disappointed suitors were sure to bid on the next comparable property. So they spent four days de-cluttering and put the house on the market on December 9.
The offers: After a flurry of open houses, they received three offers, one of which was slightly over asking. Feeling buoyed, they signed all three back, and all returned with even higher bids. They haggled with the top bidder for 45 minutes, then made a deal for $74,500 over list price—a satisfying sum to put toward a new home base outside the city.